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Stats: 2,775,154 members, 6,610,711 topics. Date: Tuesday, 30 November 2021 at 08:17 PM
|Politics / Re: A Letter To The Nigerian Youths On Buhari's Derogatory Speech by Bhella5(m): 2:24am On Apr 23, 2018|
One of the yoot PMB had in mind when he made that bitter truth statement. Yes you OP.
|Politics / Re: Nigerians Constitute 40 Per Cent Of Foreigners Held For Drug Crimes In India In by Bhella5(m): 2:20am On Apr 23, 2018|
APCsupporter:Especially my yeebo brodas.
|Celebrities / Re: Davido Acquires Diamond Chain And Watch From Malivelihood (Photo) by Bhella5(m): 9:32pm On Jan 11, 2018|
DuBLINGreenb:dey copy jayz upandan. ole!
|Crime / Re: Stray Bullet Hits Man Sleeping At Home. He Survives (Photos) by Bhella5(m): 7:26pm On Jan 11, 2018|
Tallesty1:Na pastor save in life?
|Sports / Re: Wilson Oruma Suffers Relapse Of Emotional Disorder, Ex Teammates Call For Help by Bhella5(m): 5:04pm On Jan 11, 2018|
Who does that sef, investing all ur life savings on a business u had no idea about. Which school did he go? I also thought he is a warri boy. I feel for him sha. Beware of some so called MOG. They are wolves in a sheep's coat.
|European Football (EPL, UEFA, La Liga) / Re: EFL Cup Semi-Final: Chelsea vs Arsenal (0 - 0) On 10th January 2018 by Bhella5(m): 11:30pm On Jan 10, 2018|
|European Football (EPL, UEFA, La Liga) / Re: Arsenal Vs Chelsea (2 - 2) On 3rd January 2018 by Bhella5(m): 5:22pm On Jan 03, 2018|
|Car Talk / Re: Audi Ditches Russian Doll Car Design So That You Can Differentiate All Its Model by Bhella5(m): 8:32am On Jan 03, 2018|
elRamani:Is she from Benin City?
|Politics / Re: We Will Win Lagos In 2019, Says PDP by Bhella5(m): 3:49pm On Jan 02, 2018|
Antipob777:Is Kanu dead? if not then that is an unguarded statement.
|Politics / Re: We Will Win Lagos In 2019, Says PDP by Bhella5(m): 3:46pm On Jan 02, 2018|
Maybe if every electorate in SE are shipped to Lagos on that day. Otherwise bros STFU. Not gonna happen.
|Business / Re: UBA Card Maintenance Multiple Charges by Bhella5(m): 3:27pm On Jan 02, 2018|
UBA ke no money conscious persons bank with that bank. they are bunch of rogues. I banked with them back then in school they almost made me mad with their incessant withdrawals. then if I manage to get my uncle send me something before I even trekked to the bank UBA has dipped their hands in my cookies. I had to port to 1stbank
|Celebrities / Re: Banky W And Wife, Adesua Etomi Step Out Together For The Ciroc New Year Party by Bhella5(m): 1:54pm On Jan 02, 2018|
RadicallyBlunt:It's called fashion hâter. You got issues.
|Romance / Re: Lady Bears Chest In Front Of Actor Odunlade Adekola, Nigerians Reacts by Bhella5(m): 9:13am On Jan 02, 2018|
eezeribe:The boobs popping one does it for me anyday anytime. LOL
|Religion / Re: Chidi Okoroafor, Assemblies Of God Church General Superintendent New Year Wishes by Bhella5(m): 12:20pm On Jan 01, 2018|
At least this one is not spelling doom for the country unlike some MOG. Ride on Pastor.
|Celebrities / Re: Olamide: "I Made My Lagos Nawa Album In 48 Hours" by Bhella5(m): 10:45pm On Nov 05, 2017|
Strobe:I dey tell u.
|Celebrities / Re: Olamide: "I Made My Lagos Nawa Album In 48 Hours" by Bhella5(m): 10:43pm On Nov 05, 2017|
SlimBrawnie:no good manager, no solid PR team just bunch of idiots in bandwagon. That's why I never waste my Mb on any of their gutter songs
|Celebrities / Re: Aramide: "I Lost My Respect For Onyeka Onwenu After She Shunned Me At An Event" by Bhella5(m): 9:24am On Nov 04, 2017|
stillondmatter:No. She's always that way. This is the second person of note that would be accusing her of being a snub.
