A Lagos-based lawyer, Festus Ogun, has knocked Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for approving the payment of N200m to four law firms who defended him in a suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party against the Independent National Electoral Commission and 42 others.
In a document published on the website of the Lagos State Public Procurement Agency tagged ‘Letter Of Award Registered For January 2023,’ seen by our correspondent, the sum of N50m each was awarded to four law firms designated as contractors.
They are Ahmed Raji & Co, Akinboro & Co, Babatunde Ogala & Co, and Messrs Femi Okunnu & Co.
The award, under the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, was described as “Instruction to Represent and Defend Mr. Sanwo-Olu Babajide Olusola in Suit No: FHC/CS/1979/2022 – PDP vs INEC & 42 ors.”
Speaking on Sunday, Ogun said paying the lawyers with taxpayers’ money was not acceptable even though the lawyers deserved to be paid the amount.
The human rights lawyer said, “Lawyers have to be paid. My concern is not about how much they paid them or why they should be paid. My concern is not even about the lawyers. This suit was instituted against Sanwo-Olu as a person, not in connection with any of his roles as a governor. So if the lawyers are to be paid, they ought to be paid from his (Sanwo-Olu’s) purse or any other purse but not from the treasury of Lagos State.”
The lawyer insisted that “it is an abuse and unconstitutional.”
Efforts to reach the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Gboyega Akosile, for a reaction were unsuccessful as calls to his telephone line were not answered and a text message sent to him had yet to be replied as of the time of filing this report.