Throwback Photos Of Nigerian Celebrities That Will Amaze You

Here are some throwback photos of Nigerian celebrities that show how far they have gone in life. As the saying goes – “money is everything”, this statement is not far from the truth using these photos as a case study.

Throwback Photo Of Reekado BanksAyoleyi Hanniel Solomon a.k.a Reekado Banks
Throwback photo of OlamideOlamide Adedeji a.k.a Olamide
Throwback photo of FalzFolarin Falana a.k.a Falz
Throwback photo of BobriskyOkuneye Idris Olarenwaju a.k.a Bobrisky
Throwback Photo Of Tonto DikehTonto Dikeh

Queen Elizabeth’s First Visit to Nigeria in 1956 (with Video)

Footage of the Queen’s visit to Nigeria in 1956.

The Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II, visited Nigeria for the first time on the 28th of January, 1956, four years to Nigeria’s independence and stayed for 20 days.


She was received with a military parade at the Ikeja Airport in Lagos and welcomed by dignitaries such as the then Governor-General, Sir James Robertson, his wife, the Minister of Labour (Festus Okotie-Eboh) and the Oba of Benin, Oba Akenzua II.

Oba Akenzua II and Queen Elizabeth II
Oba Akenzua II and Queen Elizabeth II

Nigerians, eager to see the Queen, stormed the streets of Lagos with banners and flags. Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh were driven past the cheering crowds in an open car to the Municipal Boundary.

Queen Elizabeth II also met with the Oba of Lagos, Oba Adeniji-Adele II. Little Folashade Lawson, daughter of the Chairman of Lagos Town Council, presented Queen Elizabeth II a bouquet on her knees.

Before the Queen left on the 16th of February, 1956, she visited other parts of Nigeria such as Port Harcourt and Kaduna where she graced the Dubar festival.

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Photo Of Female Nigerian Police Officers In Sokoto, 1948

Below is a photo showing female police of the regular unit of the Nigeria Police Force being inspected before patrol in Sokoto in the year 1948.

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Photo Credit: T.I.N Magazine

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See This ‘Christmas’ Photo Taken In 1923 In Badagry, Lagos

Photo of Christmas In Badagry, Nigeria, 1923

Above is a photo supposedly taken on Christmas day in Badagry, Nigeria in 1923. After a careful examination of the picture, we realized that the letters on the Nigerians might be a result of photoshop but whether photoshop or not, can you see any element of racism or slavery in the picture? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

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Lawrence Anini – Nigeria’s Most Notorious Armed Robber

Lawrence Anini and his gang members before their execution
Lawrence Anini and his gang members before their execution in 1987

Who was Lawrence Anini?

Lawrence Anini, also known as ‘the law’, was born in 1960, the same year Nigeria gained independence, to the Owuo family in Orogbo village, Orhionmwon area, about 20 miles from Benin city, the capital of Bendel, presently Edo State.


The 26-year-old robber kingpin terrorized the nook and cranny of Benin city and some other neighbouring towns; he unleashed havoc on civilians, police and banks as well with his gang of five men which included his brutal sidekick, Monday Osunbo.

Lawrence Anini started off as a taxi driver, then as a transporter for thieves and drug lords till he finally became a notorious daylight robber who sent fear down the spines of rich, middle class and poor Nigerians.

Lawrence Anini’s Criminal Exploits

Anini’s major concentration in his robbery career was robbing banks and assassinating top government officials. During his trial, he allegedly accused a Deputy Superintendent of Police, George Iyamu, of masterminding the assassination of an Assistant Inspector General, Christopher Omuben, who was in charge of investigating Anini and his men.

The assassination however was unsuccessful as Anini and his gang only killed Omuben’s driver, a Sargent named Albert Otue who was mistaken for Omuben. Otue was beheaded and dumped in a shrub along the Benin- Agbor road. Lawrence Anini and his gang also killed one Mrs Remi Sobanjo and Frank Unoarumi who formerly worked with the Nigerian Observer newspaper.

