As the political crisis deepens in Ondo State, a forensic audit report has confirmed that the signatures of the ailing Governor of the State Olarotimi Akeredolu have been forged to approve funds and memos in the State.
In a series of documents dated 15th February 2023, 30th November 2022, 9th February 2022, 24th May 2022, and 27th July 2022 and ones dated 18th October 2023 and 1st November 2023, the Association of Forensic Professionals of Nigeria stated that the signatures of all the documents were not same.
The forensic request dated 4th December 2023, also revealed that ‘no two writers share the same combination and handwriting characteristics and features.’
Meanwhile, the Ondo State Commissioner for Energy & Mineral Resources, Razaq Obe also wrote to the Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, on the 7th of December 2023 alleging forgery of Governor Akeredolu’s signature on an official document about his ministry.
In the letter seen by Newsleverage, he revealed that he noticed irregularities in the file returned through the office of the Secretary to the State Government.
Mr Obe stated that the signature on the document with a known signature of Governor Akeredolu was sent to a forensic expert who revealed that the signature was forged.
He urged the deputy Governor to treat the matter urgently before it escalates especially considering how widespread it may have been.
This comes as the Court has compelled the State Assembly and the Speaker, Olamide Oladiji, to constitute a medical panel to assess Governor Rotimi Akeredolu’s health.
However, in a press release titled ‘RE: FAKE NEWS OF COURT ORDERS AND COURT PROCEEDINGS CIRCULATING ON ONLINE PLATFORMS:’ the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Charles Titiloye, debunked the report on his Facebook page on Thursday.
He wrote, “MY attention has been drawn to many unconfirmed Court orders that are now in circulation on social media. One such news item currently CIRCULATING is reproduced below;
“An Ondo State High Court sitting in Akure on Wednesday has granted an order mandamus compelling the Ondo State House of Assembly and its Speaker, Olamide Oladiji, to constitute a medical panel to assess Governor Rotimi Akeredolu’s health”.
I wish to state that the above news item is fake and does not represent the true position of the ongoing Court proceedings in the matter.
The true position is that the High Court on hearing an Ex-parte application granted leave to the said Lawyers/Applicants to apply for an Order of Mandamus and serve parties in the case.
It should be noted that in an application for an Order of Mandamus, a party must first seek the leave of Court to apply for the Order. It is thereafter that all parties will be served and heard. It is untrue that the order being sought by the applicants has been granted as reported above.
As of today, Ondo State Government has not been served with the Court processes or heard in the matter.
The above sensational news smirks grave political desperation and the office of the Attorney General warns those spreading fake news capable of igniting civil unrest in Ondo state to desist or face appropriate legal action.
The Attorney General of Ondo state as the Chief Law officer of the state will not be cowed by threats issued by faceless individuals and unregistered, unidentifiable/emergency organizations into submitting the state into anarchy or abdicating its responsibilities under glaring orchestrated blackmail by political desperados and gladiators scheming for power through extra-legal means before 2024 election.
Let it be known that when a dispute has been submitted to the Court of competent jurisdiction, it is unethical and grave misconduct for Counsels to embark on media war in an attempt to intimidate or blackmail the Office of the Attorney General and the Court to reach a certain conclusion on their cases. This matter is subjudice and the office of the Attorney General will not be dragged into unnecessary media trial of cases pending before the Court of competent jurisdiction.
Sir Charles Titiloye ksm, FCArb.
Hon. Attorney General of Ondo State and Commissioner of Justice.