© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Shittu defends estacode allegation, likens ex-aide to ‘pig, Satan, Lucifer’
Adebayo Shittu, Minister of Communications, has responded to the damning allegations made by Victor Oluwadamilare, his former Special Assistant of Media, labelling them “satanic and absolutely luciferous”.
The response, released by his media team on Friday, was titled ‘Victor Oluwadamilare: The Agony of Judas’.
It alleged that Oluwadamilare failed to point out that he benefited immensely in other ways from his position as Special Assistant to the Minister. These benefits, it stated, ranged from estacodes for travelling, free accommodation and mobility, to a host of other unaccounted cash donations.
Oluwadamilare “would have his day in court”, the statement promised, challenging him to produce evidence to support his claims.
It also maintained that the Minister, as a public servant, is entitled to estacodes, and has represented Nigeria profitably during his foreign trips. It said the allegation that the Minister earned the lump sum of $800,000 as estacodes “is nothing but a figment of his imagination” coming from a confused man.
Shittu’s media team also described Oluwadamilare as a jobless man before his appointment who did “almost or absolutely nothing for many months” during his employment.
It further described his action “as [not only] satanic but absolutely luciferous”, suggestive of “a clear descent into barbarism”.
THE FULL RESPONSE
Our attention has been drawn to a letter written by one Mr. Oluwadamilare Victor, sacked Special Assistant (Media) to the Honourable Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu, and circulated to some select online and conventional news media. While we would have ordinarily chosen to ignore the Ananias, who started his letter with falsehood by backdating it to 12th of March 2018 two days to his dismissal, the basis of the blackmail, we understand that when a lie is allowed to fester, it will be taken as truth. It is imperative that we respond to the litany of lies which Mr. Oluwadamilare dished out. It is unfortunate that Mr. Oluwadamilare who reeks of various frauds and should bury his head in shame could defy every sense of decorum by attempting to run down the honourable Minister with blatant lies.
In his characteristic mischievous manner, Mr. Oluwadamilare referred to his appointment letter dated 23rd November, 2015 but decided to downplay the content of another letter sent from the office of the Honourable Minister and dated 10th June, 2016. Like the proverbial leper who boasted that he punched his assailant and then pinched him, Mr. Oluwadamilare exhibited his deceitful stock-in-trade by misleading the public.
It is however pathetic that someone of the years of experience of Mr Oluwadamilare would come out at this time to throw invectives at the Honourable Minister. In our magnanimous manner, we would like to educate Mr. Oluwadamilare that it is an extant provision in the law of contract that consideration does not have to be adequate but has to be of value. He had the liberty to leave but decided to stay (obviously because he did not want to go jobless again) but like the slyful soul that he is, he had it all planned out to blackmail the Honourable Minister. Mr. Oluwadamilare was quick to point out that he was earning the sum of a hundred thousand naira monthly for doing absolutely nothing but he did not tell Nigerians of other benefits made available to him ranging from estacodes for travelling (through the minister he has travelled to countries such as Spain, China, South Korea, Cameroon among others) free accommodation, mobility to a host of other unaccounted cash donations to him.
It is pertinent to inform Nigerians that the letter written by Mr. Oluwadamilare Victor was only a smokescreen for him to ventilate his bile against the Minister for not engaging in untoward practices for him. He had expected that the Minister would play a hanky-panky game of injecting his name into the payroll of the Federal Civil Service so that he would be getting as much as he wanted at the expense of the Nigerian State. However the Minister, given his sterling position against corruption and corrupt practices, refused to do such. Hence, his outbursts.
It suffices to state that Mr. Oluwadamilare made some allegations that are characteristic of a sinking man. He said that the minister, within his two years in the office has procured twelve houses, a printing press, and twenty-five cars among others. These allegations would definitely fly as a phantasmagoria or an over-bloated comedy. While we challenge Mr. Oluwadamilare to come out with evidences to support his nefarious claims, we can assuredly promise that he would have his day in court to prove these fictions.
In a bid to play down the contribution of the Honourable Minister, the sacked SA (Media) referred to the Minister as an ‘Estacode Minister’. For the sake of clarity, the Minister does not embark on a foreign trip that is not sanctioned by the President. If by regulation, the Minister like any public or civil servant, is entitled to estacode, can it now be said that it is unlawful or criminal? Besides, these trips were undertaken to represent the country as well as draw Foreign Direct Investment to her.
It is instructive to state that it was one of these trips that earned Nigeria over four billion dollars pledged in investment from India Business Community. Another case in point is the securing of a reduction of thirty million dollars ($30m) in the price of the procurement of two new satellites from China for the Nigerian Telecommunications Satellite Limited. May we also quickly add that the claim of Mr Oluwadamilare that the Minister has so far earned the lump sum of $800,000 as estacodes for his foreign trips is nothing but a figment of his imagination. This is the most ridiculous of allegations coming from a confused man such as him.
It must also be on the record that the debt burden which Mr. Oluwadamilare Victor alluded to in his letter is just to finance his licentious lifestyle. He alleged that he stayed in a hotel for twenty-nine months but maliciously refused to add that it was his decision to stay in the hotel despite the fact that comfortable accommodation was made available to him. He will be in a position to explain if he needed the ‘hotel’ to attend to other urgent “matters of state”. He also played up an appeal to pity by saying that his appointment has caused much emotional trauma to his family and friends but did not explain how he squandered the several monies he got on ‘urgent matters of state’ and not his family.
Mr. Oluwadamilare in his wisdom of foolishness tried to pass on burden of his past wrong decisions on the Minister. Here is a man whom the minister gave an appointment in order to save from the jaws of joblessness but like the typical pig, he could not live beyond dirts. This is a man who was disgraced out of office as Oyo State NUJ chairman, who has worked with several politicians but was dishonorably relieved of his appointment by them all, who has used the Minister’s name to perpetuate fraud but was caught, and severally snitched on the Minister to opponent politicians.
Also having collected salary from the minister for doing almost or absolutely nothing for many months, Mr. Oluwadamilare Victor’s action cannot only be described as satanic but also absolutely ‘luciferous’. Anyone will agree with the assertion that the Minister did not have an effective media aide in the past two years. If this assertion has continuously been validated by even his colleagues in the media profession, the sacked media aide’s spurious claims can only be regarded as shameful.
His action can best be described as a clear descent into barbarism and we want him to note that Barrister Adebayo Shittu does not start a fight but never runs away from any.
We would have heeded the words of Proverbs 26 verse 4 but we are encouraged by the admonition in verse 5 of the same chapter. We admonish Mr. Oluwadamilare and his co-travellers to note that the Adebayo Shittu’s campaign drive is a moving train, a project sanctioned by God.
We hope that the sacked media aide will experience an epiphany, turn a new leaf and live right.
A word is enough for the wise.
Adebayo Shittu Media Aide