Lagos State House of Assembly threatens to arrest Ambode, former commissioners
Lagos House of Assembly has threatened to issue a warrant of arrest for former Governor of the state, Akinwunmi Ambode and four others who served as his commissioners. The former commissioners include 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).
The lawmakers made the threat following two preliminary reports presented by two different ad-hoc committees set up by the House to investigate the 820 buses purchased by Ambode and to appraise the 2019 mid year budget. The report presented by the committee noted that preliminary investigations stated that due process was not followed in the purchase of the buses by the former governor and that the former governor and his commissioners failed to honor the committee’s invitation for questioning.
Chairman of one of the committees, Fatai Mojeed Mojee, told the house that former governor used the refund of the Paris Club for the purchase of the buses without the approval of the House.
“He did not inform the House before commencing the purchase of the buses. Over N48 billion was spent for the purchase of the busses and N22 Billion was spent on import duties. 520 of the buses are still at the seaport,” Mojeed told the lawmakers
He added that the Accountant General of the state who was invited, told the committee that she depended on the approval of the former governor for the purchase of the buses and no payment voucher was made available to the committee. The lawmaker added that they also demanded for the budget instrument used for the purchase of the buses no one could make any available.
“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,” he said
While reacting to the reports, some members of the House suggested that since the ex-governor and those officials who worked with him had been invited by the two committees and refused to show up, warrants of arrest should be issued on them.
Commenting on the matter, the majority Leader of the house, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade said:
“I want to observe that if they have been invited and refuse 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 arrest warrant.”
The Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, said before the warrant of arrest is issued, a newspaper publication inviting the governor should be made. When the invitation is not honored, then a warrant of arrest can then be issued.
“The clerk should write them including the ex-governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode and if they refuse, we will do newspaper publications and after that we will issue a warrant of arrest,” Obasa said
Written by Kartia Velino