[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Lagos State House of Assembly on Wednesday agreed to halt proceedings in the probe of former Governor of the State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, over procurement of 820 buses for public transportation.
Ambode had instituted a suit against the Assembly, the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa and others, to contest the constitutionality of the probe, accusing them of bias and misrepresentation of facts.
When the matter came up in court on Wednesday morning, Ambode’s lawyer, Mr. Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), informed the court of his pending application for interlocutory injunction, saying that same had been served on the defendants.
In response, a team of lawyers of the defendants led by Mrs. Adenike Oshinowo and included Mrs. Adegbite and Ms. Olayemi Johnson confirmed service of the application, but pleaded for time since the processes were served at about 6pm on Tuesday.
They specifically requested for two weeks to respond but the date they suggested was not convenient for the court.
Responding, Oyetibo did not object to the application of the defendants for adjournment but urged the Court to direct parties to maintain status quo. In her response, the presiding Judge, Justice Yetunde Adesanya, said “it goes without saying” and called on Mrs. Osinowo for her response who also agreed that status quo would be maintained by the Defendants.
The court then adjourned the matter to November 20 2019 for the hearing of the motion on Notice for interlocutory injunction.
With the ruling, the former Governor cannot be summoned to appear again before the House probe panel as both parties have agreed to maintain status quo till the new hearing date.
According to his statement of claim before the court, Ambode had said contrary to deliberate misrepresentation of facts by the lawmakers, the procurement of the 820 buses was well captured in the 2018 Appropriation Law which was duly approved by the House.
“In section 1 of the Bill, the 1st Defendant (House of Assembly) authorized the total Budget for the year 2018 to be One Trillion, Forty Six Billion, One Hundred and Twenty One Million, One Hundred and Eighty-One Thousand, Six Hundred and Eighty Naira (N1,046,121,181,680.00) comprising the sum of Three Hundred and Forty Seven Billion, Thirty-Eighty Million, Nine Hundred and Thirty-Eight Thousand, Eight-Hundred and Seventy-Two Naira (N347,038,938,872.00) only and Six Hundred and Ninety-Nine Billion, Eighty-Two Million, Two Hundred and Forty-Two Thousand, Eight Hundred and Eighty Naira (N699,082,242,808.00) only as the Recurrent and Capital Expenditures respectively.
“Part of the items authorized by the Bill under Capital Expenditure was: “LAGBUS Public Transport Infrastructure (MEPB); Part financing of 820 buses” which was item 8 under schedule 1- Part C of the Bill,” the former Governor averred.
He added that having prescribed the manner of withdrawal of funds in sections 3 and 4 of the 2018 Appropriation Law, it was unconstitutional for the House to attach another condition in section 9 of the law for further approval to be sought before incurring any expenditure on the purchase of the buses.
Highlighting the specific breach of his constitutional rights to fair hearing by the House, the former Governor said on August 27, 2019 during proceedings of the Assembly, some lawmakers thoroughly vilified and disparaged him as having purchased the buses without budgetary approval and that the procurