Simon Adebisi Biography
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje portrays the fictional Simon Adebisi in the HBO drama series Oz. Adebisi, who at first appeared as a supporting character, ultimately became one of the main characters in the show’s first four seasons.
This transition began with the fourth episode of the first season, in which he was given the position of Homeboys gang leader.
After the first half of season four, his character was killed off the show so Akinnuoye-Agbaje could film the movie The Mummy Returns.
A ruthless Nigerian inmate with a penchant for rape, murder and physical intimidation, Adebisi controlled much of the drug trade at one point and is among the most feared and powerful inmates in the prison.
Throughout his time in Oz, Adebisi is seen to have both sociopathic and maniacal tendencies, showing little to no remorse for the various atrocities he had committed both in and out of prison.
He is also revealed to have a serious heroin addiction, breaking down due to withdrawals in season 2, for which he is then admitted to the mental hospital where his insane state is further explored through a number of psychotic episodes. In season four, when acting in self-defense, Kareem Saad kills Adebisi’s character.
For using a machete to behead an undercover police officer four years before the events of the first episode, Simon Adebisi is currently imprisoned for life without the chance of parole.
He is a monster giant who frequently employs physical force to impose his will on inmates and is not afraid to rape, assault, or even kill anyone who gets in his way.
As one of the leaders of the Homeboys (the main black gang in Oz), Adebisi is considered one of the prison’s most dangerous inmates, and becomes one of the most recognizable characters on the show.
He is well known for his trademark tilted hat, which Akinnuoye-Agbaje suggested was inspired by the “Area Boys” of Lagos, Nigeria.
Adebisi is Nigerian – specifically Yoruba – and speaks with a strong accent, but had lived in America for about 15 years prior to his incarceration.
Little else is known of his life before Oz; it is implied on more than one occasion that he was married, though, his wife is never shown on screen or mentioned in any great detail.
Although Adebisi is demonstrated to be irritable, hedonistic, sociopathic, and occasionally insane, he is also demonstrated to be capable of creating and carrying out long-term schemes using cunning and manipulation.
In one unusual case, he demonstrates compassion: Adebisi persuades his men not to loot a fellow prisoner who raised $3,000 to send his terminal grandson to Disneyland, saying “sometimes it is good to be human.”
Adebisi made his debut as a supporting figure as a Homeboy and Jefferson Keane’s subordinate. On Tobias Beecher’s first night in jail, he is first seen threatening to rape the new inmate.
He instantly disagrees with new Muslim prisoner Kareem Said, whose stringent religious principles contrast with the Homeboys’ reputation for drug misuse and violence, just like Keane and the majority of the other Homeboys.
Adebisi remains resistantnt to Said’s teachings, labeling them “bullshit,” and continues to support the other Homeboys even after Kareem starts to persuade Jefferson to convert to Islam.
Following Keane’s execution in Episode 4, Paul Markstrom takes over as the new leader of the Homeboys until Adebisi and Kenny Wangler kill him when it is discovered he is an undercover cop. Adebisi then takes over as the new leader and immediately partners in the drug trade with the Wiseguys, the prison’s Italian gang.
Their boss Nino Schibetta is shown to respect his leadership skills, seeing him as the best drug player among the black inmates. Adebisi, who works in the kitchen and sees himself as the boss, later grows annoyed with Schibetta after he instates Ryan O’Reily as the new boss of the kitchen.
O’Reily however immediately begins to plot Schibetta’s death, pitching to Adebisi the idea to insert crushed glass into Schibetta’s food, which will slowly but painfully kill him.
Adebisi agrees and the two form somewhat of an alliance, successfully carrying out their plan over the following weeks as Schibetta is eventually killed in episode 7.
In the Season 1 finale, Adebisi, along with O’Reily, Said, Miguel Alvarez and Scott Ross, is one of the leaders of the Emerald City riot, representing the Homeboys.
Throughout the episode, Adebisi and the rest of his gang are constantly seen abusing heroin, until they run out and are unable to source any more in the wake of the riot.
Adebisi suffers a breakdown from the withdrawal, begging Said for more heroin, or “tits”, as it is referred to in Oz; he and the rest of the Homeboys are subsequently tied up and taken prisoner by the other inmates towards the end of the standoff between the inmates and guards.
In that episode, it is revealed how Adebisi’s crime was used to overthrow the previous governor and provide Governor James Devlin with the opportunity to reinstall the death penalty, which led to Keane’s execution later on.
The post-riot lockdown is keeping Adebisi in solitary, where he is still experiencing severe heroin withdrawal. When Emerald City reopens, he manages to keep the Homeboys under his authority.
Peter Schibetta, the son of Nino Schibetta, travels to Oz, discovers that Adebisi killed his father, and he also gets poisoned by Adebisi.
Schibetta swears revenge and tries to kill Adebisi with help from Chucky Pancamo. In the prison kitchen Adebisi beats up Peter and Pancamo. After knocking out Pancamo, Adebisi brutally rapes a semi-conscious Schibetta.
As a result, Schibetta is traumatized and humiliated, telling the authorities he doesn’t remember what happened to him. In denial about being raped, Schibetta psychologically and emotionally deteriorates. Subsequently, he is transferred to the Oz prison psych ward.
However, two distractions hold Adebisi’s attention: first, his crush on death row inmate Shirley Bellinger, who flirts with him through notes before rejecting him upon discovering that he is black. Secondly, his heroin addiction is out of control.
The Italian Mob, seeking revenge for Schibetta’s rape, takes advantage of this when new inmate and Mafia boss Antonio Nappa gets Adebisi put into drug rehab through his staff connections. Adebisi is deposed as the head of the Homeboys and cut out of the drug trade through the help of Nappa’s former friends.
When an elderly Yoruba prisoner from Nigeria named Kipekemie Jara arrives in Oz, he starts the rehabilitation process for Adebisi. However, the stress of the change also causes acute psychosis and schizophrenic visions.
Jara poses a threat to the Italians and the Blacks, so they kill him. Adebisi had a nervous collapse as a result of the shock and horror of the incident, and he is taken to the psychiatric hospital and given a cell adjacent to Peter Schibetta.
Adebisi leaves the mental hospital appearing to have transformed. He protects Peter Schibetta at the psychiatric institution from a threat to show that he is sane.
This persuades Antonio Nappa that Adebisi’s future change of heart may be advantageous for the Italian mob.
This is all a ploy, however, as Adebisi takes a job in the AIDS ward as a means of obtaining blood from AIDS patient Robbie Gerth to prick Nappa undetected with an HIV-infected needle.
When Dr. Nathan confirms that Nappa is HIV-positive, he is sent to the AIDS ward, and Pancamo assumes leadership of the Italians. From here Adebisi gets ready to take control of the Homeboys once again.
Meanwhile, Kenny Wangler is leading the Homeboys, who no longer trust Adebisi. Adebisi approaches Pancamo about becoming partners in the drug trade. Pancamo initially refuses because he is still angered about the beating Adebisi gave him and Schibetta.
However, when Adebisi points out that he could be a strong ally, Pancamo agrees to work with him as long as he gets rid of Wangler.
Adebisi then shows his sincerity with a plot to depose current black gang member Wangler by burning the skin of Wangler’s allies, Poet and Junior Pierce, while Wangler is away at a funeral. When Wangler arrives back in Oz, he is locked in as Adebisi’s cellmate.
Adebisi practices various African “warrior training” activities such as hog tying Wangler naked. Adebisi then forces Wangler to accuse Unit Manager Tim McManus of sexual harassment.
The claim hurt McManus, as he is already facing a sexual harassment suit from Claire Howell, putting McManus’s credibility at further risk.
Adebisi begins to formulate a plan to take over Emerald City and make it “all black.” The first step is to convince the impressionable Correctional Officer Clayton Hughes to help his African American counterparts behind bars as opposed to keeping them locked in.
Adebisi tells him that his father had also died in Oz and then convinces Hughes that a white inmate murdered his father.
Hughes after seeing a few white officers make racist statements, starts accusing other black staff members, including Warden Leo Glynn, of betraying their own people and working for an oppressive white-run system.
Adebisi’s second move was to organize the black prisoners to seize control of the prison. He devises a scheme that causes the prison guards to suffocate Augustus Hill. To provoke the black convicts to revolt, he takes advantage of the white cops’ perceived bigotry.
The black inmates, led by Adebisi, start yelling “Set Hill Free” and physically accosting both the White inmates and correctional staff in spite of protests from Muslim inmate Kareem Said. Glynn locks down Oz until the new millennium out of fear of a riot and fires Hughes for supporting Adebisi’s cause. But on his last day of employment, Hughes gives Adebisi a rifle.
After the lockout, Adebisi tricks Warden Glynn into letting Poet, Pierce, and Wangler return to Em City, telling him that doing so will help the race situation calm down. Guillaume Tarrant, a victim of bullying, is then covertly given the gun by him.
