Joint committees of the Lagos State House of Assembly probing former governor Akinwunmi Ambode over the purchase of 820 buses have bowed to the ruling of a state High Court to stay action on the matter and adjourned the matter until further notice.
The court gave its ruling, yesterday in response to the prayers of Ambode, who sued the Assembly after he was summoned to appear before its committee over the purchase of 820 buses without the approval of the House.
The Assembly had mandated the then Ad hoc Committee on Transport, headed by Fatai Mojeed and Committee on Budget and Economic Planning, headed by Gbolahan Yishawu, to probe the purchase of 820 buses by Ambode and threatened to issue a warrant of arrest on him and four others who served as commissioners.
The former commissioners involved 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).
Mojeed said over N48 billion was spent for the purchase of the busses and N22 billion was spent on import duties while 520 of the buses are still at the seaport. He said further that the accountant general of the state told the committee that she depended on the approval of 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 the budget instrument used for the purchase, but that there was no budgetary provision for the purchases.
“They could not produce any newspaper where the purchase of the buses was advertised,” he said.
Addressing journalists on the matter after the adjournment by the committee yesterday, Mojeed said the matter was adjourned indefinitely as the committee got court summon to stay action on the matter and that they had to respect the opinion of the court.
“We are lawmakers, we are not law breakers, which was why we had to adjourn the matter indefinitely. The people of Lagos should be expecting more from us,” he said.
However, Olaniran Obele from the chambers of Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), Ambode’s counsel, protested they were not allowed into the committee meeting
Obele said they were at the Assembly to hand over the court summon to the chairman of the committee and the speaker of the House, but that the summon was not accepted and that they were prevented from witnessing the committee meeting.