Nigeria’s ambassador to Spain, former minister Demola Seriki, died on Thursday in Madrid at the age of 63, his family said.
The death of the ambassador, who had been in our country for a year and a half, was made known by his children, through a statement, in which they said. “It is with great sorrow and deep gratitude to Almighty God that we announce the loss of our beloved and admired patriarch, husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend, His Excellency, Ambassador Demola Seriki, on 15 December 2022”.
The statement added that he “passed away peacefully surrounded by his family in Madrid”, without providing details of his death. The Diplomat has learned that he passed away after a rapid illness.
Seriki, a prominent Nigerian politician, professor and businessman, arrived in Madrid in June 2021 and presented his Letters of Credence to the King in October of the same year. He was also Nigeria’s permanent representative to the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), which has its headquarters in the Spanish capital.
The main milestone in the relations between Spain and Nigeria during the Ambassador’s stay in Madrid was the visit to our country of the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, the first by a Nigerian head of state in the last 17 years, which took place at the beginning of last June.
Born in Lagos in November 1959, Demola Seriki’s professional career began in the financial world. After a brief stint at the International Bank for West Africa Ltd (IBWA – now Afribank), he moved to New York to work for Rochester, Koskolowsky and Co and Dollar Dry Dock Bank in the second half of the 1980s.
On his return to Nigeria, Seriki joined the Equity and Trust Finance Company Limited as a director, before serving as chairman of the Lagos State Sports Council from 1992 to 1994, from where he made the leap to politics in the ranks of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Between 2007 and 2008, he served as Minister of State for Agriculture and Water Resources, in 2008 as Supervising Minister of Mines and Steel Development, between 2008 and 2009 as Minister of Defence, and between 2009 and 2010 as Deputy Minister of Interior.
In 2019, Seriki was the subject of controversy when the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria confiscated two properties from him for failing to settle a debt of one billion naira (just over two million euros).