The Igbara-Odo Development Council, the apex social-cultural group and leaders of thought of Igbara-Odo town in Ondo State, has cautioned the public against peddling unfounded rumours against one of its traditional leaders, High Chief Oyebanji Olowofela, who it said was falsely accused of being the mastermind of kidnapping in and around Ekiti State.
The council made its position known in a statement made available to The Eagle Online on Thursday via email.
The statement, signed by Chief Ayo Adekoya-Benson, Secretary of Igbara-Odo Development Council, described Olowofela, an Electrical Engineer of many decades, as a foremost legislator, an illustrious and prominent son of Igbara-Odo-Ekiti, an accomplished businessman and a father of many graduates, who are leading lights in their various chosen careers, and making exploits at home and in the diaspora.
It further described Olowofela as a man of impeccable character right from his childhood till this moment and has contributed in no small measure to the development of Igbara-Odo-Ekiti Kingdom and as well contributed to the economic and political development of Ekiti State and Nigeria at large.
The statement read: “For the past some days, the online space has been awash with falsehoods and pure fabrications to suit the narratives of some purveyors of cheap mendacities.
“For the avoidance of doubts and without any iota of equivocation, High Chief Oyebanji Olowofela, the Asamo of Igbara-Odo-Ekiti is a prominent son of our town and State.
“Contrary to some online news the High Chief in question is a man of impeccable character, a mercurial personality with glittering records of selflessness, probity and accountability.
“He is an embodiment of exemplary character, a beacon of light and a moral compass for all and sundry that we all look up to him and are proud of his remarkable achievements and records in public service and personal life.
“He is an astute politician and an epitome of forthrightness. He is a fulfilled electrical engineer and was an erstwhile majority leader in the old Ondo State in the second Republic.
“Since the creation of Ekiti State, he has continued to contribute positively to the development of both States. At this juncture, it is trite to state that the law enforcement agents be allowed to do their thorough and diligent investigations without stampeding them into a transparent subterfuge.
“We are sure no stone will be left unturned in getting to the roots of this allegation.
“The Igbara-Odo Development Council, a socio-cultural organisation in our town is hereby cautioning the public to desist from this media trial riddled with caustic depositions which are capable of prejudicing the ongoing investigations.
“This story remains an allegation and we should let the relevant law enforcement agents do their work and await their official statement pertaining to this case.
“Thanks to you all who have called and shown solidarity with us without resorting to cheap sensationalism.
“He did not only serve as Special Adviser on Political Affairs to the first Executive Governor of Ekiti State, he was a Governorship Aspirant in Ekiti State in the current political dispensation.
“While it is important to state that law enforcement agents should be left to thoroughly investigate and probe into the unfounded allegations levelled against our revered political, business and traditional Leader.
“The Igbara-Odo-Ekiti Development Council (IDC) – the think tank, apex social – cultural group and leaders of thought of Igbara-Odo Ekiti – hereby uses this medium to caution, in the strongest of terms, the barefaced hiding behind the cyberspace to henceforth desist from their ongoing social media trial as well as derogatory and humiliating attack on the person, personality and image of Chief Olowofela who, unfortunately at this time, is unable to confront his faceless accusers.
“As of today, lies, falsehood and baseless story being peddled around on the social media have neither been substantiated by any law enforcement agent in Nigeria or elsewhere neither has any judicial authority indicted or pronounced him guilty of any criminal offence in Nigeria or elsewhere.
“Also, no law enforcement agency has issued or published any official statement regarding his arrest up till this moment.
“In view of the above, and for the benefit of those who do not know the moral, ethical and legal implications of circulating falsehood against innocent citizens, we warn that you cease and desist from acts capable of exposing you to a judicial action that attract heavy punishment under the Nigerian law.”