The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has strongly denied claims suggesting that he paid a visit to the embattled former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, at Kuje jail.
Addressing the reports, the monarch's spokesperson, Moses Olafare, clarified on Wednesday that Oba Ogunwusi was present at the prison on behalf of the Hopes Alive Initiative (HAI), a non-governmental organization dedicated to supporting the prison managed by Queen Temitope, one of the Ooni's wives.
In celebration of the Ooni's eighth anniversary, the program was meticulously organized in collaboration with the Kuje correctional administration, with a primary focus on instilling hope in prisoners regarding their successful reintegration into society post-incarceration.
Olafare emphasized that the intention behind the reports was to tarnish the reputation of the monarch, asserting that there was nothing secretive about the event. He clarified that Oba Ogunwusi did not meet with Emefiele because the gathering was an official event orchestrated by the NGO in conjunction with the Kuje Correction Centre.
He further highlighted the core objective of the program, emphasizing its commitment to offering hope to inmates about their prospects of reintegrating into society after completing their sentences. Olafare also questioned the credibility of the allegations, pointing out the public nature of the program, which featured various public figures and representatives of the inmates.
Expressing caution against the spread of misinformation, Olafare noted the availability of a video recording of the event for public verification. He expressed doubt about Emefiele's attendance, stating that the former CBN governor is currently in detention and not yet an inmate. He questioned the rationale behind linking the program to Emefiele, attributing it to an attempt to carry out a malicious blackmail campaign.