By Temitope Adedeji, Akure
There was a mild drama over the weekend at the office complex of Ondo State Local Government Pensions Board, Akure as one of the newly-inaugurated Permanent Secretaries, Mr. Olipede Ezekiel Dare, and operatives of the Special Frauds Unit (SFU) engaged in serious scuffle as the latter resisted arrest.
Olipede was the Director of Local Government before he was eleviated to the position of Permanent Secretary and sworn in along with other newly-promoted Permanent Secretaries in December last year.
He was said to have been wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) over the allegation of N60m SURE-P funds allegedly misappropriated by the council officials at Owo Local Government where he was the council director before his new promotion as PS.
It was learnt that Olipede’s planned arrest by the operatives of anti-graft agency may not be unconnected with series of fraud related cases dangling on his neck when he was at Owo local government council of the state as a Director.
Trouble, however, started when the Permanent Secretary resisted arrest and threatened the operatives that he would call Governor Rotimi Akeredolu to call top police hierarchy who would in turn order their arrest from his office.
The PS was also quoted to have threatened to mobilise mob action against the operatives if they refused to leave his office despite showing warrant of arrest to him by the Senior officer that led the team of operatives.
The PS utterances and his scant respect for the anti-graft agency, however, provoked the operatives who vowed to effect his arrest and whisky away to the agency’s office in Lagos.
The intervention of other top government functionaries within the office complex, Chief of Staff to the governor, Chief Gbenga Ale, and Chief Security Officer to the governor, Alhaji Jimoh Dojumo, saved the PS from being whisked away on Thursday.
The CSO, who pleaded with the operatives, later stood for the embattled PS and promised to produce him on Friday morning while the two parties agreed to meet at the police headquarters, lgbatoro, Akure the following morning.
The development took a new dimension on Friday morning when the latter reported at the police headquarters on the order of the operatives and after a brief interrogation, the unsuspecting Permanent Secretary was whisked away by the operatives to their office in Lagos.