For the urbane and astute banker and Managing Director\CEO of upscale Diamond Bank PLC, Alex Oti, his experience at a recent social event couldn’t have been what he had ever bargained for, given his status and pedigree in the socio-economic spheres of the nation. It was indeed a show of shame laced with disgrace and utter degradation when the Diamond Bank helmsman was ordered out of a seat he had comfortably settled himself in. According to those privy to the public function which held at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos on Friday, 11 January 2013 to be precise, ‘the event was put together by the ethno-cultural group, Lagos to honour one of their own, Dr.(Mrs) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Ndigbo Lagos, Minister for Finance and coordinating minister for the Economy. We gathered that the event had in attendance distinguished and top Igbo personalities in the economic sector like the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Kingsley Moghalu, immediate past governor of CBN, Prof Charles Soludo (who was making his first official public outing since his EFCC brouhaha), the younger brother of the finance minister, Mr. Onyema Okonjo, just to mention a few, all of whom were eminently seated in the hall. Just before the event kicked off fully, Onyema Okonjo excused himself from his seat near the minister\guest of honour, Okonjo-Iweala. While Onyema was out of his seat the Diamond Bank boss, Alex Oti was said to have walked in briskly to take up the assumed vacant seat near the finance minister. But not too long after, visibly excited Onyema Okonjo walked back into the hall only to find his seat already occupied by Alex Oti. This was the setting for the imminent disgrace unleashed on Oti by Onyema. Lividly, Onyema ordered Alex Oti to vacant his seat as he (Onyema) was previously seated there and that the Diamond Bank boss should excuse him. To many who were watching the unfolding drama with suspence, they didn’t find it funny at all, as a whole bank MD could be treated in such an ignominious way at an A-list event. Of course, Alex Oti had no choice but to ungrudgingly stand up from the seat to settle for another one in a very obscure and less conspicuous section of the hall, where little or no attention could be beamed on him, and apparently to shield the utter disgrace that has just been meted to him by the finance minister’s brother, Onyema Okonjo, who is known to be a very fearless and daring man. It was indeed a day the Diamond Bank boss least expected something of that lowly and demeaning manner could be lashed out at him.
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