Ayo Adebanjo, leader of the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation Afenifere, has denied claims by a former governor of Osun State Bisi Akande that the national leader of the All Progressives Congress Bola Tinubu built his (Adebanjo’s) house in Lekki, Lagos.
Akande had claimed in his book My Participations launched last week that Adebanjo pestered Tinubu to build him the house located at Plot 25, Ayo Adebanjo Close, Off Adebayo Doherty Street, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.
In a statement, however, on Thursday, Adebanjo called Akande a “fool” over the claim.
The Afenifere leader said he expected Tinubu to have refuted Akande’s claim since he was present at the book launch.
He said, “I hold this view because Bola Tinubu just some 3 years ago on the occasion of the presentation of my autobiography ‘SAYING IT AS IT IS’ that for my incorruptibility and strength of character, he Bola Tinubu would not have been Governor of Lagos State in 1999. What then could he be demanding from me after his two-term governorship to make me pressurize him to build a house for me when I did not get a naira from him before he became the governor?
“There has been a lot of pressure on me not to react to Chief Bisi Akande’s tantrums, he is a neophyte, a beneficiary of a struggle he never took part in. I have been urged to keep to the adage not to ‘Answer a fool less you reduce yourself to his level’, but there is also an adage that says, ‘Answer a fool less he thinks he is wise’. A lot has been said in the press and the social media to demolish tantrums.
“But I owe a duty to myself and to put the record straight for posterity about the big lie that Bola Tinubu built my house in Lekki for me. I, therefore, deny categorically that my house at Lekki was built with my resources through the sale of 3 developed properties, loan from GTBank and the sale of undeveloped landed property given me by my late leader Chief Obafemi Awolowo of blessed memory.
“The details are as follows: A 4 bedroom duplex with 2 bedroom flat enclosed with 2 undeveloped plots at plot 4, block 14, Nuru Oniwo Street, Aguda Surulere, Lagos State, this is where I was living before moving to Lekki. The house was commissioned in 1972 by Chief Obafemi Awolowo. A wing of the duplex was once occupied by a staff of the security outfit then known as ‘special branch’ headed then by the late Alhaji M.D. Yussuf who later became Inspector General of Police when General Olusegun Obasanjo was the Head of State.
“It was later occupied by one of the wives Chief Pius Akinyelure, who often visit his wife there in the company of Senator Bola Tinubu. The gate of this property was forced open by (Sani) Abacha security forces when NADECO was holding a sendoff party for American ambassador Walter Carrington in my house, I took the Federal Government to court for damages and I was awarded N1million which has not been paid till today by the Federal Government, Mr. Olisa Agbakoba SAN, was my counsel.
“The house was sold to St Baths Anglican Church, Aguda, Surulere.Two storey building at Odedola Street, Surulere, Lagos State. I bought it through an Estate Agent by the name Mr. Shiwoniku who has relocated to the UK, he has a brother who is a legal practitioner in Abuja. The house was sold to a Ghanaian by the name Mr Akappo.
“He is still alive and he lives in one of the flats in the building. Four storey building with a warehouse on the ground floor and six flats on top. It was commissioned by Chief Awolowo in 1977. I inherited the plot of 45’X100’ from my mother Salamotu Anomo-Adebanjo, who built a bungalow on it.
“She bought the land when I was in primary school in 1940 from one Pa. Idowu Onitiri for £20, which she paid by instalment of £10, £7, £3. His son Akanbi Onitiri, executed the conveyance for me without extra payment after showing him the purchase receipts from his father, when I was developing it in 1976. Akanbi Onitiri is the father of Sumbo Onitiri, a well-known estate surveyor in Lagos.The building was sold to a woman through an estate agent. I then took a loan from GTBank to complete the house in Lekki where I am living now.”
Adebanjo further said that when the interest on the loan became unbearable, he was compelled to sell the undeveloped land given to him by Awolowo in Dide-Olu Estate in Maroko Victoria Island.
“One Mr. Ade Otusanya a friend of my son Femi Ayo-Adebanjo bought the land. The contractor who built my Lekki house is Engr. Hakeem Sulaiman, Senior Partner of Messrs HA associates. The Electrical and Mechanical Contractor is Engr. Tokunbo Oshokoya, Senior Partner of Messrs Oshea Projects. The Architect is Mr. Deji JohnsonThe Quantity Surveyor is the late Otunba T.B. Adebayo. The Lekki property, the house in my village, Isanya Ogbo, and three Bedroom flat in a townhouse, at Omorinre Street in Lekki are the properties I have in the whole world,” he said.