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    Complete Story of How Billionaire, Deinde Fernandez Died ...His Stupendous Wealth

    Nigeria’s billionaire, Antonio Deinde Fernandez was perhaps one of the silent billionaires in this part of the globe.
    The prolific international businessman and friend of notable world leaders had died penultimate week at the age of 79. Publisher of Ovation Magazine, Mr.  Dele Momodu announced the death of Fernandez in a personal tweet.
    Momodu said of the late Fernandez: “Nigeria, and indeed Africa, has just lost one of its greatest sons. Ambassador Chief Antonio Dehinde Fernandez is gone!” He was said to have died in Belgium after a protracted illness.
    His profile on Wikipedia states that the multinational businessman was born in Lagos into the Fernandez family that originated from Brazil and the first European migrant to Lagos State.
    A former diplomat, the late billionaire had several links with several countries and at a time, served as advisor to the Angolan Government on Economic Matters.
    He held this position for two years until his appointment as Deputy Permanent Representative of Mozambique to the United Nations in 1984.
    He ran an oil company called Petro Inett, which obtained 50 percent share with South African-based Energy Africa Limited in a deal with the state oil company for exploration rights in 1996.
    In 1992, he was appointed as Special Adviser to the President of Mozambique on International Economic Matters, a position he held for three years.
    Reputed to have about six private jets, Fernandez owns a chateau in France, once occupied by Napoleon Bonaparte, The Emperor of France. Friend of Mobutu, ally of Kofi Annan, and associate of the late Nelson Mandela.

    He was so classy that whenever he entered a restaurant to eat, everyone else must leave because he could not eat with the 'Commoners'. He takes over entire restaurants for the night to avoid encountering 'riffraff'. 
    Welcome to the world of one of Africa's richest men: His Excellency, Oluwo Antonio Oladeinde Fernandez, ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary, permanent representative. When it comes to the most impressive and exuberant display of the splendour of wealth, Fernandez dusts them all -by miles. The name 'Fernandez' is Portuguese in origin and shows that he is of the popular Fernandez family of Lagos. Historical accounts show that the Fernandezes were originally descendants of freed slaves from Brazil, where Portuguese is the official language. Some of the first modern-styled buildings in Lagos were built by the Fernandezes, and these buildings are known for their spectacular Brazilian architecture. Portuguese navigators were also the first European explorers to reach Lagos State. Actually, they gave the state the name 'Lagos.'

    He is the perfect combination of a diplomat (you can also refer to that as ambassador), businessman and yes, a gentleman. He is multilingual, tall and dark (yeah, take a look at the pix again, will you?
    Even though he is a Nigerian, he was appointed the Permanent Representative of Central African Republic (CAR) at the United Nations in 1997 (ain't that classy?, but with the current turmoil in CAR, with former President Francois Bozize fleeing the nation, things are hazy).
    Fernandez is said to have interests in the CAR's oil industry (at a time, he was the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Central African Republic). That does not include his bauxite (for aluminum) exports, gold mines (in Angola) and diamonds pits. He owns Petro Inett, an oil company. Petro Inett is just one of them. He also has shares in View, Sandcat Petroleum, Sanantonio, Goldfields, Voguehope, Grantdalem Inuola, Sandcat Goldfields (cat, cat, now I understand those two cats...lol), Woods and Petro Inett Equatorial Guinea.
    Before then, he had served as the Special Adviser to the President of Mozambique on International Economic Matters and from 1992-1995, he was the Ambassador-at-Large for the Republic of Togo and Angola.

    He was also once the Consul for Benin Republic (then Republic of Dahomey) (1966), made the Economic Advisor to the Angolan Government in 1982 (just for perspective, only Nigeria produces more oil than Angola in Africa, shey you gerrit?). To be specific, he was a long-time adviser to President José Eduardo dos Santos of Angola (he’s been ruling since 1975).
    In 1984, he was the Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Mozambique to the United Nations. At a point, he was a Deputy Minister of Finance in Swaziland.
    He has houses in Kano, built a tower for himself in Lagos (where he was born in 1936), New York (where he is said to stay almost permanently), Scotland, France, Belgium and the United Kingdom. But that’s not all, he has accounts in the Cayman Islands, France, Switzerland (I love that country joor), Ireland, Hong Kong, Scotland and the United States. Don’t ask me of Nigeria.
    He surrounded himself with the finest, classiest and the most exquisite things that money can buy. 
    In a divorce case with one of his former wives, it was revealed that he splashed 200,000 British Pounds on his seven-storey townhouse to buy 1,000 books of gold leaf to ‘toosh’ up the already ‘tooshed’ cornices and balustrades.