|Politics / Re: 'Igbos Will Vote Massively For President Buhari In 2019' - Orji Uzor Kalu by Bhella5(m): 1:39pm On Nov 03, 2017|
deariekay:u dey mind these ones ni? Like they can vote him out on Nl. Come 2019 when PMB says 'jump' ibos would say where?
|Politics / Re: I Can’t Remember Details Of Money Given To Metuh – Dasuki by Bhella5(m): 6:11pm On Nov 01, 2017|
With that kind of money, me too go develop total amnesia.
|Politics / Re: Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso Is Contesting For President In 2019 - Pulse.ng by Bhella5(m): 6:13pm On Oct 27, 2017|
QueenOfNepal:I believe Buhari will just nitch Lagos by a small margin. Kogi and Kwara is a ripe cherry for the picking for any candidate that negates Dino's and Saraki's interest.
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|Politics / Re: Buhari Administration Recalls Abdulrasheed Maina, Wanted Ex-Pension Boss Sacked by Bhella5(m): 11:10am On Oct 21, 2017|
Wailers will continue to wail like hyenas.
|Politics / Re: Buhari Approves Payment Of Pension To Retired Biafra Police by Bhella5(m): 7:41am On Oct 19, 2017|
CrtlAltDel:you read my mind.
|Politics / Re: Remembering Legendary Nigerian Journalist, Dele Giwa, 31 Years After! by Bhella5(m): 7:27am On Oct 19, 2017|
izzou:Sadly true. I bet many of these kids don't know who MKO Abiola was. History has ceased being taught in schools.
|Politics / Re: Remembering Legendary Nigerian Journalist, Dele Giwa, 31 Years After! by Bhella5(m): 7:25am On Oct 19, 2017|
addavez:Hey kid kindly gtfoh
|European Football (EPL, UEFA, La Liga) / Re: Crystal Palace Vs Chelsea (2 - 1) On 14th October 2017 by Bhella5(m): 3:14pm On Oct 14, 2017|
See Chesi o...!
|Celebrities / Re: Weflo Mistakenly Exposes A Lady's Pant While Reacting To Bricklayer Rumour by Bhella5(m): 11:30pm On Oct 10, 2017|
|Politics / Re: May God Give Nigerians Patience To Tolerate My Government – Buhari by Bhella5(m): 9:47am On Oct 07, 2017|
clevvermind:all of the 5%? e lo po si wa
|Sports / Re: Bet9ja Has Stolen From Me, Please Help Me!!!! by Bhella5(m): 8:03am On Oct 07, 2017|
Oga goan lick ur wound. You staked 1200 and then u singled it in 4 places. so u only get a return on games won which is why u got 2k+ u should be happy self. Abeg make we rest otherwise go station. Na only u dey get problem ni? I saw ur other post where u are also whining like a biaaatch.
|Politics / Re: Nairaland Progressives Agree With IPOB: Jubrin Occupies Aso Rock. by Bhella5(m): 7:12am On Oct 07, 2017|
omenka vs ipob, o le ku...
|Politics / Re: Can INEC Tell Us How To Recall BUHARI !!! by Bhella5(m): 6:51am On Oct 07, 2017|
|Politics / Re: May God Give Nigerians Patience To Tolerate My Government – Buhari by Bhella5(m): 6:49am On Oct 07, 2017|
|Family / T.O.S. Benson And Folake Sokanke Proposed Marriage Case In London by Bhella5(m): 4:24pm On Oct 06, 2017|
Have your Ever Heard of the Song EWA by Bobby Benson.. Let me refresh your memory " Mi o Le gba Ewa Nitori Obirin.. Oni jamba Obirin po laiye Ke Ru Re.. I cant go to jail because of a woman.
Now you know where Bobby Got his inspiration.. It was the love story between His Brother TOS Benson and Folake Solanke..Read On..
A PEEP INTO HISTORY OF THE BENSON vs SOLANKE CASE: When a man 'lusts' after a girl!
Solanke Vs Benson: A Lifetime Story Of Tradition, Love, And Hatred.
