Governor Babatunde Fashola’s anointed successor and former Accountant-General of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has been enmeshed in series of controversies and disputation since his name popped up as the favourite for the coveted post.
Ambode has had to contend with a plethora of challenges, ranging from religious consideration to organised zoning, his patrilineage and lately, alleged funding of his campaign through the councils in the state.
One of these controversies also has to do with Ambode’s state of origin. While Ambode claims to have hailed from Epe, Lagos there are counter claims that he originates from Ondo State.
To support this claim was a photo which surfaced online recently and gone viral, which purports Ambode to be from Ondo Town in Ondo State.
Adding fuel to this was a statement recently released by the Baale Buraimo Edu which reiterated that Ambode is from Ilaje in Ondo State and not from Epe Local Government of Lagos State.
The Edu family, had in a release signed by both Alhaji M. Oladeinde Edu and Alhaji T. A. Edu, and made available to some journalists on Friday, stated that the Baale Edu while alive had 22 wives and 38 children and challenged Ambode and his supporters to trace his side of the Edu family tree and name his mother among the 22 wives.
“We hereby bring it to the notice of all Lagosians that we have tried but could not trace where the said Akinwumi Ambode belongs in the family tree of Baale Buraimo Edu of Epe,
“At this juncture, we can categorically state here that in actual fact, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode was a son of Festus Akinwale Ambode, one of the teachers posted to Epe in the old Western Region; a native of Ilaje Ese Odo in the present day Ondo State.
“As a school teacher, the elder Ambode was very familiar and friendly with several Epe indigenes. The older Ambode came to Epe through the waterways. He came with his wife, Christianah Oluleye Ambode (nee Oresanya), who though initially did not stay with him which made the older Ambode marry a second wife, an Epe daughter, popularly called ‘Iya Vice from Poka, Epe.
“She was a food seller in Epe Grammar School. This development led to Akinwunmi Ambode’s mother who also hails from Ilaje Ese Odo in Ondo State to eventually relocate to Epe to stay with her husband,” the family said.
The family added that at death, Ambode’s father’s corpse was taken back to Ilaje, Ondo State for burial in line with the dictates of tradition and royalty as he was a prince.
“The royalty from the kingdom came with the full royal insignia and ferried his remains back to Ilaje land for interment.
“With these facts stated above, it is a rude shock to the entire clan of the Edus in Epe that the said Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode is laying claims to being a clan of the Edus. We reject this linkage, both paternal and maternal, or even marital,” the family said.
Meanwhile in another development, some aggrieved local government chairmen in Lagos state have jointly written a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC to come to their rescue and stop the deduction of N25 million from their allocation for the month of May through the state’s Joint Account and Allocation Committee, JAAC.
The Council chiefs in the petition allegedly submitted to the EFCC in Abuja by their lawyer alleged that penultimate week, the Chairman of the 57 local government chairmen in the state, one Hon. Sulaimon Oriyomi popularly called ‘Oris’ who also doubles as the Chairman of Bariga local council called them to a meeting where he dropped the name of an APC national leader who allegedly instructed that they should contribute some funds from their May allocation to kick start the governorship campaign of Mr Akinwunmi Ambode said to have been endorsed to succeed Governor Babatunde Fashola by the party leader.
“The money that will be taken from our meagre allocation in this month alone is N25 million per local government and when this is multiplied by the number of councils in Lagos, this will come to over N1.4 billion. We are pleading that you use your good office to stop this brazen diversion of public funds”, the aggrieved Council chiefs pleaded in their petition addressed to the Executive Chairman of the EFCC.
To assist the anti-graft police in its investigations, the Council chiefs said the money was due to be transferred out of an account they were all forced to open recently with First City Monument Bank, FCMB. Should the EFCC want to reach Oriyomi urgently over their petition, the petitioners also provided his telephone numbers through which he could be reached. “For your convenience sir, Oriyomi’s two GSM lines are: 080591863730 and 07027955024″, the petition read in part.
It was gathered that the latest petition is in addition to an earlier one in which Oriyomi was also fingered as spearheading a recent deduction of N2 billion from the Councils allocation.
With this gale of controversy, it is, however, unsure if it won’t dent a blow on the candidacy of Ambode in the race for the state governorship election next year.