A leading anti- corruption activist and a prominent lawyer Barrister Adekunle Isola has called on President Bola Tinubu to intervene in the unfolding crisis at the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), noting that the agency is at the verge of been rendered incapacitated unless something urgent is done.
Barrister Isola made the call in a statement he personally signed on Tuesday and released to journalist, blaming the immediate past leadership of the agency for creating the current situation.
He expressed dismay at the deplorable working condition in the agency, pointing out that “things were so bad that the new Director-General of FRIN could not have a functional vehicle to carry out his official duties.”
“It is worth stressing that FRIN holds enormous importance for Nigeria, especially at a time like this when the President seeks to boost output for the country in food production. This means that the agency should be at optimal performance, which the situation obtainable there at the moment, will unfortunately not allow,” he noted.
“And this is because the last leadership of the agency handled assets belonging to it in a manner that is troubling, leaving FRIN almost empty and hardly operational. The story out there was that the former Director-General, Professor Shola Adepoju, one Architect Bolu (former FRIN consultant) and Mr. Michael Femi Hastrup, connived together to strip the agency of key assets.
“From the reports in public space, the three people illegally sold many properties of the agency to themselves in the twilight of Professor Shola Adepoju’ tenor as the head of FRIN.
“This is unacceptable, and I want to call on President Bola Tinubu to instruct anti-corruption agencies to look into the reports and if found to be true, recover all the assets from them so that the agency can have needed resources to undertake the mandate of the agency.”
Barrister Isola who expressed total support for the new Director-General, Professor Zacharia Buba Yaduma, said his activities so far showed that he shared the vision of the renewed hope of President Tinubu.
He said that Professor Yaduma has ensured a major turnaround of the agency in the short time he has assumed office, noting that staff welfare, renewed dedication to research among other indications of a resolve to achieve the mandate of FRIN is well pronounced.
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