On the 1st of October, 1986, Anini attacked the state’s commissioner of police, Casmir Igbokwe, who was mercilessly beaten and shot several times but eventually survived the attack with several injuries. That same year, Mr. A.O Emojeve, a medical doctor living in Benin, was also killed along the Textile Mill Road, Benin City.

Anini handcuffed to his hospital bed

Several accounts revealed Anini’s tactics during his robbery operations. It was said that he would drive recklessly and spray some of the stolen money on the road for people to pick thus slowing down the police chasing him.

Some other account said that Lawrence Anini and Monday Osumbor sprayed money out of their generosity and because they knew Nigerians were really suffering. This earned Anini another nickname, ‘The Governor‘.

Anini Versus Babangida

Anini’s popularity over-shadowed that of Ishola Oyenusi, Babatunde Folorunsho and other armed robbers in the 1970s.

His fame reached its peak when in October 1986, he attacked some military men under President Ibrahim Babangida’s regime. This incident made the infuriated President asked the then Inspector-General of Police, Etim Inyang, a very popular question, “My friend, where is Anini?”.

Gen Ibrahim Babangida. June 12 1993 presidential election
Gen. Ibrahim Babangida

When he couldn’t get a definite answer, he ordered an immediate manhunt and arrest of Anini, Monday Osumbor and other members of the gang. This manhunt didn’t stop Anini from moving around the country, unleashing terror. During this period, several superstitions about Anini had spread round the country like wildfire, particularly among children.

Some said, he drove from Lagos to Benin in reverse and full speed in a police pursuit. Some also said that Anini was a spirit and can’t be arrested by the police, no matter how hard they try. But as an adage says, every day belongs to the thief, while the owner owns a single day. This adage was for Anini on the 3rd of December, 1986 when nemesis cornered him.

Lawrence Anini’s Capture, Trial & Execution

On the 3rd of December, 1986, Lawrence Anini was arrested by the police, led by the Superintendent of Police, Kayode Uanreroro, in a house (No 26, Oyemwosa, opp. Iguodala Primary School, Benin) in the company of his girlfriend who allegedly betrayed him.

While trying to escape the arrest, he was shot in the left leg which was later amputated in a military hospital. Monday Osumbor and other members of the gang were also apprehended by the police and were brought before the law.

Anini and his team, including George Iyamu, the police officer accused of working for Anini, were sentenced to death by Justice James Omo- Agege in the High court of Justice, off Sapele Road, Benin City.

During the trial, George Iyamu denied the allegations of helping Anini, and in return, the infuriated Anini who could hardly speak in English shouted from the back on his wheelchair “You be shameless liar, you be shameless liar!“.

Lawrence Anini and his gang members after their execution
Lawrence Anini and his gang members after their execution

While passing the judgement, Justice Omo-Agege said,

Anini will forever be remembered in the history of crime in this country, but it would be of unblessed memory. Few people if ever, would give the name to their children.”

Lawrence Anini, Monday Osumbor and other criminals were executed by a firing squad on the 29th of March, 1987 and that was the end of Anini’s reign of terror in Nigeria.

Thanks for reading,


  1. Omipidan. Teslim Opemipo (2018). Timeline Of Notable Events That Happened In 1987, Nigeria. highlifextra. /2018/07/18/timeline-of-notable-events-that-happened-in-1987-nigeria/
  2. Marenin, O. (1987). The Anini Saga: Armed Robbery and the Reproduction of Ideology in Nigeria. The Journal of Modern African Studies, 25(2), 259-281. doi:10.1017/S0022278X00000380
  3. Omipidan. Teslim Opemipo. Notorious Armed Robbers in Nigeria. highlifextra.

Three Rare Throwback Photos Of Nigerian Singers, Simi And Adekunle Gold

Here are five rare and loved up photos of Nigerian singers and couple, Simi and Adekunle Gold.



Merits and Demerits of the Richards Constitution of 1946

Read the full details and features of the Richards constitution here.

