Former Commissioner of Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Olusegun Banjo, has debunked insinuation in some quarters that he indicted the immediate past governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode over the 820 buses procured by the Ambode’s administration, which Lagos State House of Assembly was currently investigating.
Banjo in a statement issued yesterday, stated that his response to questions asked by the Lagos State House of Assembly’s nine-man ad hoc committee investigating purchase of 820 buses during Ambode’s administration under oath was intended to explain technical issues pertaining to the operations of the Ministry and nothing was said by him in any manner as to condemn or indict anyone.
The statement reads: “I wish to state categorically and unequivocally that the news item reflects unfortunately a selective and partial reportage as well as a deliberate misrepresentation of what transpired during my meeting with the 9-man AD Hoc committee investigating the purchase of 820 buses during the Administration of Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode.
“Regarding the operations of the Ministry, I brought it to the attention of the house that the operating system need to be reviewed and also mentioned other weaknesses in a professional manner. It is pertinent to note that these observations had earlier been included in my handing over note to the new administration and as it affects all arms of Government and not the executive alone.
“I was therefore, contrary to the impression sought to be portrayed by the press, not saying anything new that had not been said before. To my utter chagrin the press reports of my testimony before the committee are skewed in such a manner as to suggest that I had been scathingly critical of the last Administration in which I had served and had painted the executive in bad light.
“I am deeply saddened and disappointed by such sensationalism by hitherto section of the press and by its uninhibited and deplorable abdication of a basic tenet of professional journalism- impartial reportage.
“I wish to state that I am not in a position to know what exactly transpired on the issue of the buses as I was not in government when the issue was tabled and approved by the State Executive Council and neither was I drafted into the bus Steering committee on assumption of duty in February 2018.
“My response to questions asked by the committee under oath was intended to explain technical issues pertaining to the operations of the Ministry and explain the anomalies they noted and seek explanations to, and nothing said by me there was intended to or said in any manner as to condemn or indict anyone.”