Babajide Akeredolu, Director General of the Ondo State Performance and Project Monitoring Implementation Unit (PPIMU), has reacted to the threat by the Ondo Cocoa farmers to join him in their alleged court case challenging the continued grading of their farmlands.
Earlier, a section of the media had reported that a group of cocoa farmers in Oluwa forest reserve in Odigbo Local Government Area of the State have filed a motion to join Babajide in their case against a company, SAO Agro-Allied Services Limited.
But Babajide, in a statement through his lawyers, Olujimi and Akeredolu legal practitioners, said he “has not been served with any court papers relating to the matter or any other matter.”
The statement reads further, “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.”
Signed by Olumide Olujimi, a partner in the law firm, the statement further clarified that Babajide had no direct control or involvement in the grading of the cocoa farmers’ plantations; noting that his role primarily revolves around overseeing project monitoring and implementation across the state.
Babajide Akeredolu, however, assured the aggrieved farmers of his willingness to respond appropriately anytime he is officially served with the court papers.
While bemoaning the rumours surrounding the issue, he acknowledges the rights of the farmers to protect their interests, expressing his belief that a fair and transparent legal process would avail all parties the opportunity to present their evidence in order to unearth the truth.