Wednesday, 14 May 2014

“I borrowed money to run Edo state” – Lucky Igbinedion

Lucky Igbinedion,57, former governor of Edo State and son of the well respected Esama of Benin kingdom, Gabriel Igbinedion in a press conference on Friday in Abuja revealed how he had to borrow money from his father and PDP chieftain, Tony Anenih, to pay off staff salaries and run the state during his administration, also he tried to lay to rest, rumours that he embezzled the state funds during his tenure as governor . 

“This is the first time I am saying this. Two people that I owe a lot of gratitude to in Edo State that made my tenure successful.  My father and Chief Tony Anenih. In the darkest of days, when the state was broke, we could not pay salaries, we could not do anything, I run to the two of them and they will lend the state money. 

They will loan the state money, it is documented, it is there, when banks will not even touch us, I would go to them. When pensioners will come to me crying or lie in front of Government House, a couple of times I went to Chief Anenih and he gave money just to make sure the government ran smoothly.” On his conviction by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), he said: “They (EFCC) are doing their job. They challenge you, you answer their questions. 

I have nothing to fear. I was outside the country, when they said I was declared wanted, I came back. If I had fear, I would keep running but I was confident that I had nothing to fear. In fact, if anything, it is the state that owes me money, not me owing the state money. “For me to loot, there must be something to loot. Edo State had no money to loot. 

I borrowed money from my father; and from Chief Anenih. “They went round and round and after a while, they came to the Code of Conduct, they said I failed to disclose an amount of N3.3 million in my account. That is what I was charged and fined for,” he said.

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