EFCC arrests OSOPADEC boss
Mr. Debo Ajimuda, the chairman of the Ondo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (OSOPADEC), was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for alleged corrupt practices.
The crime fighting body had arrested the chairman at his Ijapo residence in Akure, carting away bags of useful document evidence and 13 exotic cars.
According to reports, the EFCC staff had first sought out the elusive Ajimuda at his office, but were accosted by hostile employees who refused to let them go.
Commissioner of Police for the state, Garba Mohammed, had interfered in the skirmish, however, resulting in the release of the anti-graft agents who then made their way to the chairman’s residence.
The EFCC had been investigating Ajimuda’s activities, trailing him for two weeks before making their move. Ajimuda, as well as two other officials of the commission, are wanted by the EFCC over alleged criminal diversion and embezzlement of public funds, a source disclosed.
“Ajimuda claims to have spent N61.363billion between 2001 and 2011 but this is said to be a far cry from the over N100billion received by the commission within the same period.
“The petitioners alleged that the projects claimed to have been executed by the commission were either abandoned or do not exist at all.”
Head of Media and Publicity for the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed the arrests, saying Ajimuda needs to “clarify some issues”, including verifying whether projects budgeted for were actually executed.
The EFCC officials had reportedly arrived at his premises at about 6 a.m. on Tuesday and upon learning of their presence, Ajimuda had taken flight, scaling the fence of his property and hiding in an uncompleted building next door.
Ajimuda’s wife had tried covering his tracks as well, telling EFCC officials that he was not at home. However, the officials refused to leave the premises and set up surveillance around the premises to ensure he did not escape.
Tired of the wait, the OSOPADEC boss, clad in boxer shorts and a white undershirt, emerged from his hiding place at about 2:30 p.m. and was taken in by the officials.
Ondo State’s Commissioner for Information, Mr. Kayode Akinmade said the investigation of the EFCC was a step in the right direction, but was wary of the methods used to arrest Ajimuda.
He insisted that OSOPADEC boss should have been invited for questioning by EFCC officials first before a forceful arrest is made.
He said, “It is not proper for the anti graft agency to just invade the office and home of the OSOPADEC boss and arrest the man without any formal invitation.”
Akinmade welcomed the investigation, adding that the Commission had nothing to hide.