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Some staffers of the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, have revealed that some staff of the Institute are out to blackmail the immediate past director general, Prof. Shola Adepoju.


The blackmail, they alleged, was to distract the incumbent, Professor Zacharia Yaduma, so as to be able to milk him.


Among other things, the staff, who begged not to be named because of civil service rule, said that there was no truth in the allegation that Adepoju diverted government-owned vehicles for personal gain.


Adepoju and Olufemi Michael Hastrup, the institute’s human resources director, as well as two others had been alleged of acquiring exotic vehicles belonging to FRIN without following due process.


But according to one of the sources, who corroborated others, “there was no iota of truth in the publication,” adding that those who are bent on distracting the new helmsman, Professor Zacharia Yaduma, were behind the blackmail.


They advised journalists to always crosscheck their facts before publishing as not doing so may be injurious to the parties involved.


The source continued: “As an exiting DG, Prof Adepoju was entitled to purchase the vehicle he was driving. Documents are available to show the process he followed in purchasing the vehicles.


“Diversion doesn’t arise because as an outgoing DG, he had the right to buy the car he was using. The board approved it.


Reacting to what they called the unjust accusations against Adepoju’s legacy, the source explained that “In the realm of corporate leadership, few positions come with as much scrutiny as that of a Chief Executive Officer (CEO). These individuals are tasked with steering organizations through challenges and fostering growth, often making tough decisions that can influence the course of their establishment’s futures. However, what happens when a CEO is wrongly accused of trumped up charges, tarnishing a legacy built on laudable achievements?

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“In a shocking turn of events, Prof Adepoju found himself entangled in a web of false accusations. The allegations came to light when some sponsored elements within and outside the Institute sought to discredit his laudable and incredible achievements by sponsoring campaigns of calumny,” he said.


Adepoju administration, the source added, was defined by massive infrastructural development.


“Under his leadership, the Institute witnessed a transformational era of infrastructural development. New offices, new operational vehicles, and state-of-the-art research centers emerged, contributing to the organization’s long-term sustainability. Promotion of staff members was timely done because he believed in the potential of the workforce and prioritized employee growth. A fair and transparent system of promotion was put in place, allowing dedicated staff members to advance in their careers, fostering loyalty and motivation. All through his 8-year tenure, no deserving staff was owed promotion, including the financial benefits that come with such promotions.”


On international exposure, Adepoju’s visionary approach extended beyond borders. “He worked tirelessly to increase the organization’s international exposure, forging key partnerships and expanding the Institute’s reach to organizations such as UNESCO, UNDP, FAO, and several NGOs. Never in the history of the Institute was this kind of achievement reached.


“He also increased funding. Financial stability is the backbone of any organization’s success, and he did all he could to shore up the Institute’s financial appropriation budget. His administration successfully secured additional funding sources, ensuring the Institute’s growth was not hindered by financial constraints.”


Saying there was nothing like job racketeering during Adepoju’s tenure, the source said that “After securing necessary approvals, it is on record that his administration conducted recruitment exercises that brought many indigent but brilliant individuals into the system. This action alone alleviated the sufferings of these individuals who suddenly could put food on the tables for their family members and dependents. The irony of it is that some of the elements actively spreading falsehood about him were brought into the system during his tenure, or have their family members employed at his magnanimity, but now turn around to accuse him of employment racketeering! If I tell you what happened, some of these people who are behind the blackmail, brought their wives, relatives and even girlfriends to take jobs here.

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“He doesn’t like to be praised but with such an impressive track record, it was baffling to many why he was targeted with false accusations bordering on improper acquisition of vehicles, employment racketeering and other trumped up accusations. It soon became clear that these allegations were part of a calculated attempt by some disgruntled elements within and outside the Institute who felt short-changed while he was the CEO. While some sought to overshadow his achievements with baseless allegations, casting a dark shadow over a tenure that should have been celebrated, based on pure malice, others felt intimidated that they may never match his legacy and thus adopted the path of calumnious campaigns to cover their ineptitude.


“As the accusations unfolded, it would soon become evident that there was no substantial evidence to support the claims of impropriety against him. The accusations were, in fact, a desperate attempt to tarnish his legacy and deflect attention from his numerous accomplishments. His integrity remained unblemished, and his achievements continued to stand as a testament to their dedication and vision.


“In fact, his story serves as a powerful reminder of the challenges that can arise in the world of corporate leadership. It underscores the importance of fairness, integrity, and due process when accusations are made. Ultimately, his legacy remains untarnished, and his achievements can never be erased and shall continue to inspire those who value leadership built on a foundation of innovation and dedication. It is a testament to the enduring power of resilience of someone who stands for building blocks progress,” he added.

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Advising incumbent Yaduma, the source asked him to “be wary of those individuals within the institute as they would always scheme to make him dance to their tunes. What they are after is money and how to corner things illegally.


“I want to advise Prof. Zacharia Yaduma, not to allow these saboteurs distract him in order to continue from the legacy Prof Adepoju laid. They did the same thing when Prof Adepoju came but he survived and surpassed their expectations. They carried sacrifices. I pray he would achieve more than his predecessor did.