Lagos counters Rhodes-Vivour, says N200m wasn’t paid for Sanwo-Olu’s legal fee



The Lagos government has denied claims that Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of the state, paid N200 million for election litigation from state coffers.


Gbenga Omotoso, chief press secretary to the governor, in a statement on Monday, said the claim was “another ploy to deceive the public about a non-existent payment of N50,000,000 to four lawyers”.




On Sunday, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, governorship candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the last poll, accused Sanwo-Olu of paying for election related legal representation with state funds.

The pre-election suit was filed by Rhodes-Vivour against Sanwo-Olu, Obafemi Hamzat, the deputy governor; Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and All Progressives Congress (APC).


On November 19, the LP candidate published a screenshot of a document via X (formerly known as Twitter) showing that the sum of N50,000,000 each was given to four lawyers for “instruction to represent and defend Mr Sanwo-Olu Babajide Olusola”.


“Instruction to represent and defend Mr Sanwo-Olu Babajide Olusola in: suit no; FHC/CS/1979/2022- Peoples Democratic Party VS Independent National Electoral Commission and 42 ORS,” the project description reads.

When TheCable checked the website of the Lagos State Public Procurement Agency (LPPA), it was observed that the line item can be found under projects budgeted for in January 2023.


In the document, the sum of N50,000,000 each was budgeted for Ahmed Raji & co, Akinboro & co, Babatunde Ogala & co, and Messrs. Femi Okunnu & co.




The state government said the transaction referenced by Rhodes-Vivour never took place, while admitting that the payment requests were not approved by the governor.


“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,” the statement reads.


“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 Honorable Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice drew his attention to it because it is 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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