BBC journalist Ruoner Meyer has come up with a shocking expose revealing that one of Lagos State governor-elect Babajide Sanwoolu’s aides Funke Phillips is a wanted drug trafficker who jumped bail in 2011.
Last weekend, Mr Sanwoolu was elected as the Lagos State governor and is due to assume office on May 29. Mrs Phillips is considered one of his key aides, who has been tipped by some for a plum appointment in the Sanwoolu government but according to Ms Meyer, she jumped bail having been charged to court by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and is also engaged in intellectual property theft for work they did together.
Ms Meyer said: “I’m making this public disclaimer to fully dissociate myself from business dealings I had with Olufunke Phillips in 2015/2016, which I terminated in 2016, after I found out she is facing cocaine smuggling charges with a 2009 court case and on 4 July 2011, the NDLEA listed her as skipping bail. In 2015, I originated and conceptualised a blog and event portal on the business of drinking, from a female perspective. I needed a face for it, as I was not based in Nigeria and this is where Funke Phillips came in and I later called it The Beverage Space.
“I set up all email, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook accounts, paid a designer to make a logo and all Funke Phillips had to do was go to events/bars, send in little notes, writings. We started to make progress and in a very short time I flew into Nigeria, arranged meetings with my contacts and told them I’d be working underground, as I was based outside, working on my day job anyway and so Funke Phillips would be TBS’s face.
“Soon, we were about to get into signing partnerships, when my manager in Germany reminded me to do a character check on Funke Phillips and I remembered I’d heard some absurd rumours, so went online to check. I discovered Funke Phillips was arrested in a Lagos airport with 3.14kg of cocaine and skipped bail, prompting the then NDLEA chairman Ahmadu to list her among wanted drug barons in July 2011.”
According to Ms Meyer, confirmation that Funke Phillips and other drug barons were on the loose was corroborated by the NDLEA spokesperson Mitchell Ofoyeju. She added that she used her contacts in the courts and prisons to legally crosscheck these facts and presented the case to Ms Phillips, asking her to explain.
Ms Meyer added: “In private chats I will reserve for court, Funke Phillips said she went through a lot to settle the case. I replied that the only way the case could be settled was if she was acquitted or served time but this was not the case according to the NDLEA.
“I therefore asked Funke Phillips for her documents of acquittal. She responded that this was the work of her enemies and with such answers, I told her I could never work with her on any basis and that we needed to cut all ties immediately.”
She added that even if Nigeria is mediocre enough to allow people like Funke Phillips with a pending drug case walk the streets freely, this absurdity was not going to be her norm. ms Meyer added that Mrs Phillips has now set up a portal known as The Beverage Room, using her ideas and contacts, which is tantamount to intellectual property theft.
Credit: Ayo Akinfe blogg.