HEDA Resource Centre has denied media report by the Cable newspaper that its executive secretary Olarenwaju Suraju, purportedly based on a “report’ by the IGP Monitoring Unit of the Nigeria Police Force.
In a statement by Sulaimon Arigbabu, Executive Secretary, HEDA, as an organization, will not dignify the fake report with media engagement, knowing clearly and strongly that the intendment of the sponsors of the fake report is to distract public attention from the subject matter of an investigation that is already receiving deserving professional attention of the IGP Monitoring Unit, the Interpol and Cybercrimes Unit of the Police Force.
“We wish to place in the public domain that 2 journalists, one from the Cable News and the another from ‘The Nation’ called Mr Suraju to get his reaction to the purported police report and claiming to have received a certified true copy of same. Mr. Suraju declined to give any comment since he was unaware of any such report. An immediate reach out to the IGP Monitoring unit dismissed the existence of any such report. Of course for an average discerning mind and professional reporter, it is basic reasoning to detect this report is fallacious, unprofessional, distractive and poorly concocted by its producers.” said Arigbabu.
The Police IGP Monitoring Unit invited Mr Olanrewaju Suraju, in his capacity as Chairman of HEDA Resource Centre on 27th March 2021, based on a petition by a lawyer, Kanu Agabi on behalf of Mr. Bello Adoke, SAN titled “Forgery of Document for Unlawful Purposes of Interference with the Course of Justice”. Though, the name of HEDA Resource Centre or Mr. Suraju was not mentioned in the petition, the invitation was received by the organization in good faith and as an opportunity to assist the police in its investigation.
Contrary to the claims of non- appearance to refute allegations in the fake indictment report, Mr. Suraju has been officially invited and visited the IGP Monitoring Unit and made statements 6 times between April 1st and today, with the last visit being on Friday 27th August, 2021. On each of this occasion he has had to bear the cost of flights, taxis and hotels for his trips. The first visit, wherein Mr. Suraju was detained and eventually released on bail is in the public domain.
The statement continued, It is important, as a reminder to the public, that the subject of the petition was forgery of an email in which Nigeria as a sovereign State was shortchanged to the tune of $1.1billion (one hundred and one billion US dollars) and HEDA and its international partners have been involved in the advocacy for recovery of this money and prosecution of principal actors behind the heist. To the delight of HEDA and its partners, Nigeria has recovered $75m of this money and the processes for the recovery of the balance are subjects of judicial processes in both United Kingdom and Italy. Every other fabrication of ‘cyber stalking, giving false information to “misled” public officer, injurious falsehood and criminal defamation with intent to incite’ can only exist in the imagination of the purveyor of the fake report and their collaborators in and out of government.
Just like other imbecilic fabrications, confirming the legal status of HEDA Resource Centre through its registration with Corporate Affairs Commission is as simple as visiting the website of the Commission, even for journalists and media houses, just like the IGP Monitoring Unit did in the presence of Mr. Suraju during one of his visits. Though, the legal status and background of the organisation was not the subject of investigation as contained in the petition. Since its registration on 24th February 2004, HEDA in its legal capacity as an incorporated body of trustees has instituted several legal actions at local and international levels, actions reserved for only organization with a legal status conferred only through registration.
We do reckon, as an organsation, that some despicable characters who obviously are feeling the heat of the investigations and afraid of the potential outcomes have suddenly become jittery, especially with the overwhelming evidence and materials supplied by HEDA to the Police System in the course of this investigation.
We wish to thank all those who have called the organisation’s management and to express their solidarity and concerns. We shall continue to pursue every legitimate and legal process to see this matter to a logical conclusion and ensure Nigeria recovers its criminally diverted fund from all those beneficiaries of proceeds of criminal activities. Our lawyers are also reviewing some of the media reports for actions considered necessary.”