Arthur Frederick Richards. Richards constitution of 1946
Arthur Frederick Richards

Below are the merits and demerits (advantages and disadvantages) of the Richards constitution of 1946


Merits/advantages of Richards constitution

  1. t brought about regionalism which served as a bedrock for federalism in Nigeria
  2. Unlike the Clifford constitution of 1922, the people were consulted (though not really) in the drafting of Richards constitution.
  3. The constitution paved way for constitutional development in Nigeria.
  4. The constitution promoted unity in Nigeria as it brought the North and South together in the central legislative council.
  5. The constitution geared up nationalism among Nigerians.

Demerits/Disadvantages of the Richards Constitution of 1946

  1. The constitution did not allow the full participation of nationalist leaders in the administration of the country.
  2. Nigerians were not fully consulted before the operation of the constitution. Therefore it was regarded as autocratic.
  3. The governor exercised veto power – The governor was not bound to accept the recommendations of the legislative council. The council only served as an advisory body.
  4. The Richards constitution introduced regionalism in Nigeria which brewed regional rivalry because each region represented one or more ethnic groups. The Northern region represented the Hausa/Fulani people, the Eastern region represented the Igbo people, the Western Region represented the Yoruba people and the Mid-Western Region represented Benin and Delta people. This gave birth to ethnic and tribal contradictions in Nigerian politics.
  5. The constitution represented colonial interests.
  6. The constitution was partial on the ground that it created the House of Chief in the north and none in the south.
  7. Franchise was limited to people from the upper class.

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Photo Showing Nigerian Troops In India During 2nd World War

Above is a photo showing Nigerian troops in India during the 2nd World War Via – Imperial War Museum, London

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The History Of Christmas In Nigeria: How The First Christmas In Nigeria Was Celebrated In 1842

Reverend Thomas Birch Freeman
Reverend Thomas Birch Freeman

For hundreds of years, Christmas has been celebrated by Christians across the world as the anniversary of Jesus Christ’s birth. It is one celebration Christians don’t miss because it comes with loads of fun, merriment, love, jollof rice and chicken.


Although, the actual date Jesus Christ was born remains unknown, the Western Christian Church tagged December 25 as his birthday and this was accepted all over the world.

You might have been longing to know when, where and how the first Christmas in Nigeria was celebrated or in short, the history of Christmas in Nigeria. As usual, highlifextra has you covered.

History of Christmas in Nigeria

The history of Christmas in Nigeria is traced to the repatriation of freed slaves from the United States of America to Badagry in Lagos, Nigeria in 1838. About five hundred freed slaves settled in Badagry and among them was James Ferguson, a Methodist and leader of a trading group.

On March 2, 1841, this James Ferguson, after being granted approval, invited the missionaries in Sierra Leone to start missionary work in Badagary.

The authorities responded to James’ invitation on September 23, 1841 and then sent a missionary named Reverend Thomas Birch Freeman to Badagry. Reverend Freeman arrived in a ship called Spy which anchored in a place known as Gberefu (Klefu) Sea Beach.

The reverend was accompanied by two African assistants, William De Graft and his wife who were both from Gold Coast (now Ghana). Reverend Freeman with his assistants was saddled with the responsibility of propagating Christianity in Badagry and other parts of Nigeria. A day after his arrival, he preached a sermon about Christianity under the Agia tree in Asisoe Tin, Badagry.

Meanwhile, some of the freed slaves had left Badagry to settle in the rocky town of Abeokuta. Sodeke, the Alake (King) of Egba, then invited Reverend Freeman to preach Christianity in his town.

Reverend Freeman travelled to Abeokuta on December 11, 1842 and returned to Badagry on December 24, a day before Christmas, and met the renowned Reverend Henry Townsend of the Church Missionaries society (CMS now Anglican Church of Christ).

The following day which was December 25, 1842 saw Reverend Freeman and Henry Townsend celebrating the first Christmas in Nigeria under the Agia tree in Asisoe Tin, Badagry. The Christmas celebration was attended by the devoted population of Badagry natives, the freed slaves and Europeans living in Badagry at that time.

