Nigeria’s pre-eminent private security practitioner, Dr. Ona Ekhomu, is dead.
He was 66.
Ekhomu, who was the Chairman, Trans-World Security and the first chartered security professional in West Africa, died after battling with an illness for two weeks.
Born on March 26, 1955, in Irrua, Edo State, Nigeria, Ekhomu is survived by his wife, Victoria, and six children – four girls and two boys.
Several security experts have expressed shock at the sudden death of Ekhomu.
The Crime Editor of Vanguard Newspapers, Mr. Emmanuel Nnadozie, described Ekhomu’s death as the passage of a Colossus in the Security Circle.
“The global security community has lost a gem,” Mr. Biyi Adegoroye, a top-flight journalist on the security beat, told NewsmakersNG.
The CEO of Halogen Security, Mr. Wale Olaoye, says in a tribute: “What a devastating loss to our industry and to the nation at large. It was only last week that I followed up on your health, the one I fondly call ‘DocSec’. The report was that of hope and progress. But what say we, to the owner of life? He is the ultimate Kabiesi; the one who is beyond questioning. We surrender to His will for your life and thank Him for the opportunity He gave to us to know you and to navigate the path that you helped blazed as an Icon and solid trailblazer. You have fought a good fight and left an indelible mark. May Heavens account unto you the works as righteousness and yield unto you heaven and eternal rest in glory. Divinity shall strengthen your co-pilot on this side of the divide, Dame Victoria, and uphold her with faith and courage to bear this irreparable loss. May Heavens comfort her and the children and abide with your entire family. Condolences to all your close associates and to all of us in the Private Security Industry. With prayers that as we too learn to number our days, we will apply our hearts to more wisdom in dealing with each other in love and ethos that are driven by common good and excellence. This way we will bless the memory of Dr. Ona and leave a legacy worthy of the efforts you put in to leave a better industry. Adieu ‘DocSec’.”
The late Ekhomu started out as a journalist after graduating from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ) in 1974. He worked as a reporter for the Observer Newspaper before he traveled abroad.
He authored the highly acclaimed book on security awareness: “Effective Personal & Corporate Security (2009)”, and “Kidnap: Face to Face with Death (2014)”. He was president of the Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria (AISSON) and the Africa Representative of the International Foundation for Protection Officers (IFPO).
A Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) No. 14210 and Certified Protection Professional (CPP) No. 8851, Dr. Ekhomu obtained the BA (History) from Voorhees College, Denmark, South Carolina USA 1977. M.A (Political Science) from the Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 1979; and Ph.D. (Public and International Affairs – Policy Management) from the University of Pittsburgh, USA 1985. He attended the Security Officer Training Academy of Allegheny County in Pennsylvania USA (1986). He obtained the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Act 235 Lethal Weapons Licence in 1986.
A management consultant, policy analyst, and corporate security consultant, Dr. Ekhomu was the Chairman of Trans-World Security Systems Ltd., Chairman of the School of Management and Security. He was also President of Trans-World Security Systems Inc. of Chicago, Illinois USA. Ekhomu was the Regional Certification Representative of ASIS International (Africa Group 11 — West, Central, and Northern Africa), and a former member of the CPP-IDG Committee of the Professional Certification Board (PCB) of ASIS International.
He was the former Regional Vice President (RVP) West & Central Africa of the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS International) – 2002 to 2007; former Chairman of ASIS Nigeria Chapter – 1999 to 2001. Member of the International Review Board of the Journal of Security Education (New York, NY), National President of the Global Association of Private Security Practitioners (Abuja, Nigeria); Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Industrial Security and Safety of Nigeria. Member of the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM); Member of the Academy of Security Educators & Trainers (USA), National Fire Protection Association (USA), and the International Organization of Black Security Executives (USA).
Ekhomu held the chieftaincy title of Fiwagboye of Ilewo (Ogun State) and Ogbeni of Irrua (Edo State).
From March 2005 to December 2010 he had authored a weekly column on security awareness – RED ALERT published in SATURDAY PUNCH newspaper (Lagos, Nigeria). Since March 2011, he wrote the weekly column RED ALERT in THISDAY Newspaper (Lagos, Nigeria) He wrote a column on security matters for a magazine SECURITY WATCH AFRICA captioned RED ALERT AFRICA. From 1986 to 1987, and a column captioned CORPORATE SECURITY in BUSINESS CONCORD Newspaper (Lagos, Nigeria). He had written several articles in scholarly journals and had contributed chapters to several books.
In February 2014, Ekhomu was honored with the Security Pioneer Award by the Port Harcourt Chapter of ASIS International. In January 2011, he received the Quarter Century of Service Award from ASIS International. He was the recipient of the Police Community Relations Committee Area A Lion Building Ambassador of Peace Award 2010. In March 2010, he was invested with the National Daily Newspaper “Special Recognition Award for Private Security Services in Nigeria.” In November 2007 he was awarded the Golden Star Award for Private Security (Operation) by Security Watch Africa. . He was the recipient of the International Day of the Family Awards 2006. In 2004, Dr. Ekhomu was named the Private Security Chief of the Year by the Crime Reporters Association of Nigeria.