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N17millon Monthly expenditure On Obasa’s Guest House: Lagos assembly faults SaharaReporters

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By Timi Joshua

The Lagos State House of Assembly at plenary today debunked the media report alleging the Speaker, Rt (Hon) Mudashiru Obasa of spending N17million monthly on maintenance of his residence and guest house, describing the allegation as unfounded and misleading.

The Clerk of the House, Mr Azeez Sanni, who called the attention of the lawmakers to the report published online by SaharaReporters on April 26, explained that the report was erroneous. 

Sanni hinted that the amount stated cover a lot more, ” the sum covers various expenditure of the full offices; the Office of the Chief of Staff, Special Advisers ( Budget , Political Matters), office of the Chief Press Secretary, Special Assistant (Protocol), Special Assistant ( Research and Development), Special Assistant (Women Affairs), and 15 Special Assistants engaged to give relevant advice with respect to their area of speciality and fields of expertise for smooth operation of the legislature.

“I must also state that this expenditures have been in existence prior the emergence of Speaker Obasa . In fact it dated back as far as 2012 when it was N27million monthly and I have the document here to show that .

He added that the report by SaharaReporters was a deliberate attempt to tarnish the image of the House of Assembly.

The media outfit, in his view is all out to tarnish the image of the house,he notes that information if sourced through the right channel would have clarified the matter, capturing the whole rather than a bit and piece, which is misleading and disparaging. 

” On the allegation that the company was registered in 2015, how come the company in question was just engaged in 2018? “, said the Clerk.

The Chairman House Committee on Information, Security and Strategy, Hon. Tunde Braimoh, faulted the medium for not reaching out to House to get their own side of the story and ensure a balanced reportage, as the report is malicious and should be totally ignored.

Braimoh who said the medium is known to be writing unbalanced reports lately, said that had it been the medium reach out to the House before rushing to publish their report, they could have been better guided .

” A responsible journalist could have reach out to me as Chairman of the House Information Committee before publishing what is not”, If Sahara Reporters have asked a question this will have been well cleared, we should ignore all this shenanigan and dismiss it in its entirety. 

That report is half baked,suppressed,abridged and deliberately calculated not to capture all its intendments but just to have a kind of sensational view,the truth of the matter is there are a lot of expenditures attached to that particular vote head.

The line of the expenditure itself is not new in the annals of the Lagos House of Assembly it’s been like that even before this present Speaker took over,ten years before his dispensation in office the expenditure has been there and it was even more,it was N27m .

The reporter just gave two page fact and that is why we insist,not because anybody is hiding anything from anybody, but to get any document from any organisation it must be certified as true.

Hon.Rotimi Olowo representing Somolu Constituency 1 and also Chairs the House Committee On Finance, took a swipe on said medium citing the unprofessional and less ethical  style of journalism exhibited, noting that the media outfit was known for tarnishing brand image and inciting the public by deliberately publishing misleading reports.

Olowo added ” I believe if it is truly investigative journalism that the medium is practising, it should be able to get the other side of the issue before they can rush to publish lies. The medium is known to publish lies as they published recently that former House of Representatives Speaker Ghali Umar Na’aba was late. 
“This one is one that you can really see that the medium was telling lies because we have procurement law and there are procedures stated by the law . If a contractor makes an overture to the House for contract bidding, it is not just what he came with but what the house eventually agree . I remember in 2012,  I was a member of this house and I remember the amount that was budgeted was N27m but when Obasa emerged as Speaker he reduced it to N17million” 

I think SaharaReporters needs to be cautioned as it has shown that whatever that is given to them is published without crosschecking. Mr Speaker, this House has the power to sue because the lies by this medium is getting to much”, said Olowo.

Also, Hon. Temitope Adewale ( Ifako Ijaiye 2), who corroborated Olowo, stated that the publisher was one lost his presidential bid in time past and was alleged to mismanaged his party’s campaign fund.

” The same man was the party presidential  candidate and at the same time the party national chairman. 

POLITICS

LAGOS EAST: Abiru promises to sustain quality representation

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By Timi Joshua

The All Progressives Congress candidate for the Lagos East Senatorial bye election,Mr Tokunbo Abiru on Tuesday have pledged total commitment to his people if voted to the National Assembly.

Abiru ,a former Managing Director of Polaris Bank,made the pledge during a meeting with party stakeholders, community leaders and residents in Somolu .

He said he was contesting the senatorial election to offer quality representation for the people of the district .

“Let me assure you and all the good people of Lagos East that I will not disappoint if I am elected .

“I will carry on the legacies of those who had represented the senatorial district in the past that have offeref quality representation from 1999 till date, from my father to late senator Bayo Osinowo.

“These great men did very well; I can’t afford to do less.I will do my best to the service of the people if elected “,he said.

