The London police said it never arrested Mrs. Ajimobi.
The London Metropolitan Police has denied it ever arrested the wife of the governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, as reported in some newspapers on Tuesday.
“We are not aware of any such arrest”, said Matt Russell, of the Metropolitan Police press office when contacted by our reporter on Wednesday morning.
When contacted by telephone, Mr. Russell asked our reporter to stay on the line while he checked if such an arrest had been made. He got back on the line two minutes later saying they have no such arrest in their records.
Yesterday, PM News, an evening paper, reported that the Metropolitan Police in Lamberth borough of London confirmed the arrest of the governor’s wife, Florence Ajimobi, over money laundering related offences. According to PM News, the unnamed official spoken to over the phone replied with a mere “yes” but declined to give further details of the arrest citing UK law preventing the police from sharing such information over the phone.
However, responding to email sent by our reporter, the Metropolitan Police, Media and communications officer, PC Pete McNamara, says: “I can find no trace of this on our systems.”
PM News had relied on a story allegedly published an online blog, Newsleak.
According to the story, Mrs. Ajimobi was arrested by the London Metropolitan Police two week ago over her involvement in N100m (€400,000.00) money laundering investigation.
The report further said Mrs. Ajimobi was arrested on her 52nd trip to the United Kingdom since her husband in 17 months.
Denial and litigation
The Oyo state government yesterday denied that the wife of the governor was arrested describing the news as “wicked and a figment of the imagination of the writer”.
“Mrs. Ajimobi was never arrested for any offence whatsoever. Even though our investigations have shown that this is the work of some arrowheads of the opposition, it was done in such an amateurish way that beats the imagination of any responsible reader,” a statement released by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, Festus Adedayo, stated.
The government didn’t stop there. It has also instituted a N1 billion suit against the Independent Communications Network Limited, publishers of PM News over the report.
Mrs. Ajimobi also denied her arrest in a reported telephone interview with reporters. She reportedly claimed she went to London with her 14-year old daughter who had been schooling in England since 2007 (before her husband became the state governor). No PREMIUM TIMES reporter was at the interview.
“I have a daughter that has been schooling in England since 2007 and if you look at my passport, you will see I have travelled less (than 52 times in 17 months),” the Oyo State first lady was quoted as saying on the telephone.