Nigerian billionaire, Oluwo Antonio Oladeinde Fernandez (Garsan Fulanin Kano) is dead. He was aged 79 years.
Announcing his demise in a tweet last night, Nigerian journalist/publisher, Dele Momodu, said: “Nigeria, and, indeed Africa, has just lost one of its greatest sons: Ambassador Chief Antonio Oladeinde Fernandez is gone!”
Another source also confirmed to LEADERSHIP that the billionaire died in Brussels, Belgium and breathed his last in the presence of one of his wives, Halima Maude Fernandez, whom she married in 2003.
Mr Fernandez had been sick for some months now before he finally gave up the ghost yesterday.
Fernandez was born in Lagos in 1936 to the famous Fernandez family that originated from Brazil. In his life time, he was a business magnate, diplomat and permanent representative of Central Africa Republic to the United Nations
In 1982, he 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 in the United Nations in 1984.
He ran an oil company called Petro Inett which obtained a 50 percent share with South Africa-based Energy Africa Ltd in a deal with the state oil company for exploration rights in a 4,700 km2 area of Angola’s coast 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.
He was formerly married to Aduke Fernandez, whom he divorced in July 2003 following a £300m divorce suit in Scotland filled on July 1, 2003.
His titles include: Garsan Fulanin Kano (Kano State, Nigeria); Baron of Dudley (England); Grand Officier de l’Ordre National du Leopard (Grand Officer of the National Order of the Leopard, the Democratic Republic of Congo); Grand Officier de l’Ordre du Merite Centrafricain (Grand Officer of the Order of Merit, Central African Republic); Grand Officier de l’Ordre du Mono (Grand Officer of the Order of Mono, Togo); Commandeur de l’Ordre National du Merite du Gabon (Commander of the National Order of Merit, Gabon); and Officier du Ouissam Alaouite (Officer of the Ouissam Alaouite, Morocco where the descendants of the Alaouite dynasty rule as kings. The present is King Sidi Mohammed VI).