One of the hottest gists in the social circle, which is also being turned into a political smear campaign against the Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Raji Fashola and his political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State is the reported friction between the governor and top city lawyer, Kemi Pinheiro, who is one of the governor’s classmates in the University of Benin, where they both entered and finished their law degree programme the same year,
‘Though both men came out of school in flying colours they however, have different circle of friends, but they still have mutual respect for each other and have both never been known to disagree publicly until recently,” said the source.
Our source revealed that the bone of contention is the suspicion being nursed by Kemi Pinheiro and some of his friends that it was the Governor that set the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service after them immediately the path of the Governor and the lawyer crossed when they were returning from a business trip in North America.
‘The acrimony actually started as a child’s play and I am sure both of them may not be aware that the matter has now degenerated to a level that their friends now discuss at different fora.
“I think it started during one of the Governor’s business trips to Canada, he was returning to the country with his entourage and he was accorded all the respect due his exalted office in the first class section of the aircraft, I think the Governor was already seated when Kemi Pinheiro and his associates, who were also returning to Nigeria from a trip to the same Canada sauntered in and on sighting his old friend and classmate, decided to exchange pleasantries with the Governor before taking their seats also in the first class section of the plane before the big bird took off.
“The Governor, though acknowledged the greetings, but some of Kemi’s friends felt the response from the Governor was not warm enough and both parties maintained straight faces throughout the long trip to Lagos.
“That is not even the story, the story actually started barely one week after the trip as the officials of LIRS not only visited the office of Kemi Pinheiro, but also those of his friends who were also in the first class section during the encounter with the Governor.
“You know it is never a tea party whenever these guys decide to move in on a target, it is not as if they don’t have the right to come and comb the books to generate revenue for the state, it was the timing of the sequence of events that played out that was particularly painful.
The coded message was if you can afford to fly in first class, then you must have proof of tax payment and even be ready to pay more as the case may be,” said the source.
Our source revealed that Kemi Pinheiro is known to be a man of high taste and class, who is rich to afford whatever he desires as he enjoys a very successful law business.