Exclusive! Fawehinmi’s Panel Report That Banned Ondo Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, From Public Office For 25 Years …Describes Akeredolu’s Stewardship As That Of Famous “Ali Baba And Forty Thieves”

‘While the ban on Akeredolu is expected to lapse in 2025, he has bought the nomination form of the All Progressives Congress for a second term, if he wins, his second term will expires in 2025. What an irony!’

Unknown to many, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, has been banned from taking any public office in Ondo state, effective from July 2000 for 25 years based on the findings of panel of enquiry that probed his activities between 1995 and 1999.

The Justice Rasheed Fawehinmi’s led panel found him guilty of misappropriation of the state fund while he was the commissioner for justice and attorney general in the state under the military administration of Navy Capt Tony Onyearegbulem.

The panel asked him to refund N5million among other fund misapplied by him.

By the time the Government White Paper came out, Akeredolu, in addition to refund some amount that were expended by him without due process was banned from taking public office for 25 years. But few years after, Akeredolu was sworn-in as governor of Ondo state in 2017. 

The Hon. Justice R. O. Fawehinmi (rtd) echoed the fact that Akeredolu and his cohort are bunch of theives in his Judicial Commission of Enquiry on Capital Projects and Contracts awarded in Ondo State between January 1995 and May 28th 1999. 

Late Chief Adebayo Adefarati came in as Governor of Ondo State on 29th of May, 1999 on the platform of Alliance for Democracy. 

Chief Adefarati was a member of the old guard and he served as a Commissioner under the late Chief Adekunle Ajasin of blessed memory. 

Of course the soldiers were in office till the eve of May 29th, 1999. And it is only necessary that accounting of the past is done to enable the new government get hold of the state finances and how funds had been expended under the last administration. 

Late Chief Adebayo set up a Judicial Panel of inquiry headed by Honourable Justice R.O. Fawehinmi (rtd) and others in the JPI are 

1. Mr. Kunle Adedipe,

2. Barrister Dele Awopeju, 

3. Engineer E. O. Komolafe

4. Mr. D.O. Akinduro 

5. Barr. ‘Toyin Akinkuotu (Secretary).

 In submitting its report, Hon. Justice Fawehinmi (rtd) alluded to the metaphor of the famous entertainment book – “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.”

Justice Fawehinmi assured then Governor His Excellency, Late Chief Adebayo Adefarati of a rare opportunity of reading the Ondo State version of – “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.” that cries for public ….penalty for each of those who drove by their different acts of omission or commission, the funds of this state to the edge of precipice! 

The report according to Justice Fawehinmi:  _ “tells sordid stories of acts of debauchery, profligacy, acts of ineffectiveness, of taking huge loan which was not repaid, acts of divided Loyalty  to public service”

Akeredolu is one of the metaphorical forty thieves. 

During the Military years in Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu (SAN), the present Governor of Ondo State, served as the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Ondo State under the Former Military Administrator, Navy Captain Ibe Onyearugbulem. 

According to the report at page 95 of the Government White Paper, Akeredolu single handedly disbursed the allocation from the Ecological and Intervention funds made available to the Ministry of Justice and Ondo State Judiciary. 

In doing so, Akeredolu became the  Accounting Officer of two departments of government, Justice and Judiciary. This shouldn’t be so. It is against the rule of service. 

Despite all efforts to have Akeredolu appeared before the panel to clear his name in keeping with the principle of fair hearing – _”audi alteram partem”,  Akeredolu refused bluntly to appear. 

For Akeredolu, the panel can go to hell! He is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria! Who art thou to question his judgments? 

The first financial misdemeanor caught under  Akeredolu’s rapper is the award of the building of Owo High Court undertaken personally by Akeredolu without bill of quantities, written contract agreement, contract sums agreed upon and without technical drawings. 

You must be asking whether Akeredolu is a lawyer talkless of being a Senior Advocate of Nigeria? 

How come he didn’t know that public buildings of this nature requires written agreement and consideration furnishing the contracts?

 Let’s permit that a Lawyer doesn’t know that the Owo High Court building requires bill of quantities and technical Drawings; what of written contract and its value? 

For Akeredolu, what is important is the money and nothing matters anymore. 

Not his name. Not the fact that he is a Lawyer, nor the fact that Akeredolu is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria. All these do not matter anymore. What matter is money to be made. 

Akeredolu, a cardinal figure of the Ali Baba and Forty thieves, awarded the contract of the Owo High Court to himself, through a phony company named  SES-ribigbe Nigeria Limited and spent money without contract and without value.

He didn’t complete the project. He claimed he spent N4, 928, 820.00 and got the Military Administrator, Navy Captain Onyearugbulem to commission the Owo High Court Building despite the fact that at the date of commissioning the building had no electrical work, the plumbing uncompleted, with no water supply and the walls of the building cracked with poor ventilation! 

The next project is the renovation and fencing of Judges quarters. 

You heard me! Judges quarters! You will say what has an Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice got to do with building Court and mending fences which is primarily the duty of the judiciary? 

To cut the long story short, Akeredolu allocated a sum of N5 Million for the renovation and fencing of Judges Quarters 5, 6, 42 and 49 located at Alagbaka Estate, Akure. 

The Fawehinmi Commission found that no fencing work or renovation ever took place on the four quarters! 

Akeredolu was therefore ordered to refund the sum of N5 Million he allegedly appropriated under the pretext of mending fences in the Judges quarters! 

A certain sum of N10 Million allocated to the Ministry of Justice; Akeredolu “helped” Navy Capatin Onyearugbulem to launder through the Onyearugbulem’s company, Rinnaco International Agency Limited for the phony purchase of Vehicles for the Judiciary! 

Akeredolu not done with the State, allegedly inflated the purchase of Satellite dishes by N780,000.00. 

At the conclusion of their report, the Fawehinmi panel indicted Akeredolu and ordered him to refund various amount and directed that he should be so banned for twenty-five years from holding public office from July, 2000! 

While the ban on Akeredolu is expected to lapse in 2025, he has bought the nomination form of the All Progressives Congress for a second term, if he wins, his second term will expires in 2025. What an irony!

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