It was probably the first celebrated case where a daughter will defy her father in the choice of marriage. It was in the days when a woman, educated or not, really had no say on the choice of who she marries. But this 18 year old daughter of a very affluent Yoruba chief defied her father’s choice of husband. The father had chosen a prominent politician of those days, Chief TOS Benson, a dashing and flamboyant politician, to marry his stunningly beautiful daughter, Folake Odulate. But she would have none of that. Rather, she would go on to marry her heartthrob, Toriola Solanke, a medical doctor whom she fondly called a “gentleman”.
But suitor Benson would not give up, a decision which led to a case of arrest and a charge of robbery against the prominent politician at the Old Bailey, in London. It was a trial on which eminent Nigerian jurist and Justice of the Supreme Court, the late Justice Kayode Eso , wrote: “The legal drama, as it was, at the awe inspiring Old Bailey, is so vividly presented that it should not be missed by any lawyer, law student or, indeed, any reader at all.”
Thus began one of the greatest stories of marriage scandal in the pre, and post independent Nigeria. It was the story of a love affair, a story of clash of culture between modernity and tradition in terms of marriage rites. It poses the question, do women have the right to choose whom to marry, or should they abide with whoever the parents choose? It is the story of a young woman who stood stoically and chose who to love, and equally stood by that love to the very end. It is the story of Chief Mrs. Folake Solanke, the first woman to defy tradition, and the first woman Senior Advocate of Nigeria. It is also the story of passion, of lifetime hatred only love can bring.
Perhaps, if the chance meeting had not occurred at the lowest ebb of her life, the story may have been different. Her family had just lost a brother, the first born of the family who had sojourned in England for several years. Dr. Albert Olukoya Odulate had died within two weeks of his coming back to Nigeria after qualifying as a Medical Doctor in England. She was in the vehicle that claimed his life and so, she was still very distraught. The accident that would change the course of her family happened on January 30, 1948.
Amongst the sympathizers who came to console her father was TOS Benson, who cited this very beautiful and fair lady, and decided to add her to his harem. Thus began the discussion with Pa Jacob Odulate(Blessed Jacob of the Alabunkun fame) on how Chief Benson can marry the young Folake Odulate.
The young lady years after will later write: “In our collective state of trauma and vulnerability, Benson, became known to the family as a sympathizer, willing to comfort my distraught father in his anguish. The great Roman poet, Virgil had warned, “Timeo Graecos dona ferentes”.
And so by 1950, talks were rife between the Bensons and the Odulates about the arranged marriage. By 1951, the two families met, and did engagement but the young woman refused to see the meeting which was supposed to give her hand in marriage as what it was- her marriage ceremony. That same year as fate would have it, she travelled to England, which provided a means of escape for her.
Immediately she got to London, she wrote to Benson to the effect that he should count her out of the arranged marriage. She said: “I thought very deeply about my future. I came to a firm decision that the talk between Papa and Benson about an arranged marriage could never be for me. Benson was much older and already married with children. My preference was for a monogamous marriage”. About a year after, Folake met the love of her life, Toriola Feisitan Solanke, and by October 6, 1956, they were married.
But Benson would have none of that. Unfortunately for him however, the pretty bird had flown far away to where his hand and influence cannot reach. Six years after however, an opportunity presented itself for Benson, who at that time had become the Chief Whip of the Nigerian Parliament and was a member of delegation to London to discuss the Independence of Nigeria,
In the midst of this serous assignment, Benson arranged with a cousin of Folake (now Mrs Solanke) to lure her to his (cousin’s) house where he hoped to talk sense into her. So on May 25, 1957, Folake paid a visit to her cousin in a house on Flander’s Road, Chiswich, London, where to the shock of her life, Benson; her old suitor came in just after she arrived. Benson tried to convince her that she should marry him but she told him “no”.
She said: “I told him quite categorically, in the presence of Afolabi (cousin), what I had been telling him, my father, and others for six years, that I could never marry him. As he still refuse to take no for an answer, I told him that I was already married. Benson said he did not care about my marital status and that he would do everything to destroy my husband and I in Nigeria”.
