A socio-political group, Integrity Support Group (ISG), has commended the former Governor of Ogun state and senator representing Ogun East Senatorial District, Otunba Gbenga Daniel (OGD) over his “belated request” seeking the stoppage of his severance and the monthly gratuity.
However, the group urged Daniel not to stop at that but to go the whole hog and return all the government properties that are still in his possession.
A statement released on Friday by ISG’s Coordinator, Odumosu Moses, quoted the group as saying, “Few days ago, the social media was agog with a copy of the letter written by former Governor of Ogun state, Otunba Gbenga Daniel to the incumbent Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun (MFR, CON), asking for the stoppage of his severance and the monthly gratuity.
“Of course, the letter was let into the social media space in the usual character of popularity-seeking and vaingloriousness of the man called OGD. And, not unexpected, his followers have been flaunting the letter all over.
“But what many did not know or remember was that a Federal High Court in Ikoyi had in a 2019 judgment asked the Federal Government to recover pensions and allowances received by former and serving senators as ex-governors. The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) sued the Federal Government in 2017 over its failure to stop former governors from receiving double pay and life pensions.
“So, whether OGD wrote a letter or not, as a law-abiding institution, the state government would have stopped his allowance and gratuity in strict compliance with the valid and subsisting judgment of court.”
The group said it seemed the former Governor has turned a new leaf and urged him to return all the properties he illegally acquired or used the instrumentality of his office to corner.
“How time flies! We now have a repented Daniel. Kudos to him even as we urge him to further demonstrate his changed attitude as a born-again democrat. We urge the distinguished Senator to go the whole hog and return all the properties of Ogun state illegally acquired and that are still in his possession, including his current telephone line.
“The land where his magnificent Conference Hotel sits belonged to the Lions Club of Abeokuta. Senator OGD should return the land to its original owners or at least give a reasonable and commensurate equity of the businesses being run on the land and the profits therefrom to Lions Club of Abeokuta.
“Furthermore, the large expanse of land where OGD erected his now defunct newspaper, Compass newspaper, was a land prepared by Ogun state government for public use, which Daniel acquired illegally, purportedly in public interest and ended up using it for his private newspaper. The land covering several hectares should also be returned to Ogun State government.
“So, also is the land acquired in Sagamu GRA by Daniel, using his position to hijack the land belonging to Ogun state government and meant for public purposes. These are just few of the enormous properties belonging to state government that were illegally appropriated by the former governor and others dashed out to friends, cronies and concubines. The full list of the unbridled land acquisition by OGD is contained in the report of Justice Akinyemi Judicial Panel on Land set up the immediate past Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun.
“Now that OGD seems to have chosen to come clean, he should go the whole hog by returning to the government all the illegally acquired properties, including landed properties instead of pestering Governor Dapo Abiodun to help him facilitate approvals for those properties, which the immediate past governor Senator Amosun outrightly refused to accent to and justifiably so.
“It is when OGD does all these that we would take him seriously as a born-again democrat that is prudent, transparent and honest. Otherwise, it is all fluke.”