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Governor’s N50 Million Gift Gone Awry: Embezzlement Claims Plague Ogun NATA

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ABEOKUTA, Nigeria — Members of the Ogun State branch of the National Automobile Technicians Association, NATA, found themselves embroiled in a heated dispute on Tuesday, May 2, 2023, over the alleged misappropriation of N50 million (approximately $120,000) donated to the association by Governor Dapo Abiodun in March.

The rift escalated to the point where some aggrieved NATA members threatened physical violence against their leaders if they did not disburse the funds. One of the frustrated members, Sobowale Sobanke, accused State Chairman Adeleke Balogun and Secretary Segun Osho of embezzling the money intended to support the association.

During a visit to the NATA headquarters in Abeokuta, Governor Abiodun revealed that he had donated N50 million as a loan to the association. However, Sobowale claimed that the NATA leadership had misused the funds, with only N1 million being distributed among members at his mechanic workshop in Laderin, Abeokuta, at a rate of N5,000 each.

“We need the state government, security operatives, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to investigate the whereabouts of the money,” Sobowale urged. He emphasized that transparency regarding the funds would prevent potential bloodshed among the members.

Sobowale called for the resignation of the entire NATA leadership in Ogun State and demanded a new election “according to the constitution of the association.”

In response, State Chairman Balogun denied diverting the money, claiming that it has been deposited “at three different community banks.” Speaking over the phone, he promised to disclose the identities of the banks at a later time.

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