Lagos State People’s Democratic Party leader, Chief Bode George, has accused the National leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu that he conspired with a judge to send him to prison.
George revealed this in a recent interview with Punch.
He said Tinubu apologised to him after he (George) made the matter public at the burial of their mutual friend, late Arisekola Alao, in Ibadan.
Admitting that his conviction was painful, George said it was somewhat a favour they did him after all, as it was a period of self-rediscovery.
“Initially, he thought I hated him so much and convolutedly conspired to use a judge to put me in prison. Whatever you sow, you will reap. The Supreme Court said the judgment was a conjecture which means it never existed. They did not know they were helping me to go and rediscover myself. Of course it was painful,” the former Chairman of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) said.
He explained further, “We later met at the Adamasingba Stadium Ibadan, at the burial of my good friend, Alao Arisekola. The Governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, who is a younger brother of mine, sprang up and said, ‘Why are you and Tinubu not greeting each other?’ and I said Bola is on a different planet from mine. Oba Otudeko was also there and he said, ‘today at the burial of our mutual friend, Arisekola, we should end our hostility’ and I told them that he was involved in the conspiracy to lock me up. They called Bola, he shook my hand and said he was sorry. It was in public. Since then, if we meet in public, we greet each other but our concepts of politics are different.”
Also commenting on his statement in a Vanguard interview in February 2015, that if Tinubu finds his way into national government, he would go on exile, George said his decision to go abroad is because he wants to spend more time with his family, not that he is afraid of the APC leader.
“There is nothing he can do to me. I am not afraid of him and he knows that but I am now 70 and most of my children are abroad. My little girl is also abroad. I will spend more time there doing my memoirs because if I am here, I will be dealing with too many things. The book will include my 16 years of politics in Lagos and my youthful experiences,” he said.
In October 2009, the Ikeja High Court presided over by Justice Joseph Oyewole found Bode George and five others guilty of the offences of inflation of contract, disobedience of lawful order and abuse of office.
Justice Oyewole sentenced them to two years each on seven counts and six months each on another 28 counts of the charges.
In his judgment, Oyewole held that, indeed, the defendants disobeyed the lawful order which set the limitation on prices of contract to be awarded by the NPA board and that there were traces that some contracts were split by the board led by Bode George.
The six defendants were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alleging financial impropriety of N84 billion, disobedience of lawful authority and abuse of offices.