The Parliamentarian did not stop at that. He took his luck farther. She further narrated on the incident: “As soon as Afolabi left the room, I got up from my chair to leave the room, but suddenly, Benson grabbed my left hand and started trying to remove my engagement ring by force. I struggled as hard as I could, but he overpowered me and violently forced my engagement ring off my finger. In the course of the assault, my open-ended gold bracelet wristwatch also came off my wrist;
My gold engagement ring had two had two diamonds set on either side of a blue sapphire. I pleaded with him to return my ring and wristwatch to me, but he flatly refused. He then put the two items in one of the pockets in his flowing Agbada. Benson locked the door and kept the key in one of his numerous pockets”.
Desperate to escape the assault, Folake did the unthinkable. “There was no way I was going to remain in that apartment, which for me had suddenly become a place of violence and unlawful detention. After all my pleas had failed to recover my precious possessions from him, and with the door locked against me, I reached for the telephone to dial 999. Benson promptly disabled the telephone. Instinctively, I made for the window to jump out”.
It was at this point Benson knew the lady meant business. He called her cousin who promptly came into the room and both persuaded her to come back. This was the opportunity she had to escape from the apartment and further assault. But Benson held on to her ring and wristwatch.
Mrs Solanke, after this experience reported the case to the police. On June 1, 1957, the London Metropolitan police arrested Benson and arraigned him before Acton Magistrate Court, London, for stealing a ring and a watch valued at Forty one pounds from a woman. In the warrant of arrest, he was alleged to have forcibly robbed Mrs. Solanke of her watch and ring on May 25. He was however granted bail with two sureties. However, the court ordered a remand for two weeks, which meant he could not leave London in that period.
On Saturday June 15, 1957, the case went on trial at the Magistrate Court to determine whether Benson had a case to answer. The Prosecutor was Victor Duran QC and he called two witnesses, the police investigating officer, and Mrs. Solanke. At the end of the pre-trial, the court decided that the defendant had a case to answer and thereafter transferred the case to the London Central Criminal Court, popularly known as “Old Bailey”.
The two day trial commenced on June 27, 1957, before Sir Gerald Dodson, who also doubled as the Recorder of London. There was a jury of 12 persons to determine the case. When his charges were read to him, he pleaded not guilty. The Prosecution lawyer, Mr. Durand thereafter presented the investigating police officer, Mr. Philips, to the witness box. Philips tendered the written statement of the plaintiff to the court, together with plaintiff’s engagement ring as exhibits.
Next in line to enter the witness box was the plaintiff herself. She was led in evidence by Mr Durand. She narrated how the assault took place and how the defendant forcefully removed her engagement ring and wristwatch. She also told the court how she got married secretly to her husband, Toriola, on October 6, 1956. She further told the court that she had told the defendant and her father the she could not marry the defendant as far back as in 1951 and that she was never interested in the proposed arranged marriage. The plaintiff’s husband, Dr Solanke also gave evidence, corroborating his wife’s evidence.
The defendant then gave his own evidence. He denied that he forcefully removed the plaintiff’s engagement ring and wristwatch. He told the court that it was the plaintiff who gave him the ring to return to her father. He also told the court how he gave the plaintiff a cheque containing money for her education.
The defendant through his lawyer, Mr. Foot called 12 witnesses that represented the crème de la crème of Nigerian politics. They include; the late Chief H.O Davies, the late Chief Adeniran Ogunsanya, and the then Nigerian High Commissioner to Britain, Chief M.T Mbu. The greatest shock however, was bringing the plaintiff’s father, Chief Jacob Odulate to the court. The father testified against his daughter!
The courtroom was packed full with Nigerians as the story also hit the headlines of newspapers both in London and Lagos. The plaintiff gave the account thus: “There were also others who came simply to hurl abuses and curses and threats at me. The unprintable taunting and vituperation did not elicit one single response from me. I held my head high and the police gave me every protection”.
After the trial, the judge adjourned the case to July 1, 1957, the date the court eventually discharged and acquitted the defendant.
But the battle did not end there. Chief Benson never forgave Folake Solanke for not marrying him. He taunted her at every opportunity. He made every move to stifle her career in the legal profession, all to no avail. Even when she lost her husband, he hired a band to taunt her, saying that he, an old man had outlived her husband. Until his own death, Chief Benson never forgot, and never forgave the bride he lost to someone else.
Culled from the book: “Reaching for the stars" the autobiography of Folake Solanke, SAN
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