Court summons Lagos speaker over Ambode’s probe

A High Court in Lagos has summoned Mudashiru Obasa, speaker of the state house of assembly, over the ongoing probe of 820 buses procured by the administration of former governor Akinwunmi Ambode.

The Chief Judge, Yetunde Adesanya, gave the order yesterday after an ex-parte motion was moved by Ambode’s lawyer, Tayo Oyetibo, in a suit against the assembly. The judge also summoned Azeez Sanni, the house clerk; Fatai Mojeed, chairman of the ad hoc committee set up by the house to probe the procurement; and members of the committee, including Gbolahan Yishawu, A.A Yusuff, Yinka Ogundimu, Mojisola Lasbat Meranda, M.L Makinde, Kehinde Joseph, T.A Adewale and O.S Afinni.

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Adesanya ordered the defendants to appear before the court at 9am today.

The state assembly had earlier summoned Ambode on two occasions to give account of some financial dealings during his administration.

Olusegun Banjo, a former commissioner for economic planning and budget in the state, had also said Ambode did not involve members of his cabinet in the purchase of 820 buses.

According to Ambode’s statement of claim before the court, the procurement of the buses was well captured in the 2018 appropriation bill, which was duly approved by the house.

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Ambode denied receiving any letter from the state assembly, saying no letter of invitation was delivered to him.

He also alleged that the lawmakers were biased against him based on their pronouncements on the floor of the house without hearing his side.

The ex-governor is seeking, among others, the court’s declaration that the power of the House to pass a resolution under section 128(1) of the constitution to cause an inquiry into his conduct as governor is subject to right to fair hearing as guaranteed by section 36(1) of the constitution.

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He is also seeking an injunction restraining the defendants “whether by themselves, their servants, agents and or representatives from representing or continue to represent to the public” that he procured 820 buses in breach of budgetary approval.

The judge fixed today for hearing of motion for interlocutory injunction.

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