By AfricanOutlook CorrespondentThe controversial billionaire and money bag of Ogun State Chapter of Nigeria's ruling Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), Prince Buruji Kashamu has accused former President Olusegun Obasanjo as the nation's leader who harbors the most criminals as his closest allies, especially during his two terms as civilian president of the country.
Kashamu who was reacting to a recent letter attributed to Obasanjo, accusing the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan of maladministration, pointed out that Obasanjo's misdeeds are no secret.
The party chieftain in a letter he copied to Presidency on Thursday available to AfricanOutlookonline correspondent in Abeokuta stated: "The files of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, will confirm this as well as the results of the most recent successful prosecutions in Nigeria and in the United Kingdom."
Kashamu in the letter by his lawyer, Prince Ajibola Oluyede, said he symphatized with President Goodluck Jonathan over Obasanjo’s letter, saying ity was "primarily designed to make you look incompetent and unproductive as a leader."
The letter added: "The state of our country today, be it in the ravaging corruption, the failure of state institutions, the economy and the polity are easily traceable to Obasanjo’s own failures as a leader in this country. He more than any other Nigerian has had the most opportunity to turn the fortunes of Nigerians around and he failed woefully to do so."
The billionaire politician, also threatened Obasanjo with court action over alleged libelous statement against him and President Goodluck Jonathan, describing Obasanjo as an ingrate, who lacked moral rights to run anybody down.
"As for his libelous statements against our clients we have written this rejoinder in order to complete the record but we will not stop there, as we intend, pursuant to our client’s instructions, to commence an action in Libel against Obasanjo in due course to punish him for continuing in this path of perfidy despite the latitude he has been given in the past," the lawyer declared.
However, the PDP leader in Ogun State regretted having anything to do politically with Obasanjo, lamenting that he was used by the former President to rescue him from his political nosedive allegedly caused by former Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel in 2011 but ended up getting dumped after the successful fight.
"I have personally been involved with Obasanjo during the brief period before the 2011 elections when he relied on the successful activities of Prince Kashamu to take over the PDP structure in Ogun State and foist his candidates on the Party," Kashamu recalled.
"His daughter Senator Iyabo Obasanjo was also very close to Prince Kashamu during this period. The Obasanjos were constantly in communication with me during this period as the solicitor to the leadership of the Party. They were always full of praises for Prince Kashamu and readily cited the facts stated above about Prince Kashamu’s exculpation with regard to the false allegations of complicity in drug related offences in the U.S.," the letter emphasized.
He, however, denied any role in the alleged drugs related offences in America or any part of the world, as his counsel in the letter said it was a case of misidentification.
"He has never lived in or visited the United States of America and has never been involved in any narcotics or criminal activities in the United States of America. In 1998 as a result of his political activities in the Republic of Benin he was wrongly introduced into an indictment in the Northern District of Illinois, United States of America involving a group of drug pushers, members of which had been arrested and convicted in 1994 in the US and as a part of a plea bargain transaction had indicated that they had a West African link.
"None of these confessed criminals mentioned Prince Kashamu’s name and repeatedly indicated to their jailers that they did not know their West African accomplice by any other name than ALAJI. Apparently the US embassy in Benin, which was facilitating the enquiry by the U.S. Authorities as to who the “ALAJI” could be, somehow received information from some mischief-makers that it was Prince Kashamu. Since he appeared to fit the profile, Prince Kashamu’s name was introduced into the indictment in 1998 by U.S. authorities."
"All these happened without reference to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency in Nigeria or in the other relevant West African countries in which the enquiries were being made and unknown to Prince Kashamu who at the time regularly visited the united Kingdom in pursuit if his cotton trading business in Liverpool," the statement explained.