A Facebook user named Lawal Moshood has been allegedly arrested by the Department of State Security (DSS) for impersonating the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi.
There were speculations on social media and blogs on Tuesday that Ooni ordered the arrest of a tricycle rider, identified as Lawal Moshood because he was sending SMS to the monarch.
However, the Ooni has refuted the claim that he ordered the arrest of any person based on SMS.
He said he only reported a case of impersonation to the DSS following several complaints he receive from people that someone is impersonating him on Facebook.
Ooni said it is disheartening that some online media practitioners have adamantly chosen to practice journalism without adherence to simple principle of investigation which allows fair hearing.”
A statement by the Directorate of Media and Publicity to Ooni, Comrade Moses Olafare on Tuesday night read, “On the part of the DSS, they began their investigation without the knowledge of Ooni of Ife’s palace and somebody was arrested in Ijebu Ode. In the course of their investigation, they discovered that the arrested suspect, Lawal Moshood had opened a Facebook account in the name of the Ooni. There was a recent case of a woman who sold all her properties in the United States of America based on an online scammer, who impersonated Ooni, promising to marry the woman.”
“The Ooni of Ife does not have the constitutional power to order the arrest of anybody. The case of Moshood Lawal is between him and the DSS. The security agency acted on a tip-off and trailed him to Ijebu Ode, where he was arrested.
“What the DSS is doing about his case, we don’t know. It is also pitiable and laughable that some journalists, who knows the limits of power of any traditional ruler would be spreading falsehood that Ooni ordered arrest of a tricycle rider.”
“Where does the Ooni gets the power to order the arrest of anybody. The only thing Ooni can do is to make an official report to the security agencies.”
“The report by Saharareporters is a vivid example of jungle journalism, with the ultimate agenda to blackmail and mislead the public. But, their mission had failed because no amount of blackmail and mischief can overwhelm the integrity, respect, love, mass appeal, local and international recognition enjoy by the Ooni of Ife, most especially among the youth.”
Ooni of Ife is not only a promoter of the youth in Nigeria, but also dedicates most of his socio-economic programmes and projects, running into billions of naira to the upliftment and emancipation of the nation’s youths”.