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IN 2010, a Member of Haringey Council—Charles Ochuko Adje—became the subject of the third and final enquiry, by independent investigator Martin Walklate, into the development of the Licence-to-Firoka.
The licence had led to losses for taxpayers of at least £1.5m* and arguably, £3.1m.
Cllr Adje went to extraordinary lengths to conceal professional advice not to enter into a Licence (with inducements). And by the same token, to promote the Licence that he wanted, laden with incentives. Under the Licence, Firoka were able to operate in Alexandra Palace for eight months before being evicted, following High Court action by SAP.
Attached below is the council's transcript of the formal interview with the subject Member, that was part of the investigation and preparatory to the Hearing.
This interview—at River Park House—was conducted 12 months before the Determination Hearing. Then followed Adje's immediate full suspension as a Councillor for four months (he was also suspended from the Council Labour Group for six months).
“Rebuke for disgraced ex-Haringey Leader …”
Cllr Adje deliberately withheld vital, timely and urgent advice, from his fellow Trustees on our Charitable Trust. The ensuing Licence led to huge losses for which there has been no apology. Indeed, the Member blamed everyone … except himself.
The mere existence of the Chair's Briefing Note was unknown for about two years. However, it was forced to the surface for Walklate 2 and it is attached below. The deliberate suppression of the Briefing Note, by Cllr Adje, led to the Licence. As may be seen, the Licence provided for a cornucopia of subsidies, that had the effect of benefitting the preferred development partner, Firoka, and its controlling shareholder Firoz Kassam.
As a result of Cllr Ajde's actions, tax monies flowed from a relatively poor Borough to a company controlled by one of Britain's wealthiest men. This is not the only financial disaster over which the disgraced politician has either presided or been involved in. Old news?
Yes. However, few remember or know of this episode that seems relevant again. It relates—at a minimum—to judgement. And integrity. Can this politician be trusted?
In May 2018, Cllr Adje was appointed to the Haringey Council Cabinet by his friend, the current leader Joseph Ejiofor. Cllr Adje is now responsible for “Capital Strategy” and is the Lead Member for Strategic Regeneration.
* Minimum figure calculated by the investigator for Walkate 2