Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Family, friends & Well-wishers holds Christian service for late Business man, Okey Dimoji | + Friend reveals mysterious text message in church

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Late Okey Dimoji

Thursday July 9th  and Saturday July 11th,  friends, families and well-wishers of Lagos business man, late Henry Okechukwu Dimoji congregated at the Methodist Church, 1-3, Church street, by Sergeant Awuse Estate, Opebi, Ikeja-Lagos-South West Nigeria for a Service of Songs and Commendation Service in honor of the Imo state, South East Nigeria born business man.
Late Henry Okechukwu Dimoji
Okey  Dimoji who is the first Nigerian to win the franchise of the Thuraya and Nera satellite phones brand in Nigeria under his Royal Strides Communications before going into courier business with the establishment of Royal Courier Ltd and Nigeria Cargo Force (UK) was knocked down by an articulated truck on Thursday April 30th during an illegal stop-and-search exercise by some criminally minded Nigerian police officers at the Mile two-Apapa Road bridge bend in Lagos. The officers have since been apprehended and are now cooling their feet in the force’s gulag. The Service of songs which took place on Thursday and Commendation Service which took place on Saturday are parts of activities marking the funeral rites of the 45 years old business man. He is to be finally interred at his Ihube, Okigwe LGA- Imo state country home on Friday July 17. 
Okey Dimoji  is survived by his wife Linda Dimoji and two sons, Wesley and Bryan.
 Your soar away Africa’s number 1 Celebrity encounter blog Asabeafrika was at the Thursday Service of Songs conducted by the Methodist Church of Nigeria, Opebi under the leadership of, The Very Reverend Gabriel Olukayode Adekanla. Enjoy the excerpts.
Service in session
How Okey Dimoji died 
On Thursday April 30, Okey  Dimoji and his beautiful wife, Linda had attended a Wake Keep Service of the wife of an elderly family friend in Festac Area of Lagos. On leaving the event in the evening for their Anthony Village, Lagos home, they ran into some officers of the Nigeria Police carrying out an illegal stop and search activity by a bridge bend linking Apapa end of Mile 2 road to Oshodi Express Road in Lagos. One of the Police officers (Their Leader) was said to have instructed the business man who was on the wheel with his wife beside him to jump down from his car right on the spot. All  plea by the late business man for the policemen to allow him park well before alighting from the car fell on deaf ears as the police man threatened to shoot the business man if he fails to come down as ordered.
The Widow, Mrs. Linda Dimoji
Immediately Okey Dimoji stepped down from the car, a trailer (articulated truck) negotiating the bend ran into him from behind and smashed one of his legs to pieces and equally dragged him few meters forward. The policeman querying him was said to have quickly jumped over Okey Dimoji’s car bonnet when he saw the trailer coming. But Okey was not too lucky as the vehicle hit him from behind and dragged him off from his car. Seeing what happened, the police men, about 5 ran into their patrol van and drove away while the truck driver waited. It was the truck driver and a confused and equally perplexed Mrs. Linda Dimoji who took Okey from one hospital to another (As hospitals kept rejecting him without Police Report) until he died at Igbobi Orthopedic hospital, Lagos. From Apapa to Yaba where Igbobi is situated, it is a lot of journey amidst traffic as the business man lost much blood and was pronounced BID on arrival at Igbobi Hospital.
The Udus symphatises with the Dimojis
Meet the 1st guest that arrived for the Service of Songs
Although the service of song was to start by 4pm dot but one lady who was already seated by 3:45pm was Mrs. Peace Penuel. Mrs. Peace Penuel who is a former staff and first marketing executive at Royal Strides Communication, one of Okey Dimoji’s companies won our award as First Guest to arrive. The Akwa Ibom state born marketing executive turned educationist when speaking to Asabeafrika described Okey Dimoji as a wonderful boss who never bite the emotion of his staff “I will describe Mr. Dimoji as a very wonderful boss, he is wonderful in so many ways. He had a heart for staff. He was a compassionate and understanding boss that even when you come a little bit late to work and you explain to him he will forgive you. I can remember a day I came late, I actually forgot my key at the door post, then I was living in Egbeda and working in Ikeja and I had to leave the office and run home to pick my key. So, when I got back and explained to him, I said ‘Sir, the truth is that I forgot my key at home’ he said ‘ok, ok, ok, ok’. (Laugh); on how she got to know about her former boss’ death, she reacted thus “When I heard about his death I didn’t believe it and even now that I am talking to you, I don’t still believe it, that is just the truth. I don’t believe it, it was shocking. I was on my way to work and I ran into one of our old staff and normally when I meet them like that I will ask after everybody, I said ‘have you heard from chairman?’ and he said ‘Hen, you didn’t hear what happened?’ and I said ‘what happened?’ and when he told me I just pushed him away. I said ‘what nonsense are you saying with your mouth?’ and until now that I got the text for this event I am still confused” The former staff of the deceased  gave a word of advise to the bereaved family “They should have the kind of heart Chairman had for people that worked with him. He had a heart of gold not just because he was our boss but he was equally compassionate, he had a heart for others and even the less privileged ones. So, they should emulate his good heart and above all, they should stick to God like never before. They should hold unto God like never, never, before because He is the only one that can comfort them”   advised Mrs. Peace Penuel who now works with Mindset College, Ajao Estate. 

The Late Okey Dimoji
The Reverend Magdalene Boyo of Methodist Church of Nigeria, Opebi offering a heartful prayer for late Okey Dimoji's family
Meet the 9 ministers who conducted the service
At 4pm dot, the service started as more people arrive for the service of songs; from the extreme entrance of the cathedral leading to the vicarage appeared nine ministers who were to conduct the service. They were led in by the Presbyter in charge of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, Opebi The Very Reverend Gabriel Olukayode Adekanla. Others are The Reverend Oluwaseun Jegede (MCN, Opebi) The Reverend Sunday Okelola (MCN, Opebi), The Reverend Olumide Aluko who is equally a Conference Evangelist for the Methodist Church of Nigeria; The Reverend Olayiwola Olojo, Methodist Church of Nigeria, Ojota; The Reverend Solomon Shokoya, Methodist Church of Nigeria, Magodo; The Reverend Magdalene Boyo (MCN, Opebi); The Reverend Bukola Adenekan, Methodist Church of Nigeria, Omole and The Reverend Demola Funmilayo (MCN, Opebi). They all wore their white robes and black shoes on black socks and took their seats at the front row. At their seating, all members were advised to pick the church’s blue cover Vigil Service Hymn book (Orin fun Isin Aisun) which has been placed on all the chairs in the cathedral as the church keyboardist set for work.
The Ver Reverend G.O. Adekanla with  The Revrend Olumide Aluko
Why Okey Dimoji is very special to the Methodist Church
The 3-course Special funeral service given to the late Okey Dimoji is one that could be given to an esteemed member of the Methodist Church either at the clergy level or at ministerial level. However, not many people know that the late Okey Dimoji was a baptized Methodist from childhood as his late father The late Arch-Bishop Joshua Nwafor Dimoji was an Arch Bishop of Methodist Church of Nigeria, Enugu diocese in his life time and one of the very few intellectuals who brought the Methodist Church and Christianity into the eastern part of Nigeria. He was a well regarded clergy in the entire eastern part of Nigerian in his lifetime and well respected for his ecclesiastical works. Today, in Ihube land in Okigwe Local Government area of Imo state where the Dimojis hail from, the late elder Dimoji has a big cathedral to his name which is going to serve as the church where Okey’s final service will be held on Friday July 17. Secondly, the present prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, His Eminence Dr. Samuel Emeka Uche is equally from the same Ihube land as late Arch Bishop Joshua Nwafor Dimoji and that is why on Friday, July 17, the entire hierarchy of the Methodist Church will file down to Ihube for the final rites of Okey Dimoji’s funeral as he is considered ‘a son of one of the founding shepherds in the eastern part of Nigeria. Okey is Arch Bishop Joshua Nwafor Dimoji’s last born.
Business Associates of late Mr. Okechukwu Dimoji
PHCN and intermittent light offs
Although once the hymnal songs began with intermittent Bible readings by the Priests, sonorous voices laced with beautiful vibes from the church keyboard rented the air as personalities including family members and well wishers wore long faces but offered their voice in honor of the service. However, one terrible scenario that nearly marred the event was the way and manner public power kept coming and going and the service was held at the mercy of the church’s generating set.
The Widow Mrs. Linda Dimoji in the middle during the Service of Songs
The Hymns and the readings
Because of the nature of the service, majority of the hymns were hymns related to life after death like hymns 216, 503, 371, 468, 339, 652, 657, 527, 366, 528, 313, 825, 618 and Hymn 832 and 616 taken from Methodist Hymns. The Hymns which has an English version (EMHB) and Yoruba version (YMHB) was sang majorly in English language because of the nature of guests in attendance. Some Biblical verses were equally read which are familiar to the course of event.
The Very Reverend Gabriel Olukayode Adekanla, Presbyter, Methodist Church of Nigeria, Opebi giving his sermon
The Widow Linda among female symphatizer
Linda Dimoji still mourning
When the widow, Linda Dimoji arrived at 4:20pm, she was led to a seat on the front row. She was ushered in by her mother, Madam Abigail Ibezim and two other women who ensured her mood was kept under watch with sweet words and pampering. Initially at the beginning of the service, the very beautiful and charming Linda Dimoji looked so distraught and embattled with tears rolling down her eyes momentarily. But towards the end of the service, especially after the sermon by The Very Reverend Gabriel Olukayode Adekanla, Linda started to wear a smile as she sang the last series of the vigil hymns. However, family members and close friends confirmed to Asabeafrika that Linda is still much in a loss for losing such a handsome, kind and generous husband in his prime.
Dejected Friends of the late business man during the Service of Songs
Why the funeral service was delayed for two months
It was equally surprising that since Thursday April 30 when Okey Dimoji died, his funeral is just starting around July. Close family source told us why “You know we had to liaise with the police authorities to arrest those fleeing police men who caused the accident that led to his death and equally allow the police to carry out autopsy and other investigations. We were urged not to be in a hurry; initially they caught four of the police men but the remaining two have been arrested and the case is being handled perfectly well by the police authority. We are assured of getting real justice because there is nothing we can do to bring Okey Dimoji back to life”
One of the clergy men reading a Bible Text
Christ Family Society Praises Okey Dimoji
By 4:40pm, the Presiding Priest The Very Reverend Gabriel Olukayode Adekanla had asked 4 set of people to come out and give testimony about the deceased. They are his friends, wife’s family, siblings and members of The Methodist Church of Nigeria, Opebi branch. However, the first person to come out was Brother Onwuka Orji, the Secretary General of Christ Family Society (CFS) a Christian Group of The Methodist Church, Opebi. He described Okey Dimoji as one of the best members of the society who equally supported the society in so many areas, morally and financially. He said since Dimoji became a member 15 years ago, there was no project executed by the group that Okey didn’t support financially and that Okey believes that anything that has to do with God’s work, nobody should price it. Brother Onwuka also told the gathering not to mind the widow’s present demeanor describing her as a spirit filled Christian. “I believe whatever Sister Linda is going through now, she will overcome it because she is a spirit filled Christian who often lead us in prayer in the group”
