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Arisekola Alao is dead


Abdulazeez Arisekola Alao, a controversial businessman who was based in Ibadan, capital of Oyo State, died yesterday at a hospital in Switzerland.

A family source confirmed Mr. Alao's death to our correspondent, stating that the cause was colon cancer. The source also stated that the remains of the deceased businessman were being conveyed to Nigeria for burial as early as tomorrow in keeping with Muslim rites. In 1980, a group of Islamic clerics named him the Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, making him one of the most notable Islamic figures in Nigeria's southwest.

Apart from being a prominent Muslim figure in Nigeria, Mr. Alao was also known for his cozy relationship with the late General Sani Abacha, one of Nigeria's most repressive dictators.

Mr. Alao, who was born in 1945, started out as a trader in his youth and grew into a businessman with investments in real estate, auto sales, news media, and flourmills. Like many Nigerian business owners, he depended on the patronage of political leaders to maintain the image of having vast wealth.

In 2011, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc filed a lawsuit seeking an order to declare Mr. Alao bankrupt. The lawsuit arose from a loan of close to N7 billion that Mr. Alao had taken from the bank but failed to service.

The late Mr. Alao was married to several wives and many children.

Sahara reporters