As part of efforts to guard his personal integrity and stop further mudslinging against his person in a bid to discredit his father, Babajide, the son of the Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), on Tuesday initiated a legal battle against the state’s Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi, over his allegation that he collected the sum of N430million as consultancy service out of the N4.3bn discovered from a secret account by the State Government during a recent financial audit.
Babajide, who has briefed renowned activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, to take up the legal process, stated that the said allegation has caused severe damage to his reputation and professional interests.”
Ajayi, the candidate of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) in the gubernatorial election scheduled for October 10, in the state had allegedly asserted during his campaign flag-off on Saturday, September 19, at Ore, Odigbo Local Government Area of the state, that Babajide used an unnamed company to collect the money from government coffers.
Babajide, a US-trained Mining, Electrical and Electronics Engineer, had further asked the Deputy Governor to strip himself of immunity to prove his allegations against him in court, adding that the allegation is untrue, fabricated and a satanic plot designed to score political goals against him because his father is standing for election.
He said: “My attention has been drawn to the spurious allegations made against me by Hon. Agboola Ajayi, the gubernatorial candidate of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) during his flag-off campaign rally on the 19th of September, 2020 at Ore in Odigbo local government area.
“This deliberate, malicious and mendacious statement has been making the rounds online and on social media platforms. The unsubstantiated claim and accusations are designed to mislead the general public and calculated to malign my person for clear political gain, is not only wicked, treacherous and false but clearly most defamatory.
“The allegation, which has been making the round without a face to it, has been refuted by the state government when it first surfaced. While I find it imperative to state unambiguously that I do not hold any political office, it is evil and most wicked to make such allegation that exists mainly in the minds of Hon. Agboola, the ZLP candidate and his ilk against me.
“I state with emphasis that it is the greatest disrespect and intentional distortion of facts for the said gubernatorial candidate of the ZLP to state inter alia that I siphoned Four hundred and thirty-three million naira of Ondo State’s funds under the disguise of consultancy fees. This allegation which I deny can only come from someone so lowly and frivolous and unexpected of anyone who holds the high office of a deputy governor.
“The statement by Hon. Agboola Ajayi was calculated to disparage my person and credibility and it has caused severe damage to my reputation and professional interests. In light of the above, I have instructed my lawyer, Mr Femi Falana, SAN, of the Falana Chambers, to institute legal action against Hon. Agboola Ajayi to claim full damages for the harm the false and malicious statement he made has done to my reputation. He must prove this allegation in the court of law.
“If there is any modicum of honesty in the ZLP candidate, I expect that he shows clear willingness to do the honourable thing by stripping himself of his immunity and accept the court process and prove his claims in the court of law,” he concluded.