Ambode wallows in N70bn BRT mess, faces arrest
The Lagos House of Assembly on Thursday said it may issue an arrest warrant on the state former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and four others, who served in his government.
The arrest will be coming after 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 submitted their reports.
Presenting the preliminary report of a 9-man ad-hoc committee to probe the 820 buses purchased by the former governor, Chairman of the committee, Fatai Mojeed, said that it was discovered that due process were not followed in the purchase of the busses.
According to him, Ambode used the refund of the Paris Club for the purchase of the busses without the approval of the House.
“Over N48 billion was spent for the purchase of the busses and N22 Billion were spent on import duties. 520 of the buses are still at the seaport,” Mojeed said.
He said further that the Accountant General of the state told the committee that she depended on the approval Ambode for the purchase of the busses and that no payment voucher was made available to the committee.
The lawmaker added that they also demanded for the budget instrument used for the purchase, but that there was no budgetary provision for the purchases.
“The committee invited 20 stakeholders, 16 of them complied, while four of them refused against the constitutional provision,” he added.
On his part, Gbolahan Yishawu, Chairman ad hoc on mid-year budget review, alleged that the affected commissioners were invited by his committee but they refused to appear without giving any excuses for their absence.
The ex-commissioners are 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).
Yishawu also claimed that the former governor gave some directives on spendings without the approval of the lawmakers.
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, warrant of arrest should be issued on them.
“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,” said Majority leader Sani Agunbiade
Fially, Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, noted that the issue was beyond issue of arrest warrant, “because when this house invite people and they refused to show up, it’s like setting a bad precedence 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,” Obasa added.