Facts have emerged on how the newly appointed Director General of Kunle Akinlade governorship campaign organisation, Alhaji Sarafa Tunji Ishola, issued a N300 million dud personal cheque when he was Minister of Mines and Steel Development.
Born on November 25, 1960, Sarafa Tunji Ishola became Nigeria’s Minister of Mines and Steel Development on July 26, 2007 and was relieved of his appointment by President Umar Yar’Adua barely 15 months after, on October 29, 2008.
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The biggest challenge that faced the former Secretary to Ogun State Government under Otunba Gbenga Daniel when he was appointed minister, was the problem of accommodation.
However, a good samaritan in person of former Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Jubril Ayinla, who has maternal relationship with Alake of Egbaland, as his mother was nee Gbadebo, came to his rescue.
Vice Admiral Ayinla who clocked 70 years last December 10, decided to assist one of his mother’s kinsmen, by offering Sarafa Ishola an accommodation for free in one of the wings in his palatial mansion at Maitama, Abuja, in the federal capital territory. This was a decision the naval chief will forever regret.
After staying in the apartment for close to a year for free, Ishola offered to rent other wings of the apartment, to which the former naval top brass agreed to, not knowing that Sarafa was about to dupe him.
Before Vice Admiral Ayinla could decipher what was happening, Ishola not only took possession of the house and let it out, after he had moved out of the house, he eventually sold the house and refused to pay the house owner!
After several failed promises, Vice Admiral Ayinla eventually caught-up with the Ishola who was still serving as Minister. To save his face, Ishola issued a cheque of N300 million naira to the naval chief. The apprehension and frustration of the top naval officer increased when the cheque issued by Ishola could not be cashed as the cheque bounced like basket ball.
A frustrated Ayinla decided to spill the bean and call in the security agency in order to expose the criminal act of Ishola. Sensing danger, the then Minister rushed to the current Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo and pleaded that the reverred traditional ruler should intervene on his behalf and save him from the imminent shame of public exposure.
Oba Gbadebo waded in and called a meeting between the former naval chief and Ishola, where Ishola agreed to pay the money in installments. It could not be ascertained as at press time, if Ishola has fully paid the money. Several calls and text messages to his phone line yesterday were unanswered.
Hon Adekunle Akinlade is the Governorship candidate of Allied People’s Movement (APM) fully backed by Governor Ibikunle Amosun, as against the APC National Working Committee’s choice.
What we do not know now is whether Governor Ibikunle Amosun will also decamp, or remain in APC and work against the party in 2019, so as to have Hon Adekunle Akinlade succeeds him as Governor in 2019.