Monday, 20 February 2017

Lagos State Govt Director Alleged Defrauds UK & Lagos Govts

She is no doubt one of the top flight civil servants in Lagos State, intelligent, urbane and beautiful. She cuts the image of an innocent and hard-working public servant that is committed to serving her state diligently.

However, if tales surrounding this woman is anything true, then she is one of those that have been giving Nigeria and Nigerians a bad name, home and abroad.

As the story goes, Ms Abiola Abosede Kosegbe Akanbi (NEE DICKSON OLUDAIYE), an Assistant Director in the Lagos State Ministry of Works, The Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, has been receiving unemployment benefits from the Government of the United Kingdom for many years despite being in the employment of the Lagos State Government.

According to sources in the know, the Lagos State top civil servant, who was once in charge of the award of contracts with the Lagos State Waste Management Agency, LAWMA, registered with the British government as an unemployed single mother, thereby drawing social benefits from the government even while she was on the payroll of the Lagos State Government and married to Mr. Babatunde Kosegbe, her now estranged husband.

It was equally alleged that aside her, her younger sister, Bolanle Sowemimo, who sources alleged bears different names including Bolanle Williams and married to Olumide Richard Sowemimo, is also involved in the social benefits scam.

A source, who claimed to be in the know, also alleged that Abiola Oludaiye also has other names she goes by including Abosede Akanbi.

Abosede Dickson and Abosede Oludaiye, through which she perpetrates her numerous scams.

Continuing, the source also alleged that Ms Oludaiye has graduated from social unemployment benefits to Business Start-Up benefits, thereby continuing her fraudulent milking of the UK Government.

Away from the UK Government, Ms Oludaiye is said to have raked in millions of Naira into her private pocket by cornering contracts from LAWMA where she worked under the former General Manager, Dr Ola Oresanya, as the person in charge of contracts award before she was transferred to Ministry of Works.

According to sources in LAWMA, Ola Oresanya, who was relieved of his job at the waste management agency by former Governor Babatunde Fashola, ran the place like a Father Christmas, doling out contracts to politicians and cronies, who he directed to Ms Oludaiye to give them contracts. This practice, sources say enabled her to corner many to herself through cronies and fronts.

Sources also alleged that at the inception of the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, many of her colleagues were either sacked or retired but somehow, she was able to retain her job with a transfer to a more lucrative Ministry of Works.

There are insinuations that Oludaiye, who was alleged to have been romantically linked to former Governor Fashola, allegedly managed to also warm her way to the heart of the current governor, making an untouchable in the state.

How she was able to transfer the alleged romantic allegiance from Fashola, who has moved to the nation’s capital as Minister of Power, Works and Housing, to Governor Ambode has remained only a matter of guesswork.

When this paper contacted Ms Oludaiye on her known number, (in a recorded conversation) she initially confirmed that the reporter was speaking to Abiola Oludaiye and that she an Assistant Director with the Lagos State Government.

However, immediately the reporter started asking her questions she suddenly denied her identity, claiming it was a wrong number.

To ensure that she states her side of the story and get an opportunity to defend her name, the reporter sought her out on the social media platform, Whatsapp, where the Profile Picture on the number matched the one this paper has. After greetings without response (Though she read them), the reporter sent her a list questions she should respond to, with an explanation that she was being given the chance to respond to the allegations just as the journalism profession requires.

She however ignored the questions after reading all of them and did not revert back until the time of going to press. Instead, she cleverly removed her Profile Picture and blocked the reporter on Whatsapp while also replacing her profile picture with a subtle message, apparently to those who may be in the in the know of these things.

See the initial profile picture, the new with the subtle message (which seems like a subdued threat) and screen shots of Whatsapp messages below.

In order to get to the root of the allegations, the paper contacted Ms Oludaiye’s estranged husband, Mr. Babatunde Kosegbe, who was able to shed more light on the issues at stake.

Mr. Kosegbe, who initially was reluctant to confirm Ms Oludaiye’s involvement in social security benefits scam in the UK, until he was told that there are allegations that his estranged wife had been using such proceeds of fraud to take care of his two children in the UK.

Mr. Kosegbe, who denied any involvement in the benefits scam, said he has never been a party to it and does not know how she is doing it as his name is not on the form.

Confirming that he has never signed any paper for her for the benefit scam, he said the name she is using for it is Abiola Oludaiye and not Mrs Abiola Kosegbe, challenging the UK government to check their records to see if his name reflects in any of their paperworks.

Continuing, Mr. Kosegbe confided in this reporter that aside his mother in-law, who he blamed for destroying his marriage by siding with her daughter whenever they have issues, Ms Oludaiye put his children in a N2million per year school despite his disapproval.

According to him, it was unthinkable that a civil servant would be paying N2million a year for a child.

A quick search on Abiola Oludaiye showed that she has some UK registered companies with London and Ireland registered addresses. However, the three the reporter came across showed that the companies may have wound up, dissolved or inactive as at the time of writing this report.

The company Intel, UK lists Abiola Oludaiye as the longest serving director of Astorian Limited. She has served for 24 years, 10months. The Company Intel UK also gave her address as 2 Marne Streetwest, London, W10, 4JE.

Also, searches showed that Ms Oludaiye, together with her estranged husband, Babatunde Akanbi Kosegbe are directors of Luday Guards UK Limited, with registered address given as 64D, Aldborough South Road, Ilford, 1G3 8EX. She was director between 8 October 2004 and 11 April, 2006, while her address given there is 42 Street, Thomas Road, London. The company has since been dissolved.

She was further listed as a director of Envigreen Resource Management with address given as 6 Tarling Street 6, London. In all of these, she was referred to as a British citizen.

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