Leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State have appealed to the Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi (Ojaja II) to come to the rescue one of them and former governor of the state, Senator Iyiola Omisore.
The appeal was made on Wednesday by the Osun Chairman of the PDP, Mr. Adesoji Adagunodo, who led about 20 other leaders of the party on a courtesy visit to the paramout ruler at his Ile Oodua Palace in Ile-Ife.
A statement by the Director of Media and Public Affairs, Ooni’s Palace, Mr. Moses Olafare, which was posted on the Facebook page of the palace on Saturday, said state chairman of the party, during the visit to the Ooni, apologised on behalf of the detained ex-governor who had not visited the king since he was crowned seven months ago.
The PDP chief was quoted as saying as a true son of Ife and bonafide member of the Oduduwa House, Omisore would be brought to the palace to do the right thing after his release.
Adagunodo said, “Your Imperial Majesty, we are here to pay our homage to you as the father of our race who must be respected by all true sons and daughters of Yoruba race.
“We also beg you in the name of Oduduwa to use your goodwill in assisting us to rescue one of our leaders, Otunba Iyiola Omisore, from the EFCC detention, even though we are not unaware of his attitude towards this sacred palace as he has refused to pay homage since you were divinely crowned seven months ago.
“We can assure you of his change of attitude as soon as he is released from detention.”
In his response, Ogunwusi was quoted as saying he bore no grudges against Omisore, who he described as a prominent Ife indigene entitled to his choice of relationship.
The traditional ruler assured the PDP chairman of his readiness to assist them within his limited capability and prayed that God would set Omisore free if he had no skeleton in his cupboard on the matter.
Ogunwusi said, “Omisore is a prominent Ife son. I don’t have any grudges against him whatsoever over his refusal to visit my palace since I became the Ooni. You all must know that he is entitled to his right of choice on whom and where to visit at anytime.
“Don’t also forget he is undergoing a procedural investigation and laws of the land must be respected. But I promise to assist you on this matter within my limited capability legally guided.
“I heartily pray God should quickly set him free if he has no skeleton in his cupboard.”
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had last week apprehended Omisore, who had been declared wanted a month ago, as part of investigations into the N4.7bn siphoned from the imprest account of the Office of the National Security Adviser and allegedly handled by the then Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, and his two sons, Babajide and Gbolahan, in 2014.
The EFCC alleged that Omisore received about N1.31bn from the money during the build-up to the August 9, 2014, governorship election in Osun, in which he was the governorship candidate of the PDP.
Omisore had, however, denied the allegations and even sued the EFCC for N10bn, accusing the anti-graft agency of defamation of character.