Oba Obateru Akinruntan- The richest Yoruba king in Nigeria

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The rulership of kings remain in ascendant and this is arguably one of the reasons their supremacy and leadership is far better than that of presidents, governors and several other political dignitaries. Although democracy has vested significant authority in presidents, governors and other democratic heads, kings forever maintain their dominance as the most powerful traditional rulers. Nigeria is majorly divided into Northern and Southern provinces. The Northern province is largely dominated by the Hausa’s while the Southern province is equally dominated by the Yoruba’s and the Igbo’s –with only a minority group forming the middle belt.

As regards the concept of monarchy in Nigeria, the trio of Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba treat their kings with absolute respect in the belief that they are representatives of God –the Supreme Being. Since Nigerian kings are regarded as dignified personalities, wealth comes to them from various sources. But again, some kings have garnered fortune for themselves and this comes out of their monarchical presence. Infact a large number of Nigerian kings are known for their engagement in various productive businesses such as oil & gas, real estate, and few others. As regards this, it is always fascinating to hold

Top 5 Richest Kings in Nigeria 2018

  • 1. Oba Obateru Akinruntan

Oba Obateru Akinruntan is the royal leader of Ugbo –a prominent town in Ondo State. Regarded as the Olugbo of Ugbo, Oba Akinruntan is one of the notable Yoruba monarchs within and outside Ondo State. At the moment, his wealth and amazing dignity make him the richest king not only in the Yoruba kingdom but also in the entirety of Nigeria.


Although Ugbo is a very small town, it has a vast deposit of crude oil and this is the main factor behind the amazing wealth of Olugbo of Ugbo land –Oba Akinruntan. Having discovered how he could build a business empire through the oil deposit in Ugbo, Oba Akinruntan initiated his small business, which was a petrol station established many years ago. Though the petrol station was founded as a small enterprise, it eventually expanded into a large oil company. Currently, it distributes oil with the support of its numerous subsidiaries, which are over 50 subsidiaries across Nigeria.

Apart from that, Oba Akinruntan owns and manages Obat Petroleum –the oil company which controls Africa’s largest oil depots. Through these depots, Obat Petroleum is capable of reserving a large volume of petroleum estimated at 65 million liters.

  • 2. Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi Eniitan

Following the death of Oba Sijuwade (the previous Ooni of Ife), Oba Adeyeye was crowned as the new monarch of Ife Kingdom –traditionally associated with the title Ooni of Ife. Prior to his enthronement as the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye is said to have gathered fortune through his successful business enterprise. Born in 1974 as a Yoruba indigene, Oba Adeyeye happens to be the 51st person to be crowned with the title Ooni of Ife. Besides his royal status as one of the most powerful Yoruba kings, Oba Adeyeye magnifies his wealth as a real estate magnate and qualified accountant.

 In Nigeria particularly among the Yoruba’s –Oba Adeyeye is highly regarded for having a modernized monarchy. Right from the moment, he was enthroned as the new Ooni of Ife, he has given monarchy a magnificent transformation and contributed to the welfare of the Ife people.


  • 3. Sultan of Sokoto

Sultan of Sokoto maintains a magnificent status not only as one of the richest Nigerian kings but also the most powerful Northern monarch. In this regard, Sultan of Sokoto claims an unrivaled authority as the religious leader of all Nigerian Muslims –both in the Northern and the Southern regions. In Nigeria, many religious issues –whether from the Southern or Northern region –are usually decided by him in accordance with Islamic doctrines.

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Although he is regarded as the Sultan of Sokoto, his monarchical influence swirls beyond Sokoto and this is the major reason why all Nigerian Muslims are expected to treat him with reverence. With his real name being Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar IV, the Sultan of Sokoto, together with the Ooni of Ife, is a chair member of the Nigerian Council of Traditional Rulers.

  • 4. Emir of Kano

The Emir of Kano –in the name of Mallam Muhammad Sanusi II –is not only the fourth richest Nigerian king but also the second most influential monarch in Northern Nigeria. Following the death of Ado Bayero –the former Emir of Kano –Mallam Muhammad Sanusi II was inaugurated as the new Emir of Kano. Meanwhile, he was crowned with this title only a few years ago, making him one of the newest Nigerian monarchs. Prior to his emergence into the highest honor within the Kano Emirate, Mallam Sanusi II served as the CBN governor although he was struck off this role by the then President –Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.