    A high chief of the Ogboni Confraternity, he is highly revered in his Yorubaland and his family motto is: ‘Aguntan meji kii mumi ninu koto kan na.’ What that simply means is that two rams cannot drink from the same container. Or some people will say, there cannot be two captains on a ship.
    He once married (some reports insist they were only romantically linked) the Erelu of Lagos, Abiola Dosumu but they fell apart and the Erelu of Lagos has since stopped using his name, Fernandez.
    He later married a beauty from Kano State. Her name? Haleema, and has a daughter, Mahreyah. She is said to be of the Alhaji Muhammadu Maude (also known as Maude Tobacco) family of Kano. Alhaji Maude was the Presidential Liaison Officer for Kano State during the Shehu Shagari presidency. A wealthy businessman, he made attempts to become governor of Kano State in the 1980s but lost even though his campaign was one of the most colourful and was associated with the use of yan banga, local thugs.

    He owns one of the most luxurious homes in Kano State (with one of the largest horse stables and farms in Nigeria, one of the Boko Haram battles in January 2012 during which the pregnant wife of one of the Boko Haram leaders was reportedly killed, was close to his property). But the house is now said to be falling apart. Well, he doesn’t stay at home! He finished from Cambridge University and Columbia University (business degree) and has been using private jets long before people like Dangote and what is the name of that man again o….ehen! Adenuga! Started dreaming of a billion dollars.
    He has been in the diplomatic business since 1966 so billions are not new to him. He has direct contacts to some of the most powerful world leaders, business executives and entrepreneurs. He is said to be very close to leaders like Nelson Mandela and George Walker Bush -and they address themselves by the first names. He surely pulls the strings. At a time, he wanted to sue a decorating firm for publishing the pictures of one of his properties that they had worked on.
    A very deft diplomat was also instrumental to the Bangui Agreements of 1997. He has denied having any links with the Nkomati Accords signed in 1984 between Mozambique and South Africa, to which some have given him credits.

    In 1987, his American wife of 25 years, Barbara J. Fernandez, filed for divorce, and the proceedings of the case was at the Supreme Court of the State of Connecticut (Barbara Fernandez v. Antonio Deinde Fernandez (13283) and the case ‘involved the applicability of the doctrine of diplomatic immunity to an action for marital dissolution and equitable property distribution.’ As at the time of the divorce, Barbara Fernandez stated ‘an international businessman and diplomat who has admitted to being one of the richest men in Africa. He heads dozens of companies, and I believe his net worth exceeds $75 million.’ She (plaintiff) also stated that, in her opinion ‘the defendant could easily sell or transfer assets that are relevant to her claims for relief.’ (Fernandez vs. Fernandez).
    Ambassador Antonio Deinde Fernandez ‘claimed diplomatic immunity by virtue of his status as an ambassador to the United Nations for the People’s Republic of Mozambique’, and moved that the court dismiss the entire suit for lack of personal jurisdiction. A waiver was later provided, and the full text of the waiver went thus, providing: ‘Limited Waiver of Immunity.’ ‘Pursuant to Article 32 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the People’s Republic of Mozambique hereby waives the immunity extended by the United States of America to Ambassador Antonio Deinde Fernandez under the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations to the following limited and restricted extent only…’ 

    One very unique thing about this Yoruba high chief is that unlike many other moneybags in Nigeria today, he did not make his money in Nigerian public office but rather by working as a suave and most talented diplomat FOR other nations of the globe, at a time when IBB and others were struggling over coups to rule Nigeria, he was already dealing with governments one-on-one. He has no traceable business or investment in Nigeria and stays virtually permanently outside the country.


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