- Reveals How Minister Took $800,000 As Estacode In 29 Months
By ‘Dotun Akintomide
In a swooping allegation, Mr. Victor Oluwadamilare has derided Communication Minister, Barrister Adebayo Shittu calling him “a disgrace to Islam” over failure to pay his emoluments for the past 29 months, since he was officially appointed as Special Assistant on Media to the minister.
The New Diplomat gathered through a letter obtained by it, dated 12th March 2018, written by Oluwadamilare to his boss, Shittu, claiming the minister owes him a total sum of N14 million which has accumulated between November 2015, his first month on the job to March’s salary due date.
Oluwadamilare noted that having received the sum of N500,000 each in two separate transfers made to his Access bank account, on 6th February, 2018; albeit, through third party names (Ademola Lawal; Sa’adu A. Sadiq and Sons respectively), he will assume only N1 million of the total emoluments has been paid, with no recourse to the remaining N13 million outstanding salary.
The minister’s former aide revealed that he is not the only one affected by Shittu’s “greed and brazen wickedness” as another colleague Sheik Tajudeen Imam, Special Assistant to the minister on Special Duties whom he referred to as a renowned Muslim cleric and leader is also being owed his emoluments, 25 months ago since he signed up for the job.
“More disturbingly, your proclivity and debasement of humanity via your unprecedented maltreatment of your appointed aides has become falteringly odious as a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) with the change mantra; as a member of the Federal Executive Council, your fraudulent practices is novel and as a Community Leader, deceit is your way of life. The view that your conduct is a disgrace to Islam and mentoring in Nigeria is only an attestation to your greed, insensitivity, vindictiveness, avarice, wickedness and above all, self-centredness.” Oluwadamilare said.
According to him, while the minister has deliberately effectuated “stagnation in my life and development and that of others,” he (Shittu) has acquire 12 luxury houses, 25 luxury cars and a printing press said to have cost N93 million in less than 3 years of serving under the Buhari’s administration, in spite of the current anti-corruption fight.
“Thus, in a space of 29 months in office and from ground zero in 2015, you now have no fewer than 12 luxury houses in Abuja, Lagos and Ibadan and a few months ago, you bought a brand new N93 million Printing Press. You have bought over 25 luxury vehicles for yourself, family members, concubines and cronies, outside the eight official vehicles attached to your office.
“In the same vein, you have expended substantial amount of money, far above your legitimate earnings as a Minister in the Buhari Administration, on your gubernatorial ambition in Oyo State, while you have equally sponsored no fewer than 22 members of your family and cronies including under-aged children to the Holy Land in Saudi Arabia and lesser Hajj (Umrah) pilgrimage. Of course, everyone in Oyo State knows about your investments that run into hundreds of millions of naira, in your less than three years in the office–these are currently scattered all over Oyo State!” he added.
Stating further, Oluwadamilare disclosed the minister has collected over N50 million as salary since inauguration and has also took from the ministry’s coffers, “estacodes in excess of $800,000 (about N288 million) – little wonder, you’re derisively referred to as ESTACODE MINISTER in the Presidency. Yet, you inhumanly find it very convenient to ignore the legitimate entitlements of your aides! In this regard, be informed that you are like an ostrich that buries his head in the sand in delusion that it has hidden itself from the prying eyes of the public.”
Lamenting what he termed as “obvious insensitivity and lack of compassion” displayed to him and other colleagues, Oluwadamilare explained how Shittu has done “incalculable damages” to his person and family.
“My health has deteriorated badly because I could not adequately finance my medical upkeep. I have been a squatter in Abuja since 2016, having lived in a hotel for many months with outstanding debts till date. For close to one year now, there has been an unresolved feud with my wife because of my inability to effectively fulfil my marital responsibilities and family upkeep.
“My first daughter, from all indications, may not be able to enlist in the NYSC Scheme in April, 2018 because of my failure to adequately fund her education.
My second daughter had lost one calendar year in the University because of my inability to pay her school fees and other incidentals as at when due.
“My other children of school age, have been traumatized and discouraged in their educational pursuit because of the irregularity in the payment of their school fees, with its attendant backslash. Your conduct has made me a perpetual debtor, with over N3million debt hanging over my neck from sundry creditors.”
Oluwadamilare threatened that the payment of his outstanding emoluments will be in the best interest of the Communication Minister, Shittu, averring that any grandstanding on the matter will lead to embarrassing outcome, as he will leave no stone unturned to get what is due to him.
“Dear Minister, after all said and done, I have one advice for you. Please, it will be in your best interest not to play to the gallery and listen to the counsels of your ‘spin doctors’ to either ignore me or take me on. The best and dignified way out for you on this issue of my outstanding entitlements is to access funds from your various ‘sudden’ investments and pay me in full. Like the celebrated former Lagos State governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, once said, ‘I hope my loyalty will not be put to test’. In the same vein, I hope my resolve to collect my entitlements in full will not be put to test by you.
“Any grandstanding in this matter, to say the least, will be embarrassingly suffocating, as I will leave no stone unturned to retrieve my emoluments in full.” He concluded.
As at the time of filing this report, all attempts to get reaction from Barrister Shittu failed as he will neither answer his calls nor reply the enquiry sent to his mobile line via text message.
Also, efforts to get response from President Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu proved abortive.