A Lagos High Court in Ikeja on Tuesday, October 29, has summoned the State House of Assembly; the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, in connection with the ongoing probe of procurement of 820 buses. The buses were procured by the administration of former governor of the state, Akinwunmi Ambode.
Justice Y. A. Adesanya of the high court had issued the order dated October 29, 2019; after hearing a motion ex-parte moved by counsel to Ambode, Tayo Oyetibo.
Indeed, the former governor had instituted a suit against the Assembly. The suit is against the legality of the probe of the buses he purchased during his time in office.
Further, he revealed the procurement was based on budgetary approval as part of the Bus Reform Project of his administration. This, he held, was designed to revolutionize public transportation in line with global best practices.
Other defendants ordered to appear before the court are the House Clerk, Mr A. A. Sanni; Chairman of the Ad hoc Committee set up by the House to probe the procurement, Fatai Mojeed and members of the Committee.
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The members are Gbolahan Yishawu, A. A. Yusuff, Yinka Ogundimu, Mojisola Lasbat Meranda, M. L Makinde, Kehinde Joseph, T. A. Adewale and O. S. Afinni.
Meanwhile, Justice Adesanya ordered that the originating processes and all the accompanying processes filed by the claimant (Ambode) be served on the defendants.
Ambode added that having prescribed the manner of withdrawal of funds in Sections 3 and 4 of the 2018 Appropriation Law, it was unconstitutional for the House to attach another condition in Section 9 of the law for further approval to be sought before incurring any expenditure on the purchase of the buses.
The former governor also stated that during proceedings of the Assembly, some lawmakers thoroughly vilified and disparaged him as having purchased the buses without budgetary approval.
The lawmakers also said that the procurement was a waste of public funds, while at the end of the proceedings, the House resolved to constitute an Ad Hoc Committee to probe the procurement.
Ambode said it was surprising that the very lawmakers who contributed actively in vilifying, disparaging and denigrating him constituted the bulk of the members of the Committee, which was a clear derogation of his right to a fair hearing.
He added that in continuation of deliberate misrepresentation of facts of the issue, the House falsely claimed that an invitation had been extended to him to appear before the Committee but that he failed to honour the said invitation.