Alhaji Dr. Ado Bayero –Mallam Sanusi’s predecessor who ruled the Kano Emirate for a period of 51 years –eventually died at the time Mallam Sanusi was dismissed from office as the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). As God would have it, the death of Ado Bayero meant it was time for Mallam Sanusi II to become the Emir of Kano –the most revered title in Kano State.

  • 5. Alaafin Oyo

Alaafin Oyo dominates as the fifth richest king in Nigeria 2017. However, his position on this list is never the most significant thing about him. In that regard, he is widely revered as the most influential Yoruba monarch. Going by the birth name Lamidi Olayiwole III, the current Alaafin Oyo has remained on the throne for many years and this makes him one of the longest-serving Nigerian monarchs. Born in 1938 to the Yoruba ethnicity, Oba Lamidi Olayiwole III eventually became the Alaafin of Oyo after the death of his predecessor –Alaafin Gbadegeshin Ladigbolu II.

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Among the Yoruba’s, the Oyo empire is widely respected for its powerful influence on the historical background of the Yoruba race. With regard to this, Alaafin Oyo commands great reverence which every cultured Yoruba indigene must give him. Besides his formidable title as the most powerful Yoruba ruler, Alaafin Oyo apparently occupies the third position among the most influential kings in Nigeria.


Biography of Oba Obateru Akinruntan – The richest Yoruba King in Nigeria

Fredrick Obateru Akinruntan, born in 1950 into the royal family of Sir Frederick Adetolugbo at Ugbo, a riverine area in Ilaje. He is the fourth child of a family of eight but lost his father in 1964 when he was 14 years old. In 1982 there was a prophecy that Obateru would become the Olugbo of Ugbo Kingdom, a prophecy he never took seriously. Shortly after the prophecy, a chieftaincy title peculiar to him as the next Olugbo was conferred on his younger brother. This resulted in a lawsuit against the then Olugbo by another royal family in the same lineage who demanded that he should be dethroned with the claim that his family has occupied the seat for over 200 years. The then king lost the case and Obateru was appointed as the King in 2009, in accordance with the culture and traditions of Ugbo Kingdom.

Oba Obateru is a Nigerian monarch, the traditional ruler of Ugbo kingdom, a town in Ilaje Local Government of Ondo state, southwestern Nigeria. Oba Obateru has been leading the people of Ugbo since 2009- till date. He is an oil magnate and founder of Obat Oil, one of Nigeria’s largest and leading oil companies. Oba Olugbo of Ugbo Kingdom is the richest king in Yoruba land.HRM Frederick Obateru Akinruntan. Although he is not the most powerful Oba in Yoruba land, his wealth and assets beat that of the current Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, the Alaafin of Oyo, Lamidi Adeyemi to emerge the wealthiest Oba in Nigeria.

The major source of Oba Akinruntan wealth is oil. He is the founder and owner of OBAT Oil. Apart from this, he also owns the largest petroleum depot in Africa. He has landed properties both in Nigeria and even in London. He is also into real estate and owns a popular hotel located in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. This wealthy Yoruba monarch is a man of taste, class and sure knows how to enjoy his riches. He has a luxury of cars inside his palace. He entered the history books when he became the first black person in 2012 to buy the 2014 model of Bentley which Queen Elizabeth of England rode. It is rumored that the richest Yoruba King in Nigeria also owns the most expensive yachts in Nigeria as he loves traveling by water. His kingdom, Ugbo kingdom is also a riverine area where he grew up.


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Net Worth of Oba Obateru Akinruntan

In March 2014, Forbes estimated his net worth as US$300 million. He was ranked as the second richest king in Africa and the richest in Nigeria. He surpassed king Olubuse II, the Ooni of Ife, with $225 million and the Swaziland King Mswati III by over $200 million to become Africa’s second richest King in 2014. Oba Obateru was the first person to buy the 2014 model of Bentley automobile

About his company ( Obat Oil )

Oba Obateru established Obat Oil in 1981 in Ondo state. Today the company has over 50 gas stations across the six geographical zones in Nigeria and the company owns one of the largest tank farms in Africa, a modern storage facility able to store 65 million liters of petroleum products. Oba Obateru appointed his eldest son, Prince Akinfemiwa Akinruntun as the managing director of the company.