He also, said he would bring all the competences acquired in the banking sector for about 30 years and in public sector as former Finance Commissioner, to bear on the service of the people if elected.

Abiru stressed on why he would work with the other National Assembly members to attract more development to Lagos East and the state.

The ex-Polaris Bank boss said Lagos deserved special status being a former Federal capital,saying he would work with others to secure that for the state.

“Also I will carry out empowerment programmes to uplift the people and promote the prosperity of the senatorial district”,he said.

He urged the people of Somolu and those of other communities to go out en masse on Oct.31 to vote for him and APC.

Abiru also urged party members mobilise others to make the victory emphatic.

Earlier,Chief Kaoli Olusanya, APC Vice Chairman ,Lagos East ,described Abiru as a credible and competent candidate .

He said the party had no doubts that Abiru would deliver if elected .

Olusanya said just like Abiru stabilised hitherto distressed Polaris Bank as CEO ,he would make great impact if elected as senator .

He expressed regrets that votes for APC in the state had decreased over time and urged residents of the senatorial to come out en masses on Oct.31 to prove their support for the party.

“In the 2019 elections ,the entire votes APC got in Somolu for Gov.Sanwoolu were in the region of 40,000, that is not good enough.

“Bariga alone can give that .So this time around I urge you to go out and deliver at least 100,000 votes for our candidate “,he said.

He said with massive turn out of party members and residents,APC would win by landslide.

The meeting was attended by many party members ,community leaders ,traders and youths.

Some of the prominent APC chieftains at the meeting include Somolu Federal House of Representatives Ademorin Kuye(Somolu); a member of the state House of Assembly ,Mr Rotimi Abiru(Somolu 2) and another member ,Mr Rotimi Olowo(Somolu 1)

Chairman of Somolu Local Government Area,Mr Ahmed Salau and Chairman of Bariga Local Council Development Area,Mr Kolade Alabi were among those in attendance.

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POLITICS

Lagos Assembly Begins Probe Of Auditor-General’s Report On MDAs

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Lagos Assembly Begins Probe Of Auditor-General’s Report On MDAsThe Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Lagos State House Committee, on Tuesday commenced the 2019 consideration exercise of the state Auditor-General’s statutory report on the account of the state Ministries Departments Agencies (MDAs).

While addressing journalists at the opening of the exercise, Chairman of the committee, Hon. Nurudeen Saka-Solaja explained that the purpose of the exercise was not to witch-hunt but to invite all heads of the indicted MDAs and sought clarifications from the as regards the outstanding queries raised in the Auditor-General’s report to enhance better service delivery in the state.

Saka-Solaja noted that the Public Account Committee is a statutory establishment of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and an important instrument of checks, probity and accountability by the legislature both at the federal and state levels.

According to him, “Sections 125(2) and 129(1) (c) of the 1999 Constitution as amended empowers the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Assembly to ‘summon any person in Nigeria to give evidence at any place or produce any document or other things in his possession or under his control and examine him as witness and require him to produce any document or other thing in his possession or under his control, subject to all just exceptions’ during the deliberation and consideration exercise of the audited report of the accounts of MDAs submitted by the Auditor-General of the state.

“Accordingly, in consonance with the need for effective and best practices in the pursuit of its statutory objectives, the Public Accounts Committee (State) of the Lagos State House of Assembly today commenced the deliberations and considerations of the audited report of the State Auditor-General on the accounts of the Lagos State government for the year ended, 31st December, 2019,” Saka-Solaja said.

He, however, assured Lagosians that as part of the oversight function of the legislative arm of government, that all monies budgeted for the MDAs will be properly scrutinized as well as judiciously spent as captured in the budget of the state.

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EDO 2020

“Victory is sure for APC in Edo guber poll” -Uzodinma

Imo state governor expresses confidence on Ize-Iyanmu’s emergence as Edo governor

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By Joshua Timi, Benin City

The Imo State governor, Hope Uzodinma on Thursday arrived Benin City with the hope to accomplish victory for the APC gubernatorial candidate, Pastor Ozagie Ize-Iyamu in the Saturday’s governorship election in Edo state.

Gov. Uzodinma, who landed in Benin City at about 12: 45pm at the Benin Airport in company of Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ovie Omoagege said that the victory is sure for his party.

Speaking with newsmen shortly after his arrival, Uzodinma expressed that his mission in Edo State was to consolidate on campaign consultations done by the party so far in the state.

“I have come here to consolidate in line with our campaign consultations; we hope that before the mid night today, which is the end of the campaign, we will use the opportunity to mop up our vote gathering campaign”.

He explained that APC has gained a lot of popularity in the state and the candidacy of its flag bearer in the gubernatorial election was commendable.

“It is very clear from opinion polls that our party is very popular here, we have campaigned enough and we have very good candidate by the grace of God, we will emerge victorious” he said.

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