A GOVERNOR WITHOUT HONOUR: INSIGHTS INTO THE CRIMINAL PROFILE AND DIRTY SECRETS OF PRINCE DAPO ABIODUN

_By Dr. AOO Olu-Onagoruwa_

The best they say must always lead the rest but it appears that Ogun State, which happens to be the cradle of civilization is in for a public show of shame as a result of tragic flaws in character of the present occupier of the Number One seat of the Gateway State. This is a State that has produced great legends like Chief Jeremiah Obafemi Awolowo, Prof Wole Soyinka, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Prof Obey Fabiyi, Primate Peter Jasper Akinola amongst several other international icons known for high moral standards and copious integrity.

A prolog into the shady character of Prince Dapo Abiodun was first noticed during the filling of Nomination forms for his 2019 Gubernatorial Aspiration. The Governor was quoted to have said he attended the famous Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and graduated with a Degree In Accounting. Without Wasting much time, the leadership of the school refuted the claim and stated otherwise that no Abiodun, Adedapo Oluseun was a student of the institution in that year. The Ivy Tower further added that they did not have any course known as Accounting in their Curriculum but Management & Accounting. The Governor was later to stammer and stutter like a failed ignition in December 2018 when Seun Okinbaloye of Channels Television posted same question to him during an Interview Series on the television Programme.  As usual, the feline Governor was able to maneuver his way out, by buying over the press till the issue died a natural death despite the fact that Cable Newspaper confirmed that he was involved in certificate forgery. In his 2019 Gubernatorial Form thereafter, he claimed to possess only Secondary School Certificate – an insult on the collective intelligence of the good people of the State who had had the benefits of being led by Professional Journalist, Engineer & Chartered Accountant.  Even his Wikipedia Page affirms that the Educational Background of Abiodun remains unclear (sic). Till date, the true academic record of the Governor is not known since oratory prowess covers the inadequacy.

Upon his emergence as the Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun was quick to appoint one of his syndicates, another Ijebu Son whose elder brother owns the Limelight Hotel in Ago-Iwoye as a Senior Special Assistant. The aide, Abidemi Rufai recently pleaded guilty to the 15 Counts Charge of Fraud and Identity Fraud after being in detention since his arrest in New York in May 2021. A case very similar to the Criminal record of his Employer. You will then agree that the Englishman who says a bird of the same feather flocks together were very correct in their assertion. In order to smoothen the edges so that the matter will not be linked to him, His Excellency, Prince Dapo Abiodun hurriedly and without any benefit of explanation or conviction, dismissed the aide in a manner that a Shoplifter discards his stolen goods upon the hearing of footsteps. As members of the same trade, the although black-but-ever-looking-yellow Governor knew the curtain has been drawn against their antics.  For the Governor to have taken such drastic decision within hours after his arrest, that means His Excellency had a working idea of the whole scam afterall Law upholds that any suspect shall be presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction.

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It happened that Abidemi Rufai one of the close pals of the Governor has been using the identities of more than 100 Washington residents to steal more than $350,000 in unemployment benefits from the Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) during the COVID-19 Pandemic in 2020. There are 100,000 pages of evidence and discovery materials against him. His suits will again appear for hearing on the 31st of May, 2022. The question that should be at the back of your mind now is that was there ever a background check into the suitability, integrity and criminal records of Political Appointee’s by the Department of Security Service (DSS) and other law enforcement agencies? Everything abut the Governor is highly convoluted.

A peep into the private life of the Governor of the over 7.2 million good people of the State is like visiting a manger, poultry or a horse staple full of stench and odour as can be imagined.  The Self-acclaimed Deacon of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) who has a tripartite agreement with God, keeps numerous strange bedfellows. He is a heavy drunkard who gulps ale and opium with the same velocity water guzzles into an open manhole. In fact, prior to the 2019 General Elections, his delectable wife, an oasis in the desert, a modest daughter of a Professor in Ilishan, and former deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, had already called the marriage a quit leaving him to the mercies of his inimical addictions. How best do you explain getting married to a man who could decide to risk his whole life by jumping from a Story-Building in the course of having a tryst with a former married minister whose Husband came in?. You may wish to ask His Excellency the actual story behind his limping and wobble legs. He took the interventions of high-profiled citizens of the State, particularly a former Governor of the State to appeal to the woman to return home after the primary elections.

How will it sound that a 59-year old incoming Governor of Ogun State has no wife but keeps harems of mistresses and sleeps around like faunas? Dr. Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun surely honoured these interventions, parading herself as the First Lady of the State but with the acquiescence that the centre is not holding.

The woman was later forced to keep a distance in order to maintain sanity with sparing dispositions to State Government responsibilities.  Earlier in the marriage, the couple had lost their first son, Olugbenga Abiodun simply known as DJ Olu on 7th  October 2017 to addictions taken from his father. The boy was reported to have been a heavy drug dependent, always sniffing whitish powdery substance from his anatomical snuffbox. A true son of his father who merely learnt by observation. The lifeless body of the 25-year-old alongside his friends was later discovered at the basement of a Flat in Banana Island, Ikoyi Lagos. One thing that remains inconvertible is that a child is always a reflection of the father and the family values.

Ogun Indigenes were going about their lawful businesses when in March 2022 facts emerged through Sahara Reporters that the Yellow Loving Governor was an Ex-Convict. To say they were shocked to the bone marrow was an understatement. Mere looking at the Governor, one may never know that he has such dark and odious past. Looks indeed are very deceptive. This was a Governor who went to a RCCG Church in London leading praises, confessing tripartite agreements and giving testimonies. ‘Don’t be too quick to admire teachers of morality’ a Sage once told me “they talk like angels but they live as men”. Interestingly, it is against moral and judicial conscience that ex-convicts of whatsoever territory should occupy public office. The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as condemnably as it is also expressly stated it so.

