The former Governor of Edo State, Lucky Nosa Igbinedion, during an interview with journalists on Friday, May 9th, said while he was Governor, he had to borrow money from his father, Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion and PDP Chieftain, Chief Anthony Anenih, to pay the backlog of salaries the past administration owed the Edo state civil servants when he came into office. According to the former Governor, Edo State had been broke and no bank was ready to do business with it at the time he assumed office.
“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 go to him crying or lie in front of Govt House, a couple of times I went to Chief Anenih and he gave money just to make sure the government ran smoothly.” he said.
Lucky Igbinedion who was at a time declared wanted by the EFCC says his travail with the anti-corruption body was politically motivated. He also said it was all the handwork of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who labeled any one corrupt once such a person is opposed to his ideology. According to the former governor, EFCC officials confided in him that his conviction was all an order from above..
“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’s what I was charged and fined for.” he said.