Some members of the Church during the Service of Songs for Okey Dimoji
Ex-Accountant says ‘Dimoji is a detribalized Nigerian’
The next man who came out to speak was Chattered Accountant Bola Fakoya aka Fako. Bola Fakoya who was Okey Dimoji’s Chief Accountant at Royal Courier Ltd described Okey Dimoji as a gifted hand and a visionary leader “One thing I discovered about my Chairman is the fact that there is nothing he started that he didn’t succeed. We were with him, he started Royal Stride Communications, we were with him he started Royal Courier and I can boldly say that Chairman has a Midas touch in his hand because there was nothing he did that he didn’t succeed” Bola who was nearly moved to tears but held himself through, said his 7 years of working with Okey Dimoji was one of the best moments of his blooming career “I recall when I did my marriage in year 2000, he was my backbone and I cannot forget that rare experience. I also want to let you know today that Chairman (Okey Dimoji) was a detribalized Nigerian, he employed everybody, I am a Yoruba man and I was his Chief Accountant. We had Hausa, Akwa Ibom, and other tribes among our team. He was our Chairman and we were his boys even when we operated in London, America, Dublin up to Dubai, he was so marvelous and generous to us” declared Bola Fakoya aka Fako.
Group of Church women symphatize with Mrs. Linda Dimoji
Okey Dimoji's childhood friend, Chief Gerald Udu giving his testimony on Okey Dimoji before Men of God & Ordinary Men
How Okey Dimoji predicted his own death
Next to speak was Chief Gerald Udu, Okey Dimoji’s friend of three decades and neighbor, the very tall and handsome Igbo high chief told a shocking congregation what Okey Dimoji sent to him via sms three days to his demise. Chief Geral Udu whose wife Anita Udu is one of the women that took care of Okey Dimoji’s wife said his friendship with Okey Dimoji is more like a brotherhood as both of them grew up in Enugu together and equally became neighbors in Lagos as they lived together in same neighborhood. Chief Udu revealed the mysterious message sent to him by Okey Dimoji three days to his death to the hearing of the congregation “I have faith that Okey is in heaven because I can see that he was fully prepared for his exit from this sinful earth. He became so consistent with Church activities and never missed Sunday services. I was one of the last people he spoke with before his death and even on the day he was involved in the accident I happened to be there in the hospital with him. He sent a text to me three days to his death and that is one of the main reasons I am here today. He said “today, does your ways please God? If the trumpet sounds now, would you rise with the saints? Think about it. Wide is the way that leads to hell, narrow is the way that leads to life”. This was the text Okey sent to me three days before his death and when he was dying I happened to be by his side. I saw everything. Okey reviewed his life towards the tail end; it seems as if this man knew where he was going to. He saw it coming but he could not stop it because that was the will of God and no man can change it, may his soul rest in perfect peace”
The Clergy men conducting the service
Testimony from the Church
The biggest testimony came from Reverend Oluwaseun Jegede who is the Editor of The Methodist Church, Opebi Harvest Magazine. He recalled how some sponsors of the magazine relocated abroad some years ago and the magazine was in dire need of money for publication “We needed money to publish at the time and we were really pressed. One Sunday, after service I approached Brother Okey Dimoji and I pleaded with him to support us by advertising in the magazine. And he said to me, ‘if it is God’s work, I can’t say no to it’ and he told me to book down the Inside Back Cover or (IBC) or Outside Back Cover (OBC) for him. And since then, every time we publish our Harvest Magazine, Brother Okey maintained his commitment. He was a very generous soul. He is one of our biggest sponsor and I am sure all this are counted for him as treasures in heaven
Symphatisers at Okey Dimoji's Service of Songs
Okey Dimoji wanted to build a new parish for the church - Presbyter
That was the last part of the event. A sermon titled “A heart of wisdom” was delivered by the Presbyter in charge of The Methodist Church, Opebi, The Very Reverend Gabriel Olukayode Adekanla. The Man of God who described Okey Dimoji as a great asset in the vineyard urged guests at the event to have a heart of wisdom towards death as nobody knows when, how and where death will meet him or her”. The highly respected man of God recalled how Okey Dimoji listened to his instruction by enrolling at the Methodist Church theology school in Ogun state and nearly obtained a certificate before his demise “I said to him, you are a son of an Arch-Bishop, what are you thinking towards your Christian legacy? Go and enroll and he enrolled for our lay preacher course and he attended class twice. He was passionate about it. Few days to his death, one of his friends had crisis and he brought him here, urging me to help the friend out, I didn’t know he was going to die soon. We are still on it and I will do all my best to see that we help his friend so that wherever he is, he will be happy that his gesture was not abandoned. Twenty four hours to his death, he called and said to me “My Presby, we don’t have a Methodist Church inside my estate here (Aladura estate, Anthony Village) can we start one in my compound?” and I asked him “If we start, where is going to be the clergy’s abode?” and he said to me “Sir, I will provide that”. I didn’t know he was going to die the next day. He was such a very caring, accommodating and kind fellow. The sermon was backed with Bible references from Psalm 90 verse 2, 3&5; 1st Peter 1 verse 24; Ecclesiastes 8 verse 8; Isaiah 40 verse 6. The Very Reverend Gabriel Olukayode Adekanla also quoted philosopher Julius César by saying “The Necessary end will come when it will come”, “Death is the necessary end and a heart of wisdom must prepare for it” Adekanla advised his congregation at the Service of Songs.
Symphatizers observing the Service of Songs
Sympathizers @ the Service of Song
Some members of MCN, Opebi, Mourning with Okey Dimoji's family
Some aggrieved sisters @ the Service of Songs

