Nigeria’s former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has lambasted a paramount ruler of Ijebuland, Ogun State, Oba Alaiyeluwa S. K. Adetona, over his autobiograph titled “Awujale- The Autobiography of Alaiyeluwa Oba S. K. Adetona, Ogbagba II.”
Obasanjo in a letter, declared that Oba Alaiyeluwa’s assertion in the publication was a tissue of lies and untruths, stating that if ten percent of the rumours ascribing businesses and properties he knew nothing about were true, he would be the richest man on earth.
According to Obasanjo, the type of hate propaganda he (Oba Alaiyeluwa) tried to project in a section of his book against his (Obasanjo) person was grossly unbecoming of an Oba let alone an Oba of his status and stature.
The Ijebu monarch, in the book, had accused Obasanjo of having used the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to blackmail and extort during his tenure as president.
The book was published by Mosuro Publishers in 2010, but the aspect about the erstwhile President had been widely circulated in the past few weeks.
In an open letter written to Oba Adetona, addressing the ‘false’ claims, Obasanjo wrote: “The extract from your Autobiography “Awujale: The Autobiography of Alaiyeluwa Oba S. K. Adetona, 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. Olopade is one of my best friends and yes, I would be at his birthday celebration but I would not have invited Mike, your cousin, to meet me anywhere other than my office or official residence as President of Nigeria.
“Kabiyesi, do you think I would set the press up to capture me and Mike in a photograph for the newspapers? That would be puerile of me as President. Of course, I could not say that Mike could not do that. That you think that I, as President of Nigeria, would descend to such depravity makes me think of you much less than I thought of you, until now.
“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. Should your cousin not have mentioned to Abdul who guaranteed the release of his passport his fears and intention to go on exile?
“On several occasions, Nuhu Ribadu 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.
“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. It is not only in the case of Obajana Cement that you were rumour-mongering about me. You have done that repeatedly on many occasions.