Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja, born September 1944, is a businessman who became the governor of Oyo State in Nigeria in 2003 as a topmost member of the state’s People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
However, in June 2006 he was impeached but reinstated in December 2006 and ended his term in 2007. He later became a member of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) in December 2018.
Education & Career
Having attended Ibadan Boys High School and Olivet Baptist High School for his Secondary education, Ladoja proceeded to study at the University of Liège, Belgium (1966–1972) where he earned a degree in Chemical Engineering.
In addition, Ladoja worked with Total Nigeria for 13 years until 1985 when he entered private business. His business interest include shipping, manufacturing, banking, agriculture and transportation.
In 2000, he had became a director of Standard Trust Bank Limited.
Ladoja was elected to the Senate of Nigeria in 1993 during the short-lived Nigerian Third Republic, he was a member of the United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP) during the Abacha Political Transition.
After a decade, he was elected the governor of Oyo State on the PDP platform and received support from Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu, a PDP power broker in the state.
However, by 2004 Ladoja and Adedibu were locked in a fierce struggle over allocation of government appointees. Ladoja was not supported by his party in this dispute and was told by the PDP national chairman, Ahmadu Ali, to take instructions from Lamidi Adedibu.
On 12 January 2006, Ladoja was impeached by Oyo State legislators and forced out of office. His deputy, Christopher Adebayo Alao-Akala, was sworn in as the new governor. On 1 November 2006, the Appeal Court in the state capital, Ibadan, declared the impeachment null and illegal, but advised waiting for confirmation of this decision by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court upheld the decision on 11 November 2009, and Ladajo officially resumed office on 12 December 2006.
During his contest for a second term, he failed to win the PDP nomination. He chose to back the Action Congress candidates for 33 local council chairmanship elections. The PDP refused to participate in the elections. As a result, the Action Congress (AC) won 26 seats and the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) won seven.
However, his successor as governor, his former deputy and former acting governor Christopher Adebayo Akala, sacked the council chairmen shortly after taking office and replaced them with PDP supporters.
In 2011 and 2015 elections, Ladoja was governorship candidate for Accord Party in Oyo State, he lost to late Abiola Ajimobi. He later merged his Accord Party into PDP in 2017.
Moreover, dispute in PDP made him and other allies (from Labour Party, All Progressives Congress APC etc.) to move over African Democratic Congress (ADC) in 2018 and later Zenith Labor Party (ZLP).
Ladoja was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in August 2008 over allegations of non-remittance of the proceeds of sale of government shares totaling N1.9 billion during his administration.
He was remanded by the Federal High Court, Lagos and granted bail the following month in ₦100 million with two sureties for the same sum. In March 2009, a former aide testified on the way on which the share money had been divided between Ladoja’s family, bodyguard, senior politicians and lawyers.
Rashidi Ladoja is the Osi Olubadan of Ibadan.