Mrs. Linda Dimoji amidst symphatizers during the Service of Songs

Mourners from Corporate Nigeria

Mourners at the Okey Dimoji Service of Songs

More Symphatizers observing Okey Dimoji's Service of Songs

More friends of the deceased in the house
Friends of the late Okey Dimoji in their lowest moment
Friends of Mrs. Linda Dimoji at the Service of Song
Former Staff of the deceased, Mrs. Peace Penuel & Mr. Bola Fakoya
Cross Section of Methodist Clergy Men conducting the Service of Songs in honor of Late Okey Dimoji
Chief Gerald Udu (R) with another symphatizer
Chattered Accountant, Bola Fakoya rendering his account of work experience with late Okey Dimoji
Brother Onwuka Orji of Christ Family Society, Methodist Church, Opebi
An ederly couple at the event
An Abuja based business woman who stormed Lagos for the event
All for Henry Okechukwu Dimoji
A Cross Section of ex-staff of the late international business man
A couple who came late for the event mourned at the entrance of the church
Widow, Linda Okey Dimoji
Widow, Linda Dimoji with mum, Madam Ibezim
The widow, Mrs. Linda Dimoji, her mum, Madam Ibezim (L) and a female symphatizer
The Very Reverend Gabriel Olukayode Adekanla

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