Sanwo-Olu, Hamzat used N200 million of state funds to pay legal fees for election petition case against Labour party’s GRV
The governorship candidate of the Labour Party in the general election, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, has revealed that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat, spent the total sum of N200 million of public funds belonging to Lagos State money on appeal Court litigation.
In a revelation posted on Twitter by Rhodes-Vivour, he revealed the governor used state funds to finance his litigation as well as pay his expenses in the Appeal Court.
Recall that the Appeal Court sitting in Lagos on Wednesday affirmed the tribunal’s verdict on the re-election of Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Obafemi Hamzat as the Governor and Deputy Governor of Lagos State.
The judgment was delivered by a three-man panel – Justice Yargata Nimpa, Justice Samuel Bola, and Justice Paul Bassey.
The court unanimously dismissed the appeal of the Peoples Democratic Party and the Labour Party and its governorship, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, challenging the re-election of Sanwo-Olu and his deputy.
According to Rhodes-Vivour, Sanwo-Olu spent the total sum of 200 million naira on the litigation from the Lagos State coffers.
Writing on his X handle, the governorship candidate said,
- “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.”
Highlighting the legal expenses of the state governor and his deputy, the LP candidate noted that the governor allocated N500 million naira each to the Ministry of Justice to four different legal chambers.
The names of the chambers are listed as:
- Ahmed and Co
- Akinboro and Co
- Babatunde Ogala and Co
- MESSRS. Femi Okunu and Co.
Conflict of Interest
The use of the state budget to fund the legal bills of the governor and his deputy raised questions about undue advantage over political rivals, abuse of power as well and conflict of interest.
According to Rhodes-Vivour, the governor should not be allocating state funds to finance his legal expenses and that of his deputy.
He therefore called upon the governor to clarify the allegation as an attempt to be accountable to the public.
This allegation is coming on the heel of the current revelation by the ADC governorship candidate, Funso Doherty, who alleged yesterday that the state government allocated some exorbitant amounts for luxuries such as duffers, charter planes, SUVs refrigerators, and fans, amounting to about N4 billion in procurement.
Doherty, who highlighted some of the expenses of the State budget, tasked Sanwo-Olu to account for why such an amount is allocated for the luxurious indulgences of the governor and his cabinet, while the country is facing economic hardship.
Presently, while the state generates the highest internal revenue compared to other states in the country, Lagos also owes the highest domestic and foreign debt in the country. Lagos has a domestic debt profile of N812.4 billion and external debts of $1.3 billion.
Accordingly, these allegations show misuse of state funds, mismanagement of resources as well misplaced priorities on the part of the state government.