Prof Eddy Olajide Omolehinwa, a colourfully distinct Professor of Accounting at the University of Lagos is a brilliant academic, and a distinguished academician, with a robust social conscience epitomized in his restless fighting the common man that over the years he came to be known as EDDY FOR THE MASSES.

If Eddy can be described by the Shakespearean phraseology of ‘a prodigy of learning’ that will almost be an understatement for this first class Accounting graduate of the University of Lagos,   Beta Gamma Sigma Honours graduate of University of Columbia School of Business, New York,  and eventually a doctoral graduate of Manchester Business School in the UK. This shows how  traversed  two prestigious Business Schools across the Atlantic (the USA and the UK) with ease.

My path came across that of Eddy as young academics in the University of Lagos where he was bubbling with ideas on student governance and staff welfare. We again met and got closer when we were both doctoral students in the United Kingdom (he in Manchester and me in London).  When issues of staff welfare arose for  UNILAG staff on  training leave  in foreign lands, Eddy became the centre for collation and transmission of our ideas and suggestions for solving such problems and he sent them to authorities in Lagos. As we got closer and exchanged visits between London and Manchester, I enjoyed how he often described and, perhaps operationalized distinct lectureship differences between the US and UK on the one hand and practicing accounting principles in the open market or public space on the other hand. For example, he made us understand that annual sales by many companies were only advertising and exploitative gimmicks. Eddy would visit major supermarkets a few months before December sales period, noted the prices of items he liked and returned during sales period to confirm whether sales prices were genuine or pretentiously artificial reductions. Our friendship blossomed such that our spouses and children became very close and exchanged very wonderfully progressive ideas. Eddy was a humorous father to all of them.

Eddy’s passion for the management of people’s money in public space made him to specialize in budgetary accounting and many a time he disagreed politely with his supervisor and eventually made the supervisor to admit that he leant from Eddy as Eddy learnt from him.  His passion for fiduciary public management can be seen in his inaugural lecture entitled ACCOUNTING FOR THE PEOPLE’S MONEY, a booklet I cherish in my library, read once in a while, even though I still cannot fully understand how he dexterously plays with figures that dominate accounting. As he intertwined his love for the common man and the ethical demands of accounting principles,  he transformed the appellation of EDDY FOR THE MASSES to EDDY FOR THE REDEEMEABLE MASSES.  He believed in staff welfare if and only if such is anchored on humanness and transparency. When both of us were elected into the UNILAG ASUU Executive, Eddy readily emerged as our ideologue ensuring that we properly handled the admixture of staff welfare and social/accounting principles of public office.

One cannot but comment on Eddy as teacher or lecturer, particularly his Accounting Teaching methodology. His unique method of teaching Accounting resonates across campus. Many students explain how made the difficult or sometimes esoteric accounting principles easy to comprehend by relating or exemplifying them with  everyday terminologies or principles.  For example, in explaining accounting fraud, he may discuss accounting practice in the firm of an imaginary Jegudujera PLC (Jegudura being a Yoruba terminology referring to  one that ‘eats and finishes everything he sees’ or a metaphor for lavish unaccountable and unprincipled spending eventually resulting in fraud or non-transparent expenditure that obscures financial integrity) . Eddy dreamt, taught and practicalises accounting and accountability.

70 garlands a remarkable achiever, good husband, caring father, tireless administrator, defender of the oppressed  and humorously  explicit teacher or lecturer.