Omotoso makes false claim as evidence shows Sanwo-Olu paid law firms N200m from state’s coffer


THE Lagos state’s commissioner of Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso has claimed that the document which revealed that the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu paid four law firms N50 million each to defend him in court is not authorized by the state.

Omotoso made the claim while reacting to a claim by the Lagos gubernatorial candidate of the Labour Party, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour.

This follows public outcry that trailed some questionable expenditures pointed out by the governorship candidate of Action Democratic Congress (ADC) in Lagos, Funso Doherty, in the contracts awarded by the Lagos State Government.

Part of Omotoso’s post on X (formerly Twitter) read: “ 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 ofN50,000,000 to four lawyers.”



Sanwo-Olu was accused of paying lawyers N200 million without proof. 



Findings by FactCheckHub show that the claim is FALSE.

Contrary to Omotoso’s claim, the allegation was based on the documents obtained from the Lagos State Procurement portal, a website being operated by the Lagos Procurement Agency.

The agency was established on the 2nd of April, 2012 to ensure probity, accountability and transparency in Public Procurement throughout Lagos state. The agency is also responsible for ensuring that the contracts awarded in the state follow due process. The activities of the agency are backed by the law enacted by the state’s House of Assembly. 

Like some other states which have adopted the system, the agency through its Electronic Procurement Portal also documents the list of contracts awarded by the state agency over a period of time. The goal is to bridge the gap between the agency and the public and to ensure transparency and accountability in government dealings.

According to the document uploaded in January 2023 by the agency which can be viewed here, the Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu paid a sum of N50 million each to four law firms namely: Ahmed Raji and Co, Akinboro and Co, Babatunde Ogala and Co, and Femi Okunni and Co to defend him in a suit tagged: FHC/CS/1979/2022.

Screenshot of the data retrieved from the document on the Lagos state procurement agency’s website.

When our fact-checker looked up the suit number, it was found that the payment was in respect of the suit filed by the People’s Democratic Party seeking to disqualify Sanwo-Olu and other APC candidates before the March 18 governorship election in the state. The case was later dismissed in court as reported by Channels TV, The Nation and The Star newspapers in February 2023.

This contradicts the claim by Omotoso that there was no official proof showing that the governor paid N200 million to any law firm.

While reacting to the allegation, Sanwo-Olu claimed there were mistakes in the report released by the agency but he never denied that the report was from the state’s procurement agency.



The claim by Gbenga Omotoso that there is no evidence that Sanwo-Olu paid lawyers N200 million is FALSE; as findings show that the claim was contained in a document obtained from the website of the Lagos State Procurement Agency, a government-run agency responsible for regulating procurement activities in the state.

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Nurudeen Akewushola is a fact-checker with FactCheckHub. He has authored several fact checks which have contributed to the fight against information disorder. You can reach him via [email protected] and @NurudeenAkewus1 via Twitter.


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