5 absurd (but true) facts about Tony Momoh at 78

Prince Tony Momoh

As veteran journalist and politician, Prince Tony Momoh, clocks 78 on Thursday, we share five things that will shock you about his life.

  1. He was the 165th child of his father

Momoh was the 165th child of his father, the late King Momoh I of Auchi, in Edo State. In one of his interviews, the celebrant disclosed that his father had 48 wives.

  1. Became headmaster before attending teachers training college

Having worked as a teacher for several years, he became the headmaster of Anglican School, Ubuneke, in Owan Local Government Area of present day Edo State in January 1958. He served in that capacity until December 1959. Afterward, he went to the Provincial Teachers Training College, Abudu, in the same state and also studied at the Government Teachers College, Abraka in Western Region from 1960–1961.

  1. Worked as journalist before studying journalism

He started his journalism career as a sub-editor at Daily Times in October 1962 before enrolling to study mass communication at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1964.

  1. Summoned by the National Assembly for contempt

In 1981, the Senate led by Joseph Wayas summoned him for contempt. Prior to being summoned, Momoh had in June 1979 commented on all the five candidates contesting for presidential position during the Second Republic, saying, “They are all the same … It’s going to turn into a personality contest.” The comment ensued into lawsuits, involving him and each of the houses of the national assembly. He eventually won against the Lower Chamber but lost to the Senate.

  1. Became spokesman for military regime

After being a strong advocate for freedom of speech, he was appointed minister of information and culture during the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida, an administration which was viewed to have shown no respect to human rights. He served in the ministerial capacity as spokesman for the government from 1986 to 1990.