A column by Thisday newspaper “HIgh Life” columnist, Lanre Alfred, on Sunday 14th January, has drawn the ire of former aviation minister, Femi Fani-Kayode.
Alfred had said in his piece that former Abia governor, Orji Uzor Kalu is the owner of Fani-Kayode’s Abuja home. According to Alfred, “despite all the largess Fani-Kayode got in President Goodluck Jonathan’s government, he does not have a house to his name.” He quoted Kalu who reportedly said Fani-Kayode is a “good tenant who always pays his rent on time.”
In a letter to Thisday, Fani-Kayode disputed Alfred’s claims, describing them as “false and factually inaccurate.” He claimed that he and his family owned several houses in Abuja and other parts of Nigeria even before the Goodluck Jonathan became president.
The rebuttal was signed by Fani-Kayode’s spokesman, Jude Ndukwe:
- “We have been in touch with Chief Orji Kalu and he has categorically denied making such assertions to you. Whichever way it is needless to say that the assertion is false in its entirety and is a figment of the writer’s fertile imagination.”
- “It is unfortunate that the writer did not handle the matter with the usual level of professionalism that we have come to expect of THISDAY Newspaper, a newspaper that Chief Fani-Kayode holds in the highest esteem.”
- “For the record Chief Orji Kalu is not the owner of Chief Fani-Kayode’s Abuja home and Chief Femi Fani-Kayode and his family do indeed own numerous properties in various parts of Abuja and in Nigeria which predate the advent of the Jonathan government.”
- “The writer’s malicious and calculated attempt to demean and shame him and his family and paint him as a treasury looter who got “largesse” from President Jonathan even though no court of law has ever found him guilty of being one or having done so is regrettable.”
Fani-Kayode was the spokesman of the Goodluck Jonathan-Namadi Sambo presidential campaign in 2015. Since the advent of the Buhari administration, several actors in that campaign including Fani-Kayode have been accused of fraud and looting, and some have been arraigned in court. However there has been no verdict against any of them since 2015.