BY Kunle Daramola
The African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL) has called on Dapo Abiodun, governor of Ogun state, to stop the “persecution” of Adewale Adedayo, erstwhile chairman of Ijebu-east LGA.
Adedayo had accused Abiodun of hijacking funds meant for LGAs in the state.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Chido Onumah, the coordinator of AFRICMIL, described Adedayo as a “legitimate whistleblower” who has not committed any act “immoral and unlawful for the governor to deploy a strategy of intimidating” him.
The group added that it is “unbecoming for the governor to go to the extent of making Adedayo to face retaliation for demanding transparency and accountability in administration of local government funds”.
“Adedayo doesn’t deserve the punishment he is currently facing because he has done nothing wrong other than exercising his right of freedom of expression,” the statement reads.
“In fact, instead of being punished, he should be rewarded for exhibiting behaviour that would be of benefit to society rather than himself.
“We therefore call on the governor to immediately halt further retaliation against the whistleblower.
“We call for his immediate reinstatement as the chairman of Ijebu-east local government area, and withdrawal of the court case instituted against him.”
ADEDAYO VS ABIODUN
On September 25, the police in Ogun arrested Adedayo based on a petition written against him by the state government.
Adedayo had been impeached by the legislative chamber of the council over allegations of financial misappropriation and diversion of funds.
On August 31, he was suspended by the LGA legislative house for three months. The day after, he was invited and detained by the Department of State Services (DSS).
He was later released after spending four days in detention following allegations he made against the governor.
In a meeting with leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the Ijebu-east LGA on September 19, the governor said he would ensure that Adedayo was held accountable for the allegations levied against him.
He said he was ready to defend himself against allegations of diversion of funds raised by the erstwhile LG chairman.