Former Governor Lucky Igbinedion of Edo State has accused incumbent Governor Adams Oshiomhole of squandering trillions of Federal Allocations and Internally Generated Revenue the state has collected in the last seven years.
Igbinedion also dismissed a statement credited to Oshiomhole that he kept quiet for seven years on the illegalities and fraud allegedly perpetrated by the former governor while in office because he could not “report a thief to an armed robber”.
In a statement he personally signed in Abuja on Saturday, the ex-governor promised to expose his successor at the appropriate time.
The back and forth between Oshiomhole and his predecessor began on Wednesday when the former said his administration had begun moves to recover $31m allegedly “fraudulently taken” from the government coffers, during Igbinedion’s administration.
Oshiomhole also vowed to publish records of fraud allegedly perpetrated by the ex-governor, adding that he would forward all the files containing the alleged fraud to Abuja this week for necessary action.
The governor had also accused Igbinedion and his father, the Esama of Benin, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, of allegedly converting government properties and funds meant for the people of the state to private use.
Ex-Governor Igbinedion, however, said records of activities during his eight years tenure were open to the public.
He said, “I have made it very clear time without numbers that the files of my tenure are there for everybody who cares to ask to check. I do not intend to dignify Adams Oshiomhole any longer by joining issue with him.
“He should explain to the people of Edo State how he spent the federal allocations and internal generated revenues running into trillions naira in seven years.
“He should tell the people of Edo how much he is paying as land tax for his house in Iyamho worth over N10bn and other properties he has acquired in the last seven years in Dubai, Cape Town in South Africa, in San Francisco, United States of America, a high rise apartment in Atlanta also in America and in London. He is calling everybody a thief but Oshiomhole is the biggest thief in Benin City today”.
The ex-governor stressed that because Oshiomhole had allegedly mismanaged the financial resources of the state, which were entrusted in his care in the last seven years, and currently receiving the heat from the people, he was looking for a scapegoat.
Igbinedion added, “Oshiomhole has failed; the people of Edo State now know him better. Oshiomhole is the least qualified person to talk about corruption in the country today because his actions and programmes in the last seven years in Edo State epitomise corruption.
“He has called everybody in Nigeria a thief; has called former President Olusegun Obasanjo a thief; called former President Goodluck Jonathan a thief, he called (ex-Minister of Finance, Ngozi) Okojo-Iweala a thief, and others. Yet, he cannot prove his cases. I don’t think he knows the meaning of a thief.
“He lives in the glass house and throwing stones. President Muhammadu Buhari will soon find out the real Oshiomhole by the time we provide documents against him”.