The Director-General of the Ondo State Performance and Project Monitoring Implementation Unit (PPIMU), Babajide Akeredolu, has declared that he is not aware of any court order regarding the grading of cocoa farms in Oluwa Forest Reserve of Odigbo Local Government Area of the state, noting that he has not been served such court paper.
This clarification was contained in a statement by the PPIMU Director-General solicitors, Olujimi & Akeredolu Legal Practitioner & Notaries Public, signed by Olumide Olujimi, who distanced Akeredolu from the suit instituted by the farmers over the grading of the cocoa farms.
This came amidst reports that a motion has been filed by the cocoa farmers in Odigbo, joining Babajide Akeredolu who was in charge of directives on the grading of the cocoa farmers plantations with a firm, SAO Agro-Allied Services Limited, despite a court order halting their activities.
The statement from the solicitors read: “We are solicitors to Babajide Akeredolu hereafter referred to as our client under whose express instructions we write. Our client’s attention has been drawn to the recent allegations and media reports regarding the grading of cocoa farms in Oluwa Forest Reserve in Odigbo Local Government Area of Ondo State.
“It is reported that a firm, SAO Agro-Allied Services Limited, is allegedly involved in the continued grading of the farmlands, despite a previous court order.
Our client has not been served with any court papers related to this matter or any other matter. As of now, we are not aware of the specific details and claims being made against our client, if any.
“However, we want to assure the public that our client is fully committed to upholding the rule of law and cooperating with the legal process when served with any court papers”
The statement read further that “We understand that there are concerns regarding the role of our client as the Director-General of the Ondo State Performance and Project Monitoring Implementation Unit (PPIMU).
“While he takes his responsibilities seriously, it is important to note that he does not have direct control or involvement in the grading of the cocoa formers’ plantations.
“Our client’s role primarily revolves around overseeing project monitoring and
implementation across the state. We want to emphasize that once our client is officially served with the court papers, he will engage his legal team to prepare an appropriate response.
“Our client is eager to clear all misgivings and rumours surrounding this issue and he will do the needful when served with court papers.
“Our client acknowledges the farmers’ concerns and the importance of protecting their interests. He also believes in fair and transparent processes.
“He believes legal proceedings will provide an opportunity for all parties including himself to present their respective cases and evidence.
“Our client is firmly of the position that the truth will prevail, and he remains committed to the principles of justice and the well-being of the people of Ondo State”