Controversy Surrounds Odumakin’s Burial Over Alleged Misappropriation Of N7.9million By Civil Society Planning Committee

0
2

The civil society community in Lagos State has been
rocked by allegations of misappropriation of N10 million
memorial fund raised for the burial of the late activist and
former National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Mr Yinka
Odumakin.
Following the death of Odumakin on April 3, 2021, the civil
society set up a WhatsApp group to galvanise activists
towards organising a befitting burial for Odumakin,
The platform was set up by Wale Okunniyi, an activist, as
the Lead Admin with other prominent human rights
activists on the group.
Subsequently, a decision was arrived at to raise money for
the burial in order to support the Odumakin’s family and
the sum of N9.9 million was raised.
Among the donors were the Lagos State Government,
Osun State Government and Governor Kayode Fayemi of
Ekiti, donating N5 million, N2.5 million and N1 million
respectively.
Other donors included prominent lawyers, Mr Femi Falana,
Chief Mike Ozekhome, Wahab Shittu, Gbenga Olawepo-
Hashim, and Chief John Nwodo.
Few days after the burial held in Odumakin’s country home
in Ife Moro in Osun State on April 24, members of the
platform began to question the funds’ utilisation, accusing
the committee of mismanagement.
However, the committee later gave a report detailing how
the money was spent on the burial programme.
In the report, the burial committee listed several expenses
on various items such as secretariat administration/
logistical services which costs N515,000; media and
publicity, N1.2 million; food and drinks, 1.4 million;
branded souvenirs and editorial, N4.4 million;
accommodation/welfare N577,000, among others.
The newspaper learnt that after the report of the
expenditure was presented, some members set up an
accountability committee known as Odumakin
Accountability Resolution Committee.
The committee at the end of its assignment indicted the
Memorial Planning Committee (MPC) and asked it to
refund N7.9m to the Odumakin family.
The Accountability Committee has Comrade Gbenga
Soloki Moses as Chairman and Comrade Taiwo Hassan
Bello as Secretary with other members including Comrade
Erelu Oodua Tinuade Onaneye; Comrade Elijah Ajanu Ojo;
Comrade Princess Edo; Comrade Ras Innovator; Comrade
Bola Olanrewaju; Comrade Otunba Mark Adesanya and
Comrade Ola Oni jnr.
In its report, the Committee observed several
discrepancies in the expenditure report and stated that the
sum of N7.9 million was unaccounted for.
The report made available to Daily Trust read in parts:
“That Messers Wale Okunniyi… and co be held accountable
for the sum of N7,995,000 (seven million nine hundred
and ninety-five thousand) only unaccounted for by the
MPC.”
Curiously, another member on the platform who had
initially accused Okunniyi of mismanagement later
withdrew her statement, saying she has been reliably
informed that “Comrade Wale Okunniyi has been judicious
in running the affairs of the Committee for a befitting and
glamorous burial for Comrade Yinka Odumakin without
blemish.”
When contacted, Okunniyi dismissed the report of the
Accountability Committee, saying the members of the
committee were ‘sponsored’.
He said the report of the memorial committee has been
made public and members were satisfied with the way the
money was expended, adding that he had moved on.