ONDO- Amid allegations of forging the signature of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, a member of the state executive council (SEC), Razaq Obe, has revealed that the signature of the ailing Governor was forged after a forensic review.
He explained that the irregularities in the signature of Mr Akeredolu were noticed when a file from his ministry sent for approval was returned by the office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG).
“I write to bring to your attention a critical matter that requires immediate action. It has been confirmed that the signature of Mr Governor on a certain document has been forged.
“The irregularities in the signature were first observed when a file from my ministry was returned through the office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG). This is the only file that has been returned so far out of the five files that were sent for Mr Governor’s approval about two months ago,” he said in the copy of the letter obtained by Peoples Gazatte in Akure.
Mr Obe’s exposé came amid the revelation that Mr Akeredolu’s signature was being forged by the ‘cabals’ in his cabinet, taking advantage of his underlying health.
Recall that an Abuja-based constitutional lawyer, Kayode Ajulo, had a few days ago, made serious allegations against some officials of the government, regarding forging the governor’s signature on official documents.
Mr Ajulo, who appeared on national TV days ago, cited private investigator findings as damning evidence and asked the security agencies to immediately investigate the forgery allegation.
He particularly alleged that a whooping sum of 7.5 billion naira was allegedly missing from the state coffers after the signature of the governor was purportedly forged.
While the legal practitioner continued to explain the constitutional implication of forging the governor’s signature, Mr Obe, in his letter, said his close inspection of the document sent to the office of SSG exposed significant differences between the “suspicious signature” and Mr Akeredolu’s handwriting and his known signatures.
The commissioner revealed that that shocking discovery was further exposed by a review of forensic experts who accessed the documents bearing the purported signature of Mr Akeredolu.
“Upon closer inspection, I noticed significant differences between the suspicious signature and handwriting and Mr. Governor’s known signatures 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, 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.
“Despite the inherent risks involved, I have chosen to fulfil the obligations of my office by reporting this alarming development to you as the highest-ranking member of the State Executive Council after Mr Governor. I firmly believe that this is the course of action our esteemed leader, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, CON, would take in such a situation.”
Mr Obe added, “Considering the possibility that such forgery may be widespread, this heads-up is of utmost importance to the government and people of Ondo State. I have attached a copy of the forensic report and relevant pages from the file for your reference.
“I urge you to treat this matter with the urgency it deserves and take appropriate actions to address the situation. We must restore the integrity of our processes and ensure that such a disturbing development is swiftly punctuated.”
The Gazette could not immediately get comments from the spokesperson to the government, Bamidele Ademola-Olateju.
However, Ms Ademola-Olateju had earlier claimed that only the governor can determine and confirm if his signature was forged.
“Only two persons can determine if the governor’s signature was forged; Governor Rotimi Akeredolu himself and a forensic expert,” she told our reporter in an interview a few days ago.