Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun and his predecessor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun have clashed over the governor’s alleged criminal records in the United States.
Abiodun and Amosun, the friends turned foes, have been at loggerheads over the 2019 gubernatorial contest, and lately, the battle for the state’s structure of ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
A petition submitted to the national secretariat of the APC had sought for Abiodun’s disqualification from the party’s governorship primaries over fraud allegations.
A member of the party in the state, Ayodele Oludiran, had in the petition, dated Tuesday, April 12, warned the party against considering the candidacy of Abiodun.
He alleged that the governor had been accused of ‘concealing criminal offenses he allegedly committed in the USA in the 1980s’.
Oludiran insisted that Abiodun’s candidacy would portend danger for the APC with the damning allegations against him.
However, documents allegedly featuring the mugshot of Abiodun and his purported court conviction for criminal offences which bordered on credit card fraud, petty theft and check forgery surfaced online on Monday.
Reacting to the allegations, Dapo Abiodun Campaign Organisation (DACA), accused Amosun of sponsoring a smear campaign on the governor to malign his reputation.
The group in the statement, in Abeokuta on Tuesday by the spokesman of APC, Tunde Oladunjoye, accused Senator Amosun and his loyalists of fabricating ‘malicious, unfounded and totally false allegations to incriminate the governor and present him as one who is ineligible to contest the high office he’s occupying’.
He said, “It has been observed that the cell which also masterminded the exit of a former Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, has been activated to conjure and spread damaging and wicked rumours to sully the sterling qualities of Governor Dapo Abiodun because of his re-election aspiration.
“The plan is to use fake advertorials in as many media as possible, both mainstream and social, of faceless individuals with fictitious names to cast aspersions on the Governor.
“The smear campaign also targets the use of fake news, propaganda, and malicious narratives through sponsored articles, and other tools to undermine Dapo Abiodun’s achievements as Governor of the Gateway state.”
But, Amosun in his reaction denied masterminding any smear campaign against the governor, describing allegations as ‘wild and callous’.
Amosun in a statement by his media aide, Bola Adeyemi implored Abiodun to employ every legal means to bring whoever is involved in any ‘smear campaign’ against him to book.
Adeyemi said, “The attention of Senator Ibikunle A
mosun has been drawn to a publication alleging that he was planning a smear campaign against the Governor of Ogun State, Mr Dapo Abiodun.
“Ordinarily, we do not respond to such wild accusations. However, this is one callous accusation that should not be allowed to pass unaddressed.
“For the record, Senator Amosun is not involved, directly or indirectly, in any campaign against Governor Abiodun or any person for that matter.”