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Lagos Assembly Threatens To Arrest Ambode, Four Ex-Commissioners

Lagos Assembly Threatens To Arrest Ambode, Four Ex-Commissioners

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The Lagos State House of Assembly has threatened to issue a warrant of
arrest on the former governor of the state, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, and
four others who served in his administration as commissioners.

.

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This
decision followed two preliminary reports presented on Thursday by two
ad-hoc committees set up by the House to investigate the 820 buses
purchased by Mr Ambode and to appraise the 2019 mid-year budget.

The
former commissioners involved are Mr Kazeem Adeniji (Attorney General
and Commissioner for Justice), Olusegun Banjo (Commissioner for Budget),
Akinyemi Ashade (Commissioner for Finance), and Wale Oluwo
(Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources).

Presenting
the preliminary report of a nine-man ad-hoc committee to probe the
purchase of the 820 buses, the committee chairman, Fatai Mojeed, said
that it was discovered that due process was not followed.

He
added that the former governor used the refund of the Paris Club for the
purchase of the busses without the approval of the House.

He
(Ambode) did not inform the House before commencing the purchase of the
buses. Over N48 billion was spent on the purchase of the busses and N22
Billion was spent on import duties.

“520 of the buses are still at the seaport,” Mojeed told his colleagues during plenary.

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He
said the Accountant General of the State told the committee that she
depended on the approval of Mr Ambode for the purchase of the busses and
no payment voucher was made available to the committee.

The
lawmaker also explained that they demanded the budget instrument used
for the purchase, but there was no budgetary provision for it.

He added, “They could not produce any newspaper where the purchase of the buses was advertised.

“The committee invited 20 stakeholders, 16 of them complied while four of them refused against the constitutional provision.”

The
ad-hoc committee chairman on mid-year budget review, Gbolahan Yishawu,
alleged that the former commissioners were invited by his committee but
refused to appear without giving any excuses for their absence.

Yishawu also claimed that the former governor gave some directives on spending without the approval of the lawmakers.

In
their reactions, some members of the House suggested that since the
former governor and those officials who worked with him had been invited
by the two committees and refused to show up, warrant of arrest should
be issued on them.

The lawmaker representing Alimosho
Constituency I, Bisi Yusuf, told his colleagues that the House was
empowered by the Constitution to issue a warrant of arrest on concerned
individuals for their refusal to appear before the committees.

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However,
another lawmaker representing Badagry Constituency I, Ibrahim Layode,
expressed a contrary view and urged his colleagues to tread with
caution.

He advised that the concerned individuals should be
invited through newspaper advertisements, stating that the former
commissioners were likely to come across the publications.

On his
part, the Majority Leader of the House, Sanai Agunbiade, said, “I want
to observe that if they have been invited and refused to show up, we
should summon them and if they still refuse, then a warrant of arrest
can be issued.

“Now they’ve been invited, we should summon them by using the dailies before going to the extent of issuing an arrest warrant.”

Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, in his remarks noted that the matter was beyond the issue of an arrest warrant.

“When this House invites people and they refused to show up, it is like setting a bad precedent for others coming behind.

“The
clerk should write them, including the ex-governor, Mr Akinwunmi
Ambode, and if they refused, we will do newspaper publications and after
that, we will issue a warrant of arrest,” the speaker concluded.

Source:- Channelstv

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