Assassination allegation: My voice note manipulated, claims Gani Adams

The Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Gani Adams, has cautioned against what he characterized as premeditated attempts by certain persons to drag his reputation in the dirt, adding his silence should not be interpreted for weakness.

Adams, while commenting on the issue produced by an audio clip, said he was ready to put the records right on the different questions hanging in the balance on the claimed defamation contained in the video which he said was “concocted, distorted, and disjointed.”

The PUNCH had reported Tuesday that Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, alias Sunday Igboho; and the Chief of Staff to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, Mr Tayo Ayinde, had both threatened to drag the Aare Ona Kakanfo, Iba Gani Adams, to court for allegedly accusing them of plotting an assassination.

Igboho and Ayinde, in separate pre-action letters by their attorneys, asked that Adams should withdraw the stated assassination accusation against them or they would haul him to court.

In a March 20, 2024 pre-action letter, Ayinde, via his lawyer, Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika (SAN), complained about a viral message, in which Adams was purportedly heard stating in Yoruba language: “So, be careful associating with Igboho. Just last night, he was with Tayo Ayinde, the Lagos State Governor’s Chief of Staff. He was highly compensated. You know that I have an enormous intelligence network as Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland. Until around 2:45 am, he was with Tayo Ayinde, the Lagos State Governor’s Chief of Staff, who Tinubu also utilizes in Lagos to coordinate the implementation of his nefarious plots. He has been conducting work of that sort for Tinubu since his days in the SSS.

“He resigned from the SSS, Ibadan to concentrate fully on such work for Tinubu, who compensated him with the office of Chief of Staff to the Lagos State Governor. It was at his hotel somewhere in Ikeja, Lagos, that Igboho visited him to collect money for logistics to confront me. Igboho left lbadan at about midnight to attend this meeting which ended at about 2:45am.

“Tayo Ayinde gave N45m in cash to Igboho for the operation, thus shortchanging Igboho to the tune of N5m out of the N50m purse provided by Tinubu. The discovery of this has brewed disenchantment in their midst.”

However, in a statement on Tuesday by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Aderemi, Adams described the voice note as distorted.

He also described the threat of lawsuits by Igboho and Ayinde as “a grand conspiracy” to discredit his person, saying he was ready to do everything to protect his hard-earned name and the office he represented.

In the statement titled ‘Don’t take my silence for cowardice, Gani Adams speaks on alleged defamation of character,’ he said his reaction became pertinent as it had become evident “that Igboho and Ayinde were not ready to toe the line of peace as initiated by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi.”

Adams consequently in a reaction to Olumide-Fusika’s pre-action letter, written by his attorneys, Oluwole Kehinde and Rosemary Thompson, dated Monday but accessed by The PUNCH on Tuesday, refuted the substance and conclusions taken by Ayinde’s counsel in the audio tape.

The letter partly read, “Firstly, our client denies the content and inferences drawn by you in your letter under reference regarding the alleged audio clip you attributed to our client. As stated in your letter, the content of the alleged video clip, which is a concocted, distorted, and disjointed part of a private conversation between our client and another person in 2021, was published and widely circulated by one Chief Sunday Adeyemo (Alias ‘Sunday Ighoho’) and not our client.”

It also said, “Furthermore, it is obvious from the alleged defamatory remarks that our client mentioned that it was a ‘rumoured and unconfirmed information that he found difficult to believe’ and could not be shared publicly. Thus, there is no element of malice on the part of our client pertaining to the alleged statement attributed to him in the said video clip.”

Adams was further quoted in the statement by his media aide as saying “The reason for my silence in the midst of the various legal and media infractions by Igboho and Ayinde, was not because I am a coward, but because of the initial interventions of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, other prominent Obas and several other important personalities in Yorubaland.

“But with the ongoing lies and aspersions against my person, I think it is time for me to come out open and set the record straight.

“Though my legal team has done what was required of them, I need to state clearly that the audio clip generating the squabbles was a distorted and disjointed content of a private conversation which held way back in 2021 with a US-based younger brother of a friend.

“The conversation was initiated by the young man who claimed he wanted a reconciliation between myself, Igboho and some other people.

“It was while responding on reasons for reconciliation at the time that he mentioned the names of the two people.”

Adams remarked that in the circulating recording, he emphasized it again that while it was extremely difficult to believe, there was an unsubstantiated report supposedly linked Igboho to the assassination of the late Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige.

“My statement was not done in bad faith and it was purely a private conversation,” he added.

He stressed that “However, on the issue of my brother, Tayo Ayinde, let me make it clear here that I repeatedly said that whatever was said was a rumour that couldn’t be substantiated or made public.”

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