The celebration began with Reverend Henry Townsend reading from the scripture and then Reverend Freeman rendered a sermon which he titled ‘The Incarnation Redeemer of Mankind’.

Christmas celebration began in Nigeria as a gathering under a tree in Badagry but as at today, it has gone beyond such to a large and glamourous celebration with fanfare.

Besides being the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, Christmas in Nigeria serve as a means of bringing families and loved ones together to share joyous and memorable moments.


  1. Hillerbrand, H. J. (2020, December 16). Christmas. Encyclopedia Britannica.
  2. Omipidan, Teslim Opemipo. (2017). Iwe-Irohin: The First Newspaper In Nigeria by Reverend Henry Townsend. highlifextra.

Meet Benson Idonije, Fela Kuti’s Manager And Burna Boy’s Grandfather

Benson Idonije teaching his grandson, Burna Boy, Fela's Black power sign
Benson Idonije teaching his grandson, Burna Boy, Fela’s Black power sign

Benson Idonije, popularly regarded as Nigeria’s most revered music critic, is a renowned Nigerian broadcaster, writer and critic. He was born on the 13th of June, 1936 in Otua, a town in Owan East local government area of Edo State, Nigeria.

The ace broadcaster and music critic is known as the first band manager of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti and a pioneering team member of Radio Nigeria 2 (now Metro FM) which was founded in 1977. He is also a grandfather and director to the Nigerian reggae-dancehall artist, Damini Ogulu popularly known as Burna Boy. One might want to link this to the presence of Fela’s musical styles in Burna Boy’s songs. One might!

Idonije manned several jazz-related columns for many newspapers in 1953 till he started his career as an Engineering Assistant at the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (now Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria) in 1957. Later in 1960, Benson Idonije elevated into mainstream broadcasting, presenting and anchoring popular on-air programmes such as The Big Beat and Stereo Jazz Club.

In 1963, Benson Idonije met the legendary Afrobeats pioneer, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti and this became one of the most cherished moments in his career and life. In an interview with Yinka Olatubosun of This Day Live, Benson spoke on how he met Fela Kuti and the time they spent together.

“I was presenting a jazz programme called ‘NBC Jazz Club’,” he disclosed. “Fela had listened to my programme on radio for a month. Then, one Thursday night, he drove down to the broadcasting house in Ikoyi to see who was behind the show. He came to the studio and introduced himself. That was how we became friends. He admired my knowledge of jazz and I admired his musicianship. He was a fine trumpeter. From that night, we bonded.

“We nurtured the idea of a quintet. I helped to assemble his new band until 1965 when his mother advised us to go back to highlife. In London, Fela was playing highlife before he began playing jazz. We went back to highlife. It is a very long story and we called the band ‘Koola Lobitos’. I was more familiar with the Nigerian music scene then so I helped him to manage the band.

“I managed the band till 1969 when he travelled on international tours. I still managed his band till the early 70s. My management work with him was on the basis of friendship and not exactly a business deal. I had to advise him, show him the rope and generally guide him because he was easily provoked. I worked with him from 1963 till 1974. But I didn’t quit. He just didn’t need a manager of my type anymore. He needed managers abroad that would link him into big shows. We were still friends till he died.”

Benson Idonije, Fela's manager and Burna Boy's grandfather
Benson Idonije, Fela’s manager and Burna Boy’s grandfather

Benson Idonije attended Holy Trinity Grammar School, Sabongida Ora for his secondary school education and then Yaba College of Technology where he studied communications engineering. In 2012, he was awarded the Life Time Award for Journalism Excellence by the Wole Soyinka Centre For Investigative Journalism.

Thanks for reading,

  1. Olatubosun, Yinka. Benson Idonije: A Music Critic Par Excellence. This Day Live.
  2. Omipidan, Teslim. Felabration – Remembering Fela Kuti; All You Should Know. highlifextra.
  3. Iremeka, Chijioke. “I’m Burna Boy’s Director of Music – Benson Idonije”. New Telegraph.

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