Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Nigerian diplomat detained in Venezuela for alleged fraud

A senior diplomat with the Nigerian mission in Venezuela, Dr. Olarotimi Ajayi, has been detained by Venezuelan immigration authorities for over two weeks now over allegation of fraud.

LEADERSHIP gathered that Ajayi has been detained since July 19, 2012, when he returned to Venezuela from the United States of America, where he had gone for a promotional examination at Nigeria's mission there.

According to an online news website thenigerianvoice.com, Ajayi's travails are as a result of his running battle with Nigeria's ambassador in Venezuela, Felix Oboro, over management of the mission's finances.

It was gathered that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is aware of the quarrel between Ajayi and Oboro and that the case is even before a court in Venezuela where Ajayi's lawyers had gone to secure an order to stop his deportation from the country since he has a legal permit to stay in the country.

A source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told LEADERSHIP that the ministry was trying to resolve it as both men had made written testimonies.

It is reported that Ajayi is not receiving any consular assistance because he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in his suit in Venezuela.

When contacted, the acting director (public communication) and spokesperson of the ministry, Mr. Ogbole Amedu-Ode, said that his office was not formally aware of the matter.

Recently, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement that it would not be stampeded to recall Oboro despite reports of misconduct bordering on drug trafficking and misappropriation of funds against him.

The ministry said that the reports against Oboro are allegations and "will remain mere allegations until proven to be true on the basis of factual evidence, which in this case had not been adduced. The ministry does not dwell on rumours that are not backed by evidence".

It said that until such matters against Oboro are investigated by the Foreign Service Inspectorate, the ministry would not take any hasty decision that is not in consonance with due process and rule of law.

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