The Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, has said that a report claiming that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu paid four law firms N50 million each to defend his election victory from state funds is false.
Naija News reports that the 2023 Labour Party governorship candidate in Lagos State, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour had shared a document on his X handle where the allegation was made.
According to the document, the Lagos Ministry of Justice allegedly instructed the law firms, Ahmed Raji & Co, Akinboro & Co, Babatunde Ogala & Co, and Messrs Femi Okunnu & Co, to represent and defend the governor in various suits.
“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,” Rhodes-Vivour had tweeted.
However, reacting in a statement on Tuesday, Omotoso insisted that the allegation is false, adding that it is simply a ploy to deceive the public.
The statement reads, “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 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 scrutinize 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 Honorable 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.”
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