Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Bode George lied, I never apologise to him — Bola Tinubu

A former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, on Tuesday denied the claim that he apologised to a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party Chieftain, Bode George, for allegedly playing a part in jailing him.

Mr. George had, in an interview with THE PUNCH, said Mr. Tinubu apologised to him at a public function over his alleged involvement in his past travails.

“Initially, he thought I hated him so much and convolutedly conspired to use a judge to put me in prison,” he said.

He said Mr. Tinubu had since apologised for his alleged wrongdoing.

However, in a statement on Tuesday, Mr. Tinubu said there was no time he begged Mr. George for forgiveness since he never wronged him.

“I don’t know when and how I ever offended Mr. George. I have never wronged the man or even thought of it. I sought no forgiveness because no forgiveness was needed,” Mr. Tinubu said.

He said it amounted to hurling insult on the judiciary for Mr. George to assume his conviction was wrongly derived or that he had fallen victim of conspiracy.

He said there was no way he could have influenced Mr. George’s imprisonment.

The APC leader, widely credited for midwifing the success of the All Progressives Congress in the just concluded general elections, said, “Mr. George seeks to imbue me with more power than I could possibly have. I am flattered but in all humility I must protest the false assessment. If he can remember, the government of the day was that of the PDP.

“I have never had nor sought much influence in those circles. He was charged by the government ruled by his own party for an offence concerning financial irregularities at the Nigeria Port Authority, NPA, an appointment he received from that same government. It is an incredible tale indeed to state that somehow I could direct a party that tried to dismantle the progressive political structure of my party to bring down one of its key members.

“The more plausible explanation for his legal tribulation was that a member of his own cabal blew the whistle on Mr. George’s antics for reasons that only he and that person truly know. The rest is now history.”

“I believe he was convicted of “ Invoice Splitting” a violation of financial regulations,” Mr. Tinubu said. “This malpractice is a deliberate circumvention of the law so that the culprit may approval expenditures above his mandated authority to do so and without proper oversight.”

Mr. George, more than anyone else, caused his own incarceration with his actions and hand, Mr. Tinubu maintained.

He offered opposing account of what transpired at the burial of late Alao Arisekola, where Mr. George claimed the APC chieftain begged him.

“Mr. George claims the alleged apology was made at the burial of Chief Alao Arisekola. On that date, personalities such as Oba Otudeko and Governor Ajimobi approached me because I did not greet Mr. George initially. They pleaded that, in the memory of the man we were all gathered to honour, I should greet Mr. George. At their request, I turned back and came to greet him by saying “Good Afternoon Egbon”. That was all.

“If Mr. George wishes to interpret that as an apology, he has the right to do so. I also have the right to state categorically that no apology was made or even intended,” he explained.

Against the background of Mr. George’s reported declaration that he would go on exile should APC win the presidential election, Mr. Tinubu added that neither him nor APC had the intention of victimising the PDP leader, stating that, “We have no time or inclination to trouble ourselves by troubling Bode George.”

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