The Chairman of Somolu Local Government Area in Lagos State, Abdul Hamed Salawu, has been accused of certificate forgery, falsified identity and fraud.
Salawu, who is at the centre of a multi-million dollar fraud in the United States, allegedly uses a false identity in Nigeria after being indicted abroad.
The chairman, who is popularly known as 'Dullar' due to his flamboyant lifestyle, was based in Germany where he had a daughter with a native but left after committing a felony.
On his return to the country in 2008, however, it was gathered that he obtained a certificate to begin on a clean slate in his sojourn into politics.
The embattled chairman, who was initially known as Abdulsalau Ogembe, changed his name to Abdul Hamed Salawu without any legal document to back the change.
A source, who pleaded anonymity said, "Dullar is living a fake life with a false identity. If he changed his name legally, he should provide a newspaper where he did so. I only pity Somolu people who know nothing about this fraudster.
"A man who can change his name, is there another fraud bigger than that? Please Salawu, clear your name, your people deserve to know the truth," he said.
This implies that the Somolu LG boss uses a false certificate which makes him illegible to hold any elected position according to the Constitution.
In sections 66 (1) (i), 107 (1) (i), 137 (1) (j), and 182 (1) (j), the Nigerian Constitution disqualifies candidates from gaining a public seat under review if “he has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission”.
The source expresses hope that the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) will do due diligence in screening the candidates appropriately before the elections.
He said, "With Salawu seeking re-election, it is expected that the commission will put aside partisanship and the 'Dullar' effect and screen out the incumbent.
"We know that he enjoys the goodwill of national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, hence he may emerge the party's candidate. But we are hopeful that this rogue will be exposed. This German deportee is only using political office to evade prosecution.
“It is no longer news that Salawu's papers were seized in Europe and America. He has written to the German and Canadian governments to demand them but to no avail.”
Salawu brags to have transformed Somolu in numerous areas. However, fact check shows otherwise.
One of these is the 'Ijeun Agba’ initiative, a monthly welfare package programme for aged people of 60 years and above, that he claimed to have started, which has been discovered to be a mere mirage.
Aside from this, the Somolu road project, as against claims by the chairman, was initiated and completed by the state government. The semi-mechanised abattoir has nothing to do with Sawalu too, against general perception.
"They said senior citizens receive stipends from Dullar every month since 2017. I am a native of Somolu, aged 75 and I have not got a penny. Don't I qualify to be paid?" a retired teacher asked.
"All we hear is that the chairman has done this and that but what is on the ground doesn't reflect the buzz. If indeed he paid stipends to retirees, he should publish their names. He should also make a compilation of his achievements in office public as well,” a source said.
When Salawu's media aide (name withheld) was contacted, he failed to provide answers to the allegations levelled against his principal.
Instead, he labelled it as “propaganda” aimed at tarnishing the chairman’s reputation, especially as the Local Government elections were fast approaching.
He said, “If you read between the lines, you can smell lies and falsification. The election is coming. Expect propaganda.”