The national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has denied apologising to the leader of the Peoples Democratic Party in Lagos State, Chief Bode George.
George had said during an interview with the Sunday PUNCH that Tinubu was responsible for his imprisonment but had apologised to him at the burial of the Deputy President General of Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Abdul-Azeez Arisekola-Alao, in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, last year.
However, Tinubu in a statement by his media adviser, Mr. Sunday Dare, said he never apologised to George since he had nothing to do with George’s incarceration.
He said although they both met at Arisekola-Alao’s burial, their conversation had nothing to do with an apology.
He said, “Mr. George claims the alleged apology was made at the burial of Chief Alao-Arisekola. On that date, personalities such as Oba Otudeko and Governor Ajimobi approached me because I did not greet Mr. George initially. They pleaded that, in the memory of the man we were all gathered to honour, I should greet Mr. George. At their request, I turned back and came to greet him by saying’Good Afternoon Egbon (senior).’ That was all.”
Tinubu, who is a former Governor of Lagos State, said he could not have been involved in the incarceration of George since it was the Federal Government that instituted the case against him.
He said rather, it was people within George’s party that orchestrated his two-year jail term in Kirikiri prison.
He explained that George, who has since been exonerated by the Supreme Court, was convicted of ‘invoice splitting’ which had nothing to do with politics.
He said, “Mr. George seeks to imbue me with more power than I could possibly have. I am flattered but in all humility I must protest the false assessment. If he can remember, the government of the day was that of the PDP.”
“I have never had or sought much influence in those circles. He was charged by the government ruled by his own party for an offence concerning financial irregularities at the Nigeria Port Authority, an appointment he received from that same government.
“It is an incredible tale indeed to state that somehow I could direct a party that tried to dismantle the progressive political structure of my party to bring down one of its key members.
“The more plausible explanation for his legal tribulation was that a member of his own cabal blew the whistle on Mr. George’s antics for reasons that only he and that person truly know. The rest is now history.”