The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership has called on anti-corruption agencies to investigate the sources of the sums of $2 million and N17 million cash allegedly stolen from the palace of the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu.
CACOL on Friday in a release asked if the monarch was operating a Bureau de Change in his palace to have such amounts of money at the time of the #EndSARS protests and invasion.
In a release issued by CACOL Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran, the centre noted that the monarch should be quizzed to determine the source of the money allegedly carted away by hoodlums during the #EndSARS protest and why he kept the money in his palace.
The Oba of Lagos had said the sum of $2 million and N17 million were stolen when youths attacked his palace on October 21, 2020, in the violence that erupted after the #EndSARS protest.
“I will support anything that will move Lagos forward. I have appealed to the Federal Government to assist Lagos with what we have suffered. The incident that happened here from October 20th to 23rd is so saddening. The destruction we suffered in Lagos is so enormous than in any other part of the country. Many buildings were burnt, including vehicles used to generate income. I can now say publicly that they stole $2 million and N17 million from my palace,” Akiolu had said.
CACOL in its release on Friday, said, “We heard the news and we were aghast that the Oba of Lagos can have such humongous amount of money right in his palace; the question is; where exactly is the source of that money, which business is he doing that generated that amount of money for him? Is the Oba of Lagos operating a Bureau De Change in his palace?
“Has the palace of the Oba turned to a financial institution of some sort? Is this not violation of some existing laws? Is this not money laundering? We were even more surprised that the Oba of Lagos has the audacity to publicly come out with that amount as what was stolen from his palace.
“It is a widely known fact that many people were impoverished as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Sustaining their daily livelihoods became difficult for many families and households, which is why we found it difficult to believe that a monarch who is supposed to be the custodian of the culture of the people will be in custody of such huge sums of money both in local and foreign currencies when the people living in his domain are living in abject poverty.
“Considering the strategic and critical role of traditional institutions in our society, we are seriously concerned about the enormity of flagrance abuse of their offices and display of opulence that recently characterised our traditional institutions. We therefore call on Anti-corruption agencies to swing into action and immediately investigate the claim by the Oba of Lagos. He should be quizzed to determine the source of the money allegedly carted away by hoodlums during the #EndSARS protest and why he kept the money in his palace.”