Obasanjo Hits Back At Awujale Over Claims In His Autobiography


By Dipo Awojobi – A former President Olusegun Obasanjo has rubbished the claims made by the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, in his recently published book, describing it as “a tissue of lies and untruths.”

The Awujale, in some extracts of his autobiography, Awujale: The Autobiography of Alaiyeluwa Oba S. K. Adetona, Ogbagba II,” had accused Obasanjo of vendetta, when he claimed that his rift with his former deputy, Abubakar Atiku, was the reason why billionaire businessman, Mike Adenuga was being pursued by the EFCC at the time.

But Obasanjo in letter, dated December 30, 2016, addressed to to the traditional ruler faulted the allegation contained in pages 187 – 195 of the book, which was published by Mosuro Publishers in 2010.

Obasanjo, who had become more renowned in recent years for his controversial letters to prominent figures when he wanted to address issues, said he had developed a thick skin against “rumours, slandering and insinuations” since his days as a Unit Commander in the Army.

The extract that is creating the controversy only came to light in recently.

Obasanjo however said that, “if ten per cent of the rumours ascribing businesses and properties I know nothing about were true, I would be the richest man on earth,” he said in the letter.

In the book, the monarch had insinuated that Obasanjo was behind the case brought against Globacom Chairman, Mike Adenuga, by the Economics and Financial Crimes Commission.

The monarch had claimed that Obasanjo’s rift with his former deputy, Abubakar Atiku, was the reason why Adenuga was being pursued by the EFCC at the time.

The EFCC allegations against Adenuga, the monarch further alleged, were based on its claims that Atiku, whom the anti-graft agency said was a major shareholder in Globacom, allegedly gave Adenuga money from the Petroleum Technology Development Fund which was invested in Adenuga’s bank, Equatorial Trust Bank, and that the funds were subsequently used in paying for the Globacom licence.

“It was not enough for Mike to merely present his case to EFCC, for it seemed the EFCC was under some remote control. The Presidency was after Atiku. Atiku at some point was the Chairman of the PTDF; an attempt was being made to indict him for alleged illegal and unauthorized channelling of PTDF money into Globacom. All sorts of rumours were flying around and the Presidency wanted to pin down the case against Atiku,” parts of the extract read.

It further claimed that Obasanjo, following a meeting with Adenuga in Ota, had solicited the latter’s assistance in the construction of the Administration Block of Bells University in Ota, owned by former president, to which Adenuga agreed.

“It appeared the whole matter, the EFCC hunt, simmered and Mike continued about his business,” the monarch claimed in his book, adding that a former military ruler, Ibrahim Babangida, was a major shareholder in Globacom.

The book further claimed that Adenuga went into exile following the arrest of a son to the former military ruler, Mohammed Babangida, by the EFCC on a related allegation.

“Indirectly related to this case, the EFCC had quizzed and released Mohammed Babangida, Ibrahim Babangida’s son. The EFCC purportedly were on the trail of some money belonging to the Petroleum Trust Development Fund (PTDF), but there was really more beneath the veneer,” the extract read.

However, the former president has since dismissed the book’s claims, describing them as “wild rumours.”

“The invitation to Mike (Adenuga) 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.” Obasanjo said.

He further said that, unlike the book’s claim, he did not interfere in the work of the EFCC.

He said, “On several occasions, Nuhu Ribadu (EFCC former chairman) has asserted that, under my watch, he was a free agent to do his work as he deemed fit. Where it was necessary, he reported the outcome of his work to me and the subsequent or follow-up actions he intended to take. On no occasion did I guide, lead or direct him on what to do.”


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