19.10.2023 Featured Oyo Chiefs Go Into Hiding as EFCC Invites Them to Explain Millions in Bribes From Alaafin Candidate

Published 19th Oct, 2023

By Joseph Adeiye

Yusuf Akinade, the Basorun of Oyo and leader of the Oyomesi, and two other high chiefs have gone into hiding because of an invitation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on bribery accusations on Tuesday.

The EFCC wishes to question the chiefs for reportedly receiving millions of naira from a yet-to-be-named candidate during the 2022 Alaafin selection process.

A source familiar with the Oyomesi chiefs’ current situation told FIJ that while two chiefs honoured the EFCC invitation, three other chiefs failed to show up. They have since been unreachable and cannot be found at their places of residence.

READ MORE: Lukman Gbadegesin Kept N200m To Lobby for Alaafin but Won’t Settle N48m Indebtedness to ‘Friend’

The chiefs the EFCC invited were Akinade (Basorun of Oyo), Yusuf Ayoola (Agbaakin of Oyo), Asimiyu Atanda (Samu of Oyo), Lamidi Oyewale (Lagunna of Oyo) and Wakilu Oyedepo (Akinniku of Oyo). Arinago Basorun and Baale Alapo of Oke-Apo, two warrant chiefs, were also invited.

They were the chiefs who participated in the Alaafin nomination process which the Oyo State Government deemed defective.

Only Ayoola and Atanda visited the EFCC to be interrogated on Tuesday.

Before the EFCC invited the Oyomesi chiefs for questioning, the chiefs attended the meeting of a peacemaking committee with an agenda to pacify Seyi Makinde, the Governor of Oyo State.

A video of the meeting seen by FIJ showed prominent Oyo indigenes in attendance with the Oyomesi. Alhaji Akewugbagold addressed the gathering alongside Imam Daud Igiogun, Asiwaju Musulumi of Oyo.

“We acknowledge that our elders (the Oyomesi chiefs) have made some mistakes. What we need to do now is to align with Governor Makinde so that we can finally get an Alaafin. We need to appeal to the governor so that the Oyomesi is not insulted. The insults could come from different sectors, but we need to meet with Governor Makinde and ensure the chiefs are not brought to disrepute,” Akewugbagold said.

The committee raised at the meeting went to Ibadan on Monday but couldn’t meet with the governor.

READ MORE: Real Reasons Oyo Gov’t Rejected the Candidate of Atiku, Oyomesi for Alaafin

FIJ earlier reported how Akinade tried to mislead the media with disinformation on the Alaafin selection process and how Makinde said he had information that some chiefs took bribes.

FIJ received reliable information that the Alaafin nomination did not follow due process and a section of the Oyomesi owned up to that fact in September.

“There are five living members of the Oyomesi, and there are two warrant chiefs eligible to nominate/recommend a nominee to the Governor of Oyo State for appointment as the Alaafin,” their statement read in part.

“The kingmakers met only once in 2022, with the following members of the kingmakers in attendance: Basorun, Agbakin, Samu, Akinniku, Lagunna (Oyomesi) joined by Areago Basorun, and Alapo (both warrant chiefs unilaterally selected by Basorun without the knowledge or consent of the Oyomesi). As a matter of fact, one of the contestants also wrote a letter of protest questioning the inclusion of one of the warrant chiefs in the kingmakers council.

READ MORE: Basorun of Oyo Plants False Stories in the Media to Drum Support for Alaafin Candidate Gbadegesin

“It was at the meeting of this ill-constituted seven-member kingmakers that a nominee for the office of the Alaafin was sent to the government for endorsement. Immediately after submitting our nomination, we got the government’s response that our nomination could not be accepted because we did not follow due process in coming to our resolution.

“We were directed to meet and follow due process. Unfortunately, the Basorun, who is chairman and convener of our meetings, has not convened any meeting of the Oyomesi since late last year.”

FIJ reached out to the EFCC via its official email and had received no response at press time.

Dele Oyewale, the EFCC’s spokesperson, received FIJ’s request for a comment but he had not responded at the time of filing this report.

Akinade’s phone was unreachable, and he had not responded to FIJ’s text message at the time of publishing this report.

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Published 19th Oct, 2023

By Joseph Adeiye


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