The Governor of Kwara State, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has accused the Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed of duping him of hundreds of millions of naira donated to him for his governorship campaign.
AbdulRazaq accused Mohammed, a minister in the Muhammadu Buhari-led government of pocketing a huge amount of money donated to him (AbdulRazaq) by an undisclosed Igbo businessman towards his political campaign in 2019.
The governor said even though he and the minister are in the same political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), the latter did not contribute to his emergence as a governor in their state – Kwara.
AbdulRazaq disclosed this in a This Day interview on Sunday.
“The Chief of Staff to the Kaduna State Governor called and said Lai gave us an account but it’s not going through, ‘can you give us another account so we can send you the money?’ But I was going to campaign so I said fine.
“I came back two days later and remembered, and I said they should call him and give him an account number. When we called, he said Lai had sorted it out. That one and several. Until today, as we speak, he never told anybody that he collected money.
“There’s a businessman from the South-East. His banker came to me and said his Oga (boss) wants (sic) to speak with me. I spoke with him and he said he was sending money to me. I said, thank you very much. After the election, he called me to congratulate me.
“When he saw I was just saying ‘thank you’, then he asked if Lai didn’t deliver the money, I asked him what money? He said N100 million,” the governor said.
The governor said Mohammed has failed to account for hundreds of millions of naira donated towards his campaign, which the minister allegedly pocketed.
He complained that the information minister humiliated him and worked against his interest in the run-up to the exercise.
The minister has previously denied stealing campaign funds, saying instead that he used his own money to fund AbdulRazaq’s election.
AbdulRazaq’s allegations revealed the crisis in Kwara APC was far from over. The party has been in turmoil since its revalidation exercise in which Mohammed claimed malpractice by the governor’s camp.
The minister later issued a statement warning that the party’s chapter in Kwara could collapse because AbdulRazaq’s actions. The governor, however, said the minister was only crying foul, adding that he has no political base in Kwara.
The two factions worked together in 2019 to defeat former Senate President Bukola Saraki and take over most of the state and federal elective positions in Kwara.