..His life and times
By Hugo Odiogor
Anioma Media Professionals have offered their condolences to the family of late Chief Sonny Iwedike Odogwu, (OFR), the Ide Ahaba who passed on yesterday at 91.
Ide Ahaba and Chairman of Grand Hotel Chief Sonny Iwedike Odogwu, passed on to eternity in Lagos yesterday at the age of 91. The Ide Ahaba was born on March 20, 1927 into the royal lineage of Obi Odimma Odogwu,the first paramount Chief of Asaba.
A spokesman of the family, Mr. Ken Odogwu, confirmed the passing of the great son of Anioma nation said his father bowed after age related ailments.
Ken Odogwu who is the eldest son of the late doyen of business, said a meeting of the family “has been summoned to plan for the funeral of the patriarch of the family.”
Reliable sources said beyond whatever the family is planning , “this will no doubt involve the state and federal governments given his statesmanship and involvement in business and political leadership.”
Late Sony Odogwu grew up in his home town Asaba where he had his early education. He was an alumnus of Church Missionary Grammar School (CMS) Lagos and Ilesha where he had his secondary school education. He started work as Insurance trainee at the age of 17 with his employment in Norwich Insurance company, Lagos. He worked with them for two years before he resigned to start his own company, Dyson and Dyket Insurance Brokers. He extended his activity into Commodity brokerage services.
He later moved to London to advance his education and obtained a degrees in Insurance studies and business management from City University and London Chartered Institute of Insurance respectively.
He worked with Pearle insurance company, London C.T. Bowring and Company limited (Brokers at Lloyds) and finally with Swiss General Insurance company Ltd. He left the Brokerage side of the insurance Business and rose fast to become an underwriting member at Lloyds of London, the largest and most formidable insurance underwriting organization in the World.
Chief Sonny Odogwu is the Chairman of SIO group of companies. The Odogwu Group of Companies has extensive holdings and operations in insurance, Shipping, Real Estate, Banking, Oil and Gas, Commodities, Publishing, Tourism and Transportation. It also has its tentacles in marketing of upend exotic automobiles, tourism and hospitality business.
SIO properties, is regarded as one of the largest properties and Real Estate developing companies in Africa, owning extensive developments from South Africa, to Zimbabwe, to Kenya, to Ghana and Nigeria.
His cousin, late Chief Dennis Osadebey was the first Senate President of Nigeria from 1960 to 1962 and the first premier of Midwest region from 1963-1966. He is a recipient of several local and international recognitions, awards, and honorary degrees from Universities, Associations and Multilateral Agencies including but not limited to the World Bank Group, the IMF, the Zik leadership awards, LLD (Honoris Causa) Lincoln University Pennsylvania USA etc.
Chief Odogwu may be better known internationally for his work in the field of philanthropy.
Chief Odogwu was a family man, an astitute political Leader, a Businessman,, a Community Organizer and committed a supporter of the struggles of Anioma nation.
The national leader of AMP, Ogbuefi Hugo Ifeanyi Odiogor said “Chief Sonny Odogwu was “an entrepreneur par excellence, a man who identified with the interest and struggles of Anioma people, nevertheless, he lived an accomplished life.”