Lagos State Government has refuted claims that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu utilized N200 million of state funds for personal post-election legal expenses.
Lagos State’s Head of Communication Information & Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, dismissed the allegations, emphasizing that there was no allocation of state funds for the governor’s personal legal bills. Omotoso clarified that the referenced transaction highlighted by Rhodes-Vivour, Labour Party governorship candidate never occurred.
Omotoso addressed the issue directly, stating, “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.”
This came into play after Rhodes-Vivour accused Governor Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat, of diverting state funds for personal legal fees. Rhodes-Vivour alleged that N200 million from the state budget was paid to four different law chambers, with each receiving N50 million. However, the government denies these claims outright.
“We took Mr. Sanwo-Olu, 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?” Rhodes-Vivour expressed his concern in a social media post.
The government, however, maintained its stance, affirming that the transaction mentioned by Rhodes-Vivour was irregular and unapproved by Governor Sanwo-Olu upon notification by the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu will never misappropriate public funds in defiance of his Oath of Office,” Omotoso stated.
This clash highlights the ongoing tension between political figures and underscores the importance of fact-based allegations to maintain accountability in governance.