The Ondo State House of Assembly has said it won’t investigate the allegation that the signature of the absent Governor Rotimi Akeredolu is being forged by some state actors.
Recently, there were allegations that the signature of the governor was forged on some official documents of the state.
The allegation was first raised by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Kayode Ajulo, who said last week that, “I have it on good authority as a lawyer. Some of the commissioners, about five of them, sent memos to the governor, and they all returned with approval.
“Going through the approval compared to what the governor had approved when he was hale and hearty, there are notable disparities in them. The purported signature is not from the governor. It is so apparent.”
Also, the state Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr Razak Obe, last week wrote to the Deputy Government, Lukcky Aiyedatiwa, claiming that Akeredolu’s signature was forged on some documents.
He wrote, “Under close inspection, I noticed significant differences between the suspicious signature and the handwriting and Mr. Governor’s known signature and handwriting in the file.
“Concerned about the gravity of the situation, I decided to seek a forensic review before disclosing my discovery. I sent the suspicious signature and handwriting samples and copies of the old regular signatures to forensic experts, who have now confirmed that the suspicious signature and handwriting were indeed forged.”
However, in an interview with The PUNCH on Sunday, the Majority Leader of the state House of Assembly, Mr Oluwole Ogunmolasuyi, said the legislature had no intention to probe the forgery allegation.
According to Ogunmolasuyi, there is nothing for the House to investigate in the matter as the governor himself, who is the owner of the signature, has not complained that his signature has been forged.
The House Leader said, “The House has no reason to investigate the issue of forgery since the signature is not the Speaker’s or any member of the House. The essence of a signature is to affirm a document that belongs to a person.
“Meanwhile, the best person to raise the alarm over a signature forgery is the owner of the signature. This is not the first time they raised the alarm over the signature forgery, and Mr Governor himself came out and released a press statement through his CPS to debunk the news. Mr Governor has been communicating with the House, using his signature and there is nothing different.”
Ogunmolasuyi attributed the signature forgery claim to the lingering political crisis in the state, alleging that it was the handiwork of some people who have political ambition ahead 2024 governorship election.
“People allow their ambition to drive them instead of them to drive their ambition, and some people have claimed to love the state, which is a typical lie, their personal interest, is what they put first. I believe that immediately after the primaries in 2024 some of these issues will be addressed and and will be laid to rest.
“I believe that what we are supposed to be working towards now is how to bring the dividend of democracy to the doorsteps of our people as representatives of our people. We should also use this time to pray for Mr Governor.
“If somebody is claiming that a signature is forged, the person might have been the beneficiary of this forged signature, the person should be called for questioning, and then the security agencies in Nigeria should look into it and conduct more investigation,” the lawmaker said.
Akeredolu has been away from Ondo State before June this year owing to his ill health, which took him abroad for three months between June and September. Since returning to the country in September he has not been to the state but have remained in his Oyo state residence, with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party alleging that his government had been hijacked and state funds were being stolen.