Senator Rashidi Ladoja

A former Governor of Oyo State, Rashidi Ladoja, has said that he wouldn’t have had to undergo a trial that lasted 11 whopping years for alleged theft of N4.7bn public funds if he had joined the ruling All Progressives Congress.

Ladoja, who was discharged and acquitted by Justice Mohammed Idris at a Federal High Court, Lagos Division last Friday, recalled his trial by the Economics and Financial Crimes Commission, saying he was under pressure by the ruling APC to join the party if his alleged sins must be forgiven.

He did not mention the names of the APC leaders who wanted him to join the party.

Speaking with journalists on Sunday at his Bodija residence after a rally organised for him by his supporters around Ibadan and led by Sharafadeen Alli, his party, Zenith Labour Party’s gubernatorial candidate, Ladoja said he was also worried that the judgement could be influenced by political enemies to ensure he was punished for sins he didn’t commit.

While thanking the judiciary for upholding truth and fair play, Ladoja said, from the outset, he knew it was a case of political prosecution.

“I know the trial will be tough and challenging, but I believe God is on my side.

“I would have chosen to join APC so that my sins can be forgiven as it was recently said by the National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole; but despite all the pressures, I remained steadfast because I knew truth shall prevail.”

Earlier, Ladoja, who had visited the palace of Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji after his arrival from Lagos, said he had reasons to appreciate the monarch for his support during his trial.

Olubadan described him as a man of “impeccable character” who would never indulge in acts capable of dragging his good reputation in the mud.

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