According to the Vanguard, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has denied news in circulation that he was at Kuje prison to visit embattled former Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele.

Speaking with Vanguard on behalf of the monarch on Wednesday, his spokesperson, Moses Olafare, said Oba Ogunwusi was at the correctional facility at the instance of a Non-Governmental Organisation, owned by one of his wives, Queen Temitope, Hopes Alive Initiative, HAI, which is on advocacy for the correction centre.

He said the programme, which was organised in partnership with Kuje correctional authority, centred around giving hope to inmates on reintegration into society after completing their terms, and the Ooni was part of it, in commemoration of his eighth anniversary.

“The intent of those spreading the news was to blackmail the monarch; there is nothing hidden about the event. In any case, the king never met Emefiale because it was an official event organised by the NGO in conjunction with the Kuje Correction Centre.

“The programme centres around giving hope to the inmate that, after serving out their terms, they still have hope to reintegrate back to the society. The Arole Ooni was invited to chair the event in commemoration of his eighth anniversary on the throne.

“What is exclusive about a public programme where different public figures spoke and representatives of the inmate also spoke? How then did the Ooni manage to meet Emefiele?

“We must be careful with how people spread falsehoods about people. The video of the event is available to the public. I am not even sure Emefiele attended the programme because he is only in detention and not an inmate yet, so why link the programme to Emefiele? It is simply to achieve  blackmail, he added.