© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Water contract scam: Deputy Speaker’s brother threatens New Telegraph reporter
…Everything under control, say Police
SEQUEL to an exclusive investigative report by New Telegraph Newspapers on the violation of Public Procurement Act and the Code of Conduct for public officials by the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Lasun Yusuff, a younger brother to the lawmaker, Mr. Adelani Yusuff, has threatened attacks against Mojeed Alabi, the newspaper’s reporter who investigated the story.
The New Telegraph’s report, which was supported by the John D and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and International Centre for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, was published on Thursday, May 24.
Titled “Exposed! Nigeria’s Deputy Speaker in N1.1bn water contract scam parts one and two” the report had revealed how the deputy speaker used his personal company- Nur and Company Nigeria Limited, to win and execute two mini-water schemes awarded by the Ogun-Oshun River Basin Development Agency on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources.
Adelani, on May 24, the same day the first part of the investigative report was published, visited the family house of Alabi at Awoleye Memorial Chamber, Jagun Compound, Ilobu, headquarters of Irepodun Local Government in Osun State, threatening the family that the reporter would be severely dealt with. According to Alabi’s elder sister, Mrs. Mojirade Olateju, who witnessed the incident, Adelani had earlier called her on a mobile phone to know her whereabouts, saying there was an urgent issue to discuss. Olateju explained; “I was at the family house to see our mum when I received the call and I told him (Adelani), that I was at the family house. Soon he came over and complained about the report in New Telegraph, saying Mojeed had damaged the reputation of his brother, the deputy speaker.
“I had no knowledge about what he was saying but before I could calm him down, he started raising his voice, threatening that he would deal with my brother. He said since he does not go to school, the only way he knows is to mobilise people to deal with him and swore by saying, “walahi” he would make real his threat. “Because I know that “walahi” is an Arabic word for swearing, I then replied him that if he had meant business if anything should happen to my brother he would be held responsible. He replied me by saying that, he would even be dealt with in our presence.”
Meanwhile, Olateju, accompanied by her husband, Mr. Funsho Olateju, an engineer, visited the Police Station at Ojutu Area in the community and lodged a complaint.
Men of the police were immediately drafted to accompany the complainant to invite the Deputy Speaker’s brother to the station.
According to Mrs. Olateju, Adelani, who was found at the constituency office of the deputy speaker, was taken to the police station, where he was made to write an undertaking, which was also witnessed and signed by another of the deputy speaker’s biological brother, Mr. Sikiru Yusuff.
The ICIR called the Police Public Relations Officer, Osun State Command, Mrs. Folashade Odoro, but the number could not be reached.
Earlier, the Command had confirmed the development to the New Telegraph. Odoro said it was a mere disagreement and that everything was under the control, noting that adequate measures have been taken to address the situation.
“Yes, I can confirm the development but I think it was a mere disagreement which has been resolved. I also assure you that adequate measure has been taken to forestall any bad situation,” Odoro stated.