Following the allegations of N4.3bn secret account levelled against Babajide Akeredolu, the son of Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, by the embattled deputy governor of the state, Hon Agboola Ajayi, Babajide has threatened to drag Ajayi to court for defamation of character.
Ajayi, who is the candidate of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) in the October 10 governorship election, had during a campaign rally over weekend alleged that Babajide operates a secret account through which the governor is siphoning money from state account. The deputy governor added that the total sum in the account is N4.3 billion.
But Babajide in a statement he personally signed on Tuesday, described the allegations as false, wicked, treacherous and a deliberate attempt to malign his person for political gain.
Babajide, who said he was not involved in the running of the state, noted that he was not a political office holder and cannot have access to public funds.
He, however, wondered how the sum of N433 million belonging to the state could be traced to him under the guise of consultancy fees, describing the allegations as ridiculous which has caused serious damage to his reputation and professional interests.
Babajide said he had instructed his lawyers to institute legal action against Ajayi to claim full damages for the harm the false and malicious statement has done to his name and reputation.
“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 September 19, 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 accusation, 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 Ajayi, 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,” he said.
Babajide added: “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 lawyers 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.”