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Cocoa farms grading: Babajide’s lawyer writes Oluwa’s farmers

By Adekola Afolabi

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Engineer Babajide Akeredolu, son of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, has refuted the recent allegations and media reports regarding the grading of cocoa farms in Oluwa Forest Reserve in Odigbo Local Government Area of Ondo State.

      In the reports, it was said that a firm, SAO Agro-Allied Services Limited, is allegedly involved in the continued grading of the farmlands, despite a previous court order.

A statement by the attorney to the farmers, Tope Temokun, had disclosed that the farmers would kick-start contempt proceedings against the Managing Director of SAO Agro-Allied Services Limited, Ayo Sotinrin having filed Form 48.

It was also added that a motion has been filed by the farmers to join the son of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, Babajide, in the matter being the Director-General of Ondo State Performance and Project Monitoring Implementation Unit (PPMIU) and in charge of directives on the grading of the cocoa farmers’ plantations.

But in a swift reaction to the allegations, Babajide, through a statement signed by his lawyer, Olumide Olujinmi, Esq, and made available to journalists  in Akure, the Ondo State capital, said he had not been served with any court papers related to the matter or any other matter and was not aware of the specific details and claims being made against him, if any.

The lawyer,  however, assured the public that his client, Babajide, is fully committed to upholding the rule of law and cooperating with the legal process when served with any court papers.

“We are solicitors to Babaiide Akeredolu hereafter referred to as our client under whose express instructions we write.

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‘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.

“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 farmers’ 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.

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“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”, Babajide’s lawyer stressed.

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