Intending to eliminate Wangler, Adebisi leaves the gun under Tarrant’s mattress. Tarrant goes on a shooting spree that results in the deaths of multiple inmates, including Wangler and Pierce, and a guard.
With four blacks including one correctional officer dead at the hands of a white inmate, Adebisi’s goals are accomplished and his plan is set in motion as Glynn fires McManus for overlooking the gun smuggling incident.
Raoul Hernandez informs on him, convinced that the Latinos will move to aid the Whites. Hernandez tells Glynn that Adebisi used the gun to stir up racial tension and that it was given to him by Hughes. Adebisi and Pancamo agree that it is time for Hernandez to die, and use new inmate Enrique Morales to kill Hernandez and take his position as El Norte’s gang leader.
Meanwhile, a new inmate named Desmond Mobay, who is supposedly Jamaican, wants in with the gangsters. Mobay is actually a narcotics detective named Johnny Basil who is sent in to bust the drug trade in Emerald City.
Adebisi is suspicious and opposes having Mobay join as a member their crew. But Mobay comes though and passes every initiation test successfully, eventually gaining their confidence.
Over the course of the season Adebisi, with the help of Zahir Arif, persuades outside community leaders to pressure Glynn into hiring a black man to replace McManus. Glynn is running for Lieutenant Governor, and sees that hiring a black man to run Emerald City is likely to gain him more support from African American voters.
Eventually, Glynn does hire a black man named Martin Querns. Querns, himself an ex-drug dealer, is told to rid Emerald City of violence and racial tension. Querns tells the inmates that they may sell and use drugs freely as long as there is no violence.
Sean Murphy, the head guard and a fervent McManus fan, is horrified by Querns’ scheme, particularly the fact that it makes Adebisi, Pancamo, and Morales the trustees. Murphy wonders why Querns moved every Aryan and Biker prisoner out of Emerald City. Travis Smith, a black officer, is appointed as the new leader of Emerald City after Murphy is fired by Querns.
Later, Querns advises Glynn to remove all of the guards who support Sean Murphy. Claire Howell, who despises McManus, is the only white guard that Glynn refuses to let Querns transfer. Both the new inmates and the new guards who have been transported to Emerald City are all people of color.
However, none of these inmates are Muslim. This angers Arif, who had helped Adebisi get a black man to run Emerald City in the first place. The new inmates are also all loyal to Adebisi, who becomes the most powerful and influential inmate in the prison, and is given free rein by Querns as long as he suppresses violent incidents.
Adebisi now has the freedom to satisfy all his vices, installing a curtain in his cell and creating his own version of “paradise”, although he could not escape the fact that he was still in prison. In time, the Christian and gay gangs, both predominantly white, are replaced by black inmates, and soon the Italian and Latino inmates are deprived of the drug trade.
When these two groups are sent to Unit B, two of Adebisi’s lieutenants, Poet and Supreme Allah, are named trustees to replace Pancamo and Morales.
At the same time, two of the few white inmates left in Emerald City, Chris Keller and Ryan O’Reily, decide to work together to bring Adebisi and Querns down. Keller murders inmates Nate Shemin and Mondo Browne, and they frame Supreme Allah.
This causes Glynn to begin to mistrust Querns, who in turn begins to mistrust Adebisi, who tries to force a confession out of his lieutenant and various others. Adebisi is rattled by these events and begins to distrust his own men.
Said, the re-instated leader of the Muslims, is greatly concerned about the effects of Adebisi’s leadership in Emerald City under Querns. Said believes that Emerald City is rapidly becoming an inferno in which black inmates are being mentally poisoned.
Noting Adebisi’s distrust of his men in light of the murders, Said pretends to join forces with Adebisi with the covert intention of bringing him down. Said learns of Adebisi’s video recordings of drug parties in his cell, and resolves to find a way to supply Glynn with this damning evidence of Querns’ misconduct.
Adebisi accepts Said’s request to move into his cell and voluntarily gives him a video tape to “test his loyalty.” However, Said gives the tape to the warden and Querns is immediately fired.
Adebisi is moved out of the jail unit after McManus is appointed unit manager of Emerald City again. Adebisi attempts to kill Said in retribution, drawing the attention of McManus, the guards, and the convicts.
Adebisi quickly emerges from the cell the two are sharing with a sizable bloodstain on the white drapes. He appears to have prevailed and is unharmed. He spills blood from his mouth, however, and collapses lifeless at the top of the stairs, revealing his injuries. Later, it was determined that because Adebisi had initially tried to kill Said, his death was in self-defense.
Read about Godwin Emefiele
Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele CFR, a politician, economist, and banker from Nigeria, was the Central Bank of Nigeria’s governor from 4 June 2014 until President Bola Tinubu removed him from office on 9 June 2023. He was born on 4 August 1961.
Name: Godwin Emefiele
Date of birth: 4 August 1961 (age 61)
Place of birth: Lagos State, Nigeria
Political party: All Progressives Congress
Spouse: Margaret Emefiele
Children: 2 children
Early life and education
Godwin Emefiele is a native of Agbor in Delta State and was born in the modern-day Nigerian state of Lagos on August 4, 1961.
He attended the prestigious University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) for his postsecondary education after attending Ansarudin Primary School and Maryland Comprehensive Secondary in Lagos.
He was one of the top graduates in his class and received a Bachelor of Science in Banking and Finance in 1984. After completing his National Youth Service, he went back to UNN and graduated with a master’s degree in finance in 1986.
Additionally, he graduated from the executive programs at Stanford University, Harvard University, and Wharton School of Business in 2004 and 2005, respectively.
The University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) awarded him an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Business Administration.
Career in the private sector
Emefiele lectured on insurance and finance early in his career at the Universities of Nigeria Nsukka and Port Harcourt, respectively. Additionally, he briefly worked for Vodafone.
He had more than eighteen years of banking experience before joining the Central Bank. He held the positions of group managing director and CEO of Zenith Bank Plc.
Since 2001, he has held the position of Zenith Bank Plc’s deputy managing director. He was a founding member of Zenith Bank Plc’s management team and served as executive director in charge of corporate banking, treasury, financial control, and strategic planning.
He held the position of director at both Zenith Bank (Gambia) Limited and Zenith Bank Plc. At ACCION Microfinance Bank Limited, he is a director.
Governor of the Central Bank
Emefiele served as the Central Bank of Nigeria’s governor from June 4, 2014, until June 9, 2023, when President Bola Tinubu suspended him.
At the direction of the president, he oversaw an interventionist currency policy during his first tenure that involved flooding the foreign exchange market with billions of dollars to support the Nigerian Naira.
He also introduced a multiple exchange rate regime to try to mask pressure on the Naira and avoid a series of devaluations.
Emefiele was granted a second five-year term by the Nigerian Senate in 2019. Since the return of democracy to Nigeria in 1999, no one has been elected to a second term.
On May 9, 2019, Senator Bukola Saraki read the letter from President Buhari. He underwent a screening on Wednesday, and on May 16th, 2019, he received confirmation.
Godwin Emefiele entered into partisan politics in a first for any head of the Nigerian central bank, defying the Central Bank Act’s requirements that the governor must always maintain an independent and apolitical stance in order to maintain the bank’s nonpartisan stance.
Emefiele angered the nation in May 2022 when it became known that he intended to run against President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2023 election.
What started as a rumor when campaign posters of the bank chief flooded the capital city of Abuja soon gained breath when a group of alleged rice farmers purchased the presidential form of the All Progressive Congress for the CBN Governor.
In a series of tweets via his verified account, Emefiele rejected the presidential form and declared he has no intention to contest.
But in a quick twist, Emefiele filed a lawsuit at the Federal High Court in Abuja seeking an order from the court directing the electoral body and the office of the attorney general not to stop him from contesting the presidential position.
The court declined the plea but urged the pair to formally argue why Emefiele’s motion ought to be denied.
Civil Society Organizations and Nigerians have brought numerous court petitions requesting the dismissal of the CBN Governor and charging him with numerous violations of the Central Bank Act.
Suspension as Central Bank Governor
The Central Bank Governor was abruptly fired by President Bola Tinubu on June 9, 2023, according to a statement from Mr. Willie Bassey’s office, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
The suspension follows an ongoing inquiry into his office and the upcoming banking sector reforms.
Emefiele was instructed to transfer control of his office to Folashodun Adebisi Shonubi, Deputy Governor (Operations Directorate), who will serve as the Central Bank Governor while the inquiry and reforms are ongoing.
Arrest by the DSS
The Department of State Services announced on its official twitter feed on June 10, 2023, that Emefiele had been taken into custody at precisely 14:28 WAT. According to reports, he was taken in for questioning in connection with the inquiry into his office.
International Monetary Fund (IMF), Ex-Officio Member of the Board of Governors since 2018.
International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation (IILM), Member of the Governing Board since 2018.