Obinna Iyiegbu, aka Obi Cubana, topped Google’s list of the 2021 most trending people in Nigeria, but the Anambra-born businessman’s year was not without its challenges.

Here are some of the media’s highlights of Cubana’s challenging and rewarding moments:

At my mother’s funeral, it rained Naira.

In July, the Chairman of Cubana Group became a social media sensation and the talk of the town after the ‘naira rain’ at his mother’s burial in Oba, a town in Anambra State’s Idemili South Local Government Area.

Several videos have gone viral showing celebrities, business leaders, and politicians spraying money everywhere during a concert held after the deceased’s interment. Hundreds of cows were reportedly slaughtered at the event, which was dubbed “ostentatious” by many.

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Musicians D’Banj and Phyno, among others, were among the celebrities who attended the well-attended funeral. Kenneth Okonkwo (Kcee), Emeka Okonkwo (E-Money), Poco Lee, and Ubi Franklin are some of the most well-known musicians in Nigeria. Williams Uchemba and Alexx Ekubo, both Nollywood actors, attended the event. Shina Peller, a member of the House of Representatives and the owner of Club Quillox, was among the politicians who were not excluded.

Abba Kyari, the embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police, was also present at the funeral. The Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States would later accuse the police officer of conspiring with an alleged international fraudster, Ramon Abbas, aka Hushpuppi, in a fraud scheme.

In a post-burial interview, Cubana said he didn’t “plan for one-fifth of the crowd at the funeral,” praising God for the event’s success.

Many young people took to social media to praise the nightclub owner, urging him to “cut the crap” for them but speaking in an interview, Cubana condemned money rituals and urged youths to work hard to make their money legitimately. He also said he made his first million naira after his National Youth Service Corps programme in Abuja.

“Soap” is a lingo used in Nigerian social circles to affirm the ritualistic tendencies among youths. In an era filled with quick-rich schemes, young people involved in fraud and other illegalities resort to charms to fortify their heinous trade. When the phrase, “cut soap for me” is used, the person who made the statement simply means: “show me the way to get rich” or “take me to a ritualist”.

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2021 Man of the Year award

In October, the nightclub boss clinched the 2021 Man of the Year award. He defeated Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Mr Tony Elumelu, Chairman UBA Group and Mr Abdul Rabiu, Chairman and founder of BUA Group to clinch the position.

The award, organised by IgbereTV, is endorsed by the African Union and the African Film Institute. It recognises and honours the outstanding impact of leaders in both the public and private sectors in Nigeria.

Early November, Cubana was detained for three days by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in Abuja and the adventure-seeker’s passport was seized.

The Anambra-born club owner was later released on administrative bail after he was quizzed over his alleged involvement in money laundering and tax fraud, among other illicit financial deals.

It was gathered that Cubana may be required to visit the EFCC headquarters from time to time until the conclusion of investigation.

Customer’s death in Abuja club

Also, in November, the socialite shut down his Abuja club, Hustle & Bustle, over the death of one of his customers.

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Reports had it that a lady, identified simply as Susan, was electrocuted by a metal on the floor of the clubhouse in the Aminu Kano Crescent area of Wuse, Abuja.

The club, however, denied the electrocution claim, saying the young lady died after she “tripped and fell”. Hustle & Bustle was reopened weeks later. The autopsy of the death of the customer is expected to be released by the police.

Social media following

As 2021 winds down, Cubana continues to serenade his over 1.9 million Facebook followers and over 2.5 million Instagram followers with ravishing photos of himself, his wife, children and friends taken in the cabins of private jets, amongst other exotic places.

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