…as human rights Lawyer demands release of Council Chairman
Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), said the Ogun state governor Dapo Abiodun should take legal action if felt that the Chairman, Ijebu East Local Government area of the state,Wale Adedayo has committed libel against him ( the governor)
Adedayo had accused Abiodun of withholding local government fund in the last two years.
Falana is demanding the immediate and unconditional release of the suspended local government Chairman , detained by the Department of State Security Service (DSS).
The human rights lawyer made the demand in a statement he personally signed and made available to newsmen on Sunday.
Adedayo was on Friday detained by the DSS while honouring the invitation of the secret service on his petition against Governor Dapo Abiodun.
Adedayo had in a letter sent to a former governor and leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Olusegun Osoba, accused Abiodun of withholding local government allocations in the last two years.
Adedayo’s had been generating controversies within and outside Ogun State.
On Friday, upon invitation of the Secret Service, Adedayo visited the state office of the SSS and was detained on the same day.
But, reacting to the development, Falana asked the state governor to go to court if he felt the suspended Council Chairman had committed libel against him.
The legal luminary cited instances of Abiodun’s predecessors who had at different times filed libel suits against media organisations.
Falana’s statement reads, “Last week, the Chairman of the Ijebu East Local Government, Ogun State, Mr. Wale Adedayo accused the State Governor, Mr. Dapo Abiodun of diverting the statutory allocations of the 20 local governments in the State.
“Shortly thereafter, the Council boss was invited by the Ogun State Command of the State Security Service (SSS). However, when he turned up for the invitation on 1st September 2023, he was asked to respond to the petition submitted to the Command by the State Government.
“In the said petition, it was alleged that Mr Adedayo had instigated widespread acts of public disturbance and chaos in Ijebu East Local Government.
“Even though the embattled Council boss denied the allegation of instigating acts of public disturbance, the State Security Service has decided to detain him due to his refusal to withdraw the allegation levelled against Governor Abiodun
“Even though the Ogun State Government has denied the allegation of funds diversion, Governor Abiodun is advised to sue Mr Wale Adedayo for libel in the Ogun State High Court.
“In similar circumstances, two of his predecessors, the late Governor Olabisi Onabanjo had sued the National Concord newspaper for libel in the Ogun State High Court in 1981 while Governor Segun Osoba sued the Punch Newspaper for defamation of character in the Ogun State High Court in 2001. Both Governors won the libel suits.
“Having regard to the facts and circumstances of this particular case, I am compelled to request the Ogun State Command of the SSS to release Mr. Adedayo from custody forthwith.”