Head of Service’s son caught in ‘ghost job’ scandal

Oyo Head of Service's son says he only deceived his friend to believe there's ghost job slot
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The son of the Oyo State head of service has been caught in a job scandal.

Ayobami Agboola, whose mother, Amidat Agboola, was appointed in 2019, was criticised on social media on Saturday after a user said he promised to use his mum’s influence to secure him a slot.

Sulaimon Adesola said Mr Agboola promised to include his name in a list of “ghost workers” in Oyo State.

It is a fairly common practice in some states and the federal service for corrupt officials to use names of non-workers, widely known as ghost workers, to receive illegal pay.

The allegations against Mr Agboola came up after he and his accuser disagreed online over the response of the Oyo government to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Agboola said his friend’s criticism against the Seyi Makinde administration was because he could not secure a “ghost job” under the government.

Mr Adesola, however, said it was Mr Agboola who promised to use his mother’s influence to secure him a slot. He posted screenshots of their chats, compelling Mr Agboola to admit.

Although Mr Agboola confessed having the conversation, he said he never assured his then friend of any slot. He said he was only ‘joking’ and that Mr Adesola’s aim was to blackmail his mother.

“I want to state categorically that I know nothing about any racketeering scheme, I only egged someone I assumed was a friend on because he was doing pro bono work and I admit I should have been clearer to him as he started pestering,” he wrote on Twitter.

Many Nigerians online criticised Mr Agboola for his conduct.

Mr Agboola’s father, Hosea Agboola, is a former Senate deputy chief whip, and was recently appointed chairman of Governor Seyi Makinde’s advisory committee.

Why I promised to offer ‘ghost work’ — Agboola

Mr Agboola later told PREMIUM TIMES in a telephone interview that he truly promised Mr Adesola a “ghost worker” slot to keep him in his “team”.

“He approached me and I held him on because he was working for me. He was doing a pro-bono job for me and I wanted to keep his hope alive which he was never going to get,” he said.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus: Oyo rejects 1,800 bags of rice donated by FG

When asked about the nature of the pro-bono job, Mr Agboola said: “He worked on social media campaigns for me and I felt the best way to keep him happy is to promise him a job.”

Mr Agboola accused Mr Adesola of being a “political jobber” who helped to campaign in the last Oyo State governorship election. He said he made him a promise because he did not want to lose the man to another political party.

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Mr Adesola did not respond to this newspaper’s phone calls and a text message seeking comments.

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