Lagos State Governor-elect, Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s aide, Olufunke Phillips,has been exposed by a Nigerian journalist, Ruona Meyer, as a fugitive evading justice after being charged for cocaine possession.
Philips who is Sanwo-Olu’s digital manager was exposed via the Facebook and Twitter pages of Meyer on Friday morning.
The post revealed that Phillips was charged in 2007 by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for being in possession of 3.14 kilogrammes of cocaine.
She went on to be arraigned before the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court in 2007 but absconded after being granted bail by Justice P.I Ajoku, along with 25 others.
Phillips, who is being accused of intellectual property theft by the journalist, had her dark secret revealed after the fallout.
The fugitive story was brought to the knowledge of the journalist, when she had teamed with Philips to create ‘The Beverage Space,’ years ago.
On creating the website which focuses on alcohol consumption in Nigeria, she needed a face and since she was based abroad, Philips conveniently was brought to be one.
However, the journalist reveals she hsf to let go of the project which she financed all alone because background check on her partner revealed she was a fugitive evading Justice.
The straw that crashed the Camel’s back was when Phillips set up her own website with the same idea as Meyer’s but with a different name ‘The Beverage Room’.
Philips website as a huge acceptance on social media with lots of followers.
Meyer said she had severed all ties with Philips from 2015 and 2016, asking Philips to take down the page or face a legal suit.
“I terminated our business dealings in 2016 after I found out @FunkePhillips is facing cocaine smuggling charges (with a 2009 court case); and on 4 July 2011, @ndlea_nigeria listed her as skipping bail.”
“I handled the blog, edited written copy, tapped my contacts in Corporate Communications, PR & media in general, to boost our networks. Funke Phillips had no money, so I handled practically all costs…including domain hosting, calls to contacts, sending proposals for sponsored events planning hangouts, generating content ideas and even doing interviews from Germany with my Nigerian contacts.
“Soon, we were about to get into signing partnerships, when my manager in Germany reminded me to do a character check on Funke Phillips. I remembered I’d heard some absurd rumours and went online to check.
“The report stated that the information that Funke and other alleged drug barons were on the loose was corroborated by then @ndlea_nigeria spokesperson Mitchell Ofoyeju (@mitchelljnr) cc @dg_ndlea.”
“So I am not asking for money, or care what Nigeria does to her or not. After all, she has skipped bail for years and is not exactly hiding.
“I care because I am held to a higher standard, personally, family-wise, and as a citizen of Germany. I would be a pariah, unworthy of any semblance of public life if I were ever associated with a drug-smuggling criminal, who also skipped bail. So I have to disclaim it. Publicly too.”
Ms Phillips, who is also a popular social and political commentator on Facebook, has however kept mum on the issue. Efforts by this newspaper to get her own side of the story have been unsuccessful as phone calls and text messages to her have been unanswered.