The Lagos State Government has countered the claim made by the Labour Party governorship candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, alleging that Babajide Sanwo-Olu used N200 million state funds to finance his post-election legal expenses.
Recall that Nairametrics reported that Rhodes-Vivour alleged in a shared document online that the governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat, took N200 million from state coffers to fund their appeal court expenses.
Responding to the allegation, the Lagos State Head of Communication Information & Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, noted that the governor did not allocate the state funds for personal legal bills.
Furthermore, he emphasized that the transaction referenced by Mr. Rhodes-Vivour never happened.
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- “A post on ‘X’ by Labour Party (LP) candidate Mr. Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, on November 19, 2023, alleged – without any proof whatsoever – that the Lagos State Government funded Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s legal dispute after the March 18, 2023 election. This is not true.
- “The allegation was not supported by a document that neither carried the logo of the Lagos State Government nor the endorsement of any of its officials. It was simply another ploy to deceive the public about a non-existent payment of N50,000,000 to four lawyers.
- “While it is worthwhile for patriotic individuals to scrutinise the finances of the Lagos State Government, the outcome of such inquiry must always be based on verified facts and nothing but the truth.
- “The transaction referenced by Mr. Rhodes-Vivour never took place. There was a payment request, which was not approved by Mr. Governor when the Honourable Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice drew his attention to it because it was irregular.
- “For the avoidance of doubt, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu will never misappropriate public funds in defiance of his Oath of Office,” he said.
Earlier on Sunday, the governorship candidate of the Labour Party, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, accused the Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat, of misappropriation of state funds to finance personal legal fees.
Sharing on his official X (formerly Twitter) handle, Rhodes-Vivour alleged that the governor paid the sum of N200 million to four different chambers for his election case in the court of appeal.
He named the following chambers as beneficiaries of the funds, having received N50 million each from the state budgetary allocation:
- Ahmed and Co
- Akinboro and Co
- Babatunde Ogala and Co
- MESSRS. Femi Okunu and Co.
He therefore accused the governor of undue advantage and mismanagement of state resources for personal expenses.
- “We took Mr Sanwolu, Mr Hamzat, APC, and INEC to court. We did not take @Lagosstategov to court. Why should the state fund his legal fees? Why should citizens’ taxes be used to pay for his representation?
- This is why they are always quick to say, “Go to court” because they are so irresponsible and cheap, to not even pick up their legal bills” he said.