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The Government first dismissed the claim that nothing of such ever occurred. In fact, the greedy Ogun State APC Publicity Secretary, Comrade Tunde Oladunjoye, another tragic character hurried put-up his usually watery and disconcerted rejoinder to dismiss the claim. As more facts later emerged, the Governor, obviously moved by the accuracy of evidences against him and not knowing the gravity of such admittance, acknowledged the claim through his social media handles but with a caveat that such record is not strong a reason/ground to disqualify him from contesting the Gubernatorial elections in 2023. What an effrontery! When my learned friend, who became a lawyer at the age of 40 will always say _Nemo Judex in Causa Sua_ meaning you cannot be a judge in your own case.

Within a spate of time, and probably after serious legal counsels, the State Government again vehemently denied the claim – An admittance that was earlier shared through their social media Handles. His Chief Press Secretary, the tall and loquacious writer tried all he could, with the power of words, concord and syntax to correct the wrong and dispel the facts but the deeds have already been done. Like my great grandmother will always say, the knife had lacerated the hand and the Child had thrown it away but the knife had done its worst. Afterall, you cannot approbate and reprobate at the same time.

Adedapo Oluseun Abiodun, now the number one citizen of Ogun State, elected by the goodwill of the people, living on public fund was in fact arrested and jailed on 7th November, 1986 for credit card fraud, petty theft and check forgery in Miami Dade Florida, USA. The Governor was said to have used a pseudo Name, Shawn Micheal Davids with Shawn probably standing for his middle name Seun to perpetrate fraud. He was said to have violently evaded arrest injuring a police officer in the process. Those close to the Governor will agree to this Violent part of his character. He is a man with a relatively short fuss, prone to irascible anger and occasional bouts of irritability. It was in the course of his profiling that forensic science through his fingerprints pointed to the fact that Adedapo Oluseun Abiodun is indeed the same hardened criminal known as Shawn Micheal Davids. This is a collective insult to the good people of the State.

I read with pity and consolation an article written by one faceless Forensic Expert named Dr. Abdulhameed Adedeji, trying to make fenestrated arguments that the Passport Photograph in the CTC of Document in circulation is a poor photoshop dismissing it as a hatchet job. As much as the said Doctor is merely doing the bidding of his paymaster, it is known to everybody that a drowning man will even try to catch a straw.

The material fact of the documents was to authenticate whether Adedapo Oluseun Abiodun was actually jailed or not.  It is a precious waste of time and exercise in futility to leave leprosy to treat ringworm. I do not know the nexus between criminality and a passport Photograph when the Certified True Copy of the document can be obtained at the Miamade Police Department, Miami Florida.

The interesting part of this shameful narrative is that the same person who refuted the claim had in 2015 applied for a Redaction of his Criminal Records when he was to contest against the Late Senator Buruji Kashamu of blessed Memory. That Application is also in circulation. What is Redaction of Criminal Records you might want to ask me? Redaction of criminal records as lectured by my lawyer friend is a form of Expungement used for instances where a person desires to rub-off his illegal wrongdoings and criminal records. It is like mopping the floor to make it clean.

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This is one of the cases that will test our moral ground as community of people desiring change. If such dastard character and a criminal like Prince Dapo Abiodun is given the APC Gubernatorial party ticket for the 2023 General Election, that shows that neither the electorate or the APC party is ready for a true and lasting CHANGE.

Moreover, Prince Dapo Abiodun appears to be the worst Administrator so far in the history of Ogun State. He does not pick and reciprocate calls to even the state elders unlike a former Governor of the State who will return the messages of an ordinary citizen even in the wee hours of the night. All his cabinet members are fed up and only in Government for the Largess. The Patrimony of the State is being enormously siphoned and shared with his syndicates like the SSG, COS & one element called Egbetokun.

We may want to ask His Excellency the basis of his strained relationship with Senator Ibikunle Amosun (SIA). Who actually owns the Private Jet? I will tell you for authority that the Governor does not honour Gentleman’s Agreement.  Does one even expect a feline Leopard to change his spots? He has continued to use the State Treasury to liquidate his personal insolvency. Files and memo, even on crucial matters, do not get speedy and desired attention.

Now to the Youths, i will further advise all aspiring Political Office holders to watch their tracks and live a life of Sanctity, honesty and integrity. The Big brother is watching all of us. The advent of internet and social media will ease and facilitate access to deep information unlike the time past. The internet never forgets.

If there is one book I always recommend to politicians and friends alike, that will be the “Mayor of Casterbridge” written by Thomas Hardy. In that book, Michael Henchard, a heavy drunkard upon intoxication casted his young family as a lot to a sailor. He later rededicated his life on the 16th September, gained prosperity and became the Mayor of Casterbridge. Whilst trying to contest for the love of Elizabeth Jane, the past came calling only to lose everything because of the tragic flaws in his character. He was relinquished as the Mayor and later committed suicide when his dirty past caught up with him.

How far would we go in this show of shame in Ogun State? Are we going to do siddon look and  place a hardened criminal at the helms of our affairs? Would APC as a party fly an ex-convict as a Flagbearer? When has the State known for everything good descended into this deep abyss? These are parts of the questions throttling my mind. I am seriously waiting to see where the pendulum will swing.

_AOO Olu-Onagoruwa is a writer, author and public analyst. He lives in Ilishan-Remo where he lectures and tends vegetables._

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