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Gabriel Igbinedion

Gabriel Igbinedion 9

Gabriel Igbinedion biography

Chief Gabriel Igbinedion is a Nigeria businessman and entrepreneur and also the Esama of the Benin Kingdom in Nigeria

The title Esama traditionally means the “Son of the people”, with responsibilities including assisting the poor in medial, monetary and private venture forms.

He was suspended from participating in palace activities in 2008.

Background information

Full Name: Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion

Born: 11 September 1934

Birth place: Edo

Nationality: Nigerian

Title: Esama of the Benin Kingdom

Spouse: Lady Cherry Igbinedion (m. 1977)

Grandchildren: Osasu Igbinedion, Zena Igbinedion, Ehi Igbinedion, Osaretin Igbinedion,

Children: Lucky Igbinedion, Charles Igbinedion, Omosede Igbinedion, Peter Igbinedion

Parents: Okunozee Igbinedion, Josiah Oviawe Igbinedion

Organization founded: Igbinedion University Okada

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Early childhood and educational career

Chief Gabriel Igbinedion is born on 11 September 1934 in Edo, Nigeria. He attended Benin Baptist Primary School, Benin City and Eko Boys High School, Lagos which was truncated by his father’s death.

Professional career

He started his working career as a Teacher, before becoming a Sales Representative and Distributor for Leventis Motors

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Gabriel Igbinedion

Company and investment

Gabriel Igbinedion Has established companies in the industrial, commercial, aviation and education sectors and sub-sectors of Nigeria.

He is the Founder/Chairman of the Board of Igbinedion Education Centre, Benin City, Edo State (The School comprises Nursery, Primary and Secondary Schools in addition to the Igbinedion Montessori Teacher Training Centre, Benin City.

He is also the Founder/Chairman, Board of Regents and Chancellor of Igbinedion University, Okada.

Other companies by Igbinedion include

Igbinedion Montessori Nursery/Primary School

Igbinedion Secondary School

Igbinedion Montessori Teacher Training Centre

The Igbinedion Education Centre is today the sole trustee of the Montessori Concept of Early Childhood Education in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Esama of Benin’s business empire also includes an international property portfolio and a private TV and radio station. He owns a private bank, oil refinery, diamond, gold, marble mines over Africa, a private university (Igbinedion University, the first private university in Nigeria) and a large number of hotels.

Gabriel Igbinedion previously owned the now-defunct private airline, Okada Air, of over 40 aircraft (planes and helicopters). He has built numerous churches including a Grand Catholic Cathedral, and has set up and owns a number of private hospitals across Nigeria.

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Awards and recognitions

Honorary Doctorate Degrees have been conferred on him by seven universities in Nigeria and three universities abroad.

Chief Gabriel Igbinedion has received honorary awards from 38 organisations and bodies including the Paul Harris Fellow.

He received Professional Awards from 12 prestigious professional bodies.

Chief Gabriel Igbinedion has safely secured a place in history for his immense contribution to Nigeria through education during the 20th and 21st Centuries.

Most importantly, humanity will always acknowledge his contribution to Human Development through mass employment.

Award of Africa’s Man of the Year 1998 by African World News (1988).

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Position held by Igbinedion

He is Grand Patron of twenty one national and international organisations.

Justice of the Peace (JP) by the then Bendel State Government (1986).

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Chairman/Group Managing Director, Okada Group of Companies.

Founder/Chairman, Board of Directors, Igbinedion Education Centre, Benin.City.

Founder/Honourable Chancellor / Chairman, Board of Regents, Igbinedion University Okada, Edo State.

chieftaincy title

He has been honoured with over 32 chieftaincy titles across the country, including the Esama of Benin Kingdom and The Gwang Taruk of Jos among many others.

Gabriel Igbinedion

Family and personal life

Chief Gabriel Igbinedion got married to Lady Cherry Igbinedion in 1977 and their union is bless with children and grandchildren.

One of the Esama’s sons, Lucky, was a two-term Local Government Chairman and two-term Governor of Edo State, another, Charles, was a Local Government Chairman and one time Edo State Commissioner of Education, while yet another, Peter, was the Managing Director of Nigerian Aviation Authority.

His daughter, Princess Omosede Igbinedion-Akenzua, is currently in the House of Representatives for Edo State.

He is of the Baptist Faith and was made a Knight by the Anglican Communion in 1992.


  • Gabriel Igbinedion

  • Gabriel Igbinedion

  • Gabriel Igbinedion
  • Gabriel Igbinedion
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