Society

Obasanjo in ‘roforofo’ fight with Awujale over Mike Adenuga

former president Obasanjo
former president Obasanjo
Another season of letter writing has begun and very messy indeed. The messy fight is between Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and a prominent traditional ruler in Ogun State, the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona over the travails of Globacom chairman, Mike Adenuga with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in 2006.
The cold war was ignited by excerpts from Awujale autobiography where the monarch said Obasanjo deliberately unleashed EFCC after Adenuga in 2006 because the Globacom chairman failed to donate to the then president’s Bells University.
The monarch also alleged that the EFCC was Obasanjo’s attack dog against those that opposed his third term agenda.
Accord to him, these actions of the former President have robbed him of the influence and negatively affected his reputation.

But reacting through a letter dated 30 December, 2016, to the Awujale, Obasanjo advised the monarch to stop peddling half truths and falsehood.
On the allegation that he used EFCC as attack dog on his opponents, Obasanjo said under his watch, the anti graft agency did its job without interference from him under Nuhu Ribadu.
He also denied Awujale’s claim that Adenuga’s travails with with EFCC had nothing to do with not donating to the Bells University saying Awujale’s rejected overtures to him to interfere with EFCC in respect of Adenuga’s travail was the motivation for the passage in his autobiography.
He said, “The extract from your Autobiography “Awujale: The Autobiography of Alaiyeluwa Oba S. K. Adetola, Ogbagba II”, published by Mosuro Publishers 2010, pp. 187-195, which I attach to this letter was presented to me for my attention.

“Your assertion in the publication was a tissue of lies and untruths. The invitation to Mike to contribute to the building of the Library block of Bells University was issued to him by the then Vice-Chancellor, Professor Julius Okogie, who never told me about inviting Mike to so contribute until Mike pulled out. And that I have not and I will not talk to Mike about it should convince you that I know nothing about its genesis.
“Under my watch, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, was free to do its job as it saw fit. Common sense would suggest that wild rumours should not be perpetrated by an Oba of your calibre. Kabiyesi, your cousin did not tell you that My Chief of Staff, Abdul Mohammed, put his reputation on line by assuring EFCC that Mike would go nowhere and they should trust him to give him his passport. I did not even know that Abdul had done that until the Chairman of EFCC, Nuhu Ribadu, reported the case of my Chief of Staff seemingly colluding with Mike to run out of the country. But I had implicit confidence in my Chief of Staff and I was to resolve the issue.

Mike did not need to send anything to me to satisfy me, he needed to satisfy EFCC and so your sending any documents to me was insinuating that I am the one to be satisfied rather than the EFCC. So, such documents were not paid any attention by me. You, as the cousin and part beneficiary from Mike as you have told me in the past, would not be able to see the tree from the forest as far as the mode of operation of Nuhu Ribadu was concerned viz-a-viz Mike. If the EFCC was investigating anybody, I did not consider it right for me as the President of Nigeria to be undermining EFCC by hobnobbing with that person. EFCC must be given free hand to do its work. Even if such a person was my child, the best I could do would be to secure a good lawyer to handle the matter before the EFCC for that child.”
Obasanjo who said he had no apologies for his presidential actions saying , ” All that you wanted me to do in respect of Mike was improper whether when I was President or when I was out of office. I must not be seen to be in the way of allowing law to take its natural course. All I should do is to help the course of the law and help secure a good lawyer to help the process.

Awujale and PMB
Awujale and PMB
On his reputation Obasanjo reminded Awujale the key role he played in putting in place the present administration in the country, querying, “Kabiyesi, if I have squandered all the goodwill I had, you would not have contacted me on behalf of All Progressive Congress, APC, to receive them in 2014 and you would not have been personally present when I received them as I demanded. I probably have greater goodwill today internally and externally than I had in office.

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