One of the ambassadorial nominees rejected by the Senate, Dr. Jacob Igbekele Daudu, on Thursday demanded an apology for a purported report by the Department of State Service describing him as deceitful and corrupt.
The report was said to be the basis for rejecting the nominee, who is from Ondo State.
Daudu, who spoke in Abuja, in the company with his lawyer, Mr. Babs Akinwumi, said he had not personally seen the said report, but learnt of it when the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs quoted from the report.
The report was said to have described him as deceitful and corrupt while serving as the Chairman of the Ondo State Agency for Road Maintenance and Construction.
But, he said he presented himself to the DSS for screening for the ambassadorial nomination in February 2017 without the officials of the agency raising any issue. He wondered why it would suddenly turn around to issue a damaging report against his person without hearing form him.
He said, although, he was surprised at the sudden turn of events, he suspected that his rejection and the last minute withdrawal of supports by Senators from his state were informed by a January 16, 2017 letter by his state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, raising objection to his nomination.
His lawyer, Akinwumi, noted that it was ironic that the Governor Akeredolu-led Government of Ondo State, in a March 26 letter, disparage his client from whom the governor had sought assistance.
The lawyer, in his protest letter to the Director General of DSS dated March 27, 2017, demanded among others, immediate withdrawal of the said damaging report and a public apology to be aired on electronic media and published in print media, failing which he will seek redress in court after 7 days.
A copy of the letter showing it was received by the DSS on March 28, read, in part, “Our client is a renowned Architect, former Council member of the Architect Registration Council of Nigeria and had served as the elected Chairman, Nigeria Institute of Architects, Ondo State chapter. He co-ordinates the National Infrastructure Backbone for Nigeria, with the involvement of many multinational investors.
“Your report has no doubt impugned and damaged the character and reputation that our client has built in over 50 years of his existence. There is no doubt that you acted ultra vires of your mandate under any enabling law establishing the DSS to warrant your organisation to reach such conclusions about our client.
“It is ridiculous and interesting that the same DSS that interviewed, screened, cleared and approved the appointment of our client as a Commissioner in Ondo State after his tenure as the Chair of OSARMCO, could now backtrack and indict him over the same position.”
Copies of the letter were also sent to President Mohammad Buhari; the Senate President, Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Attorney General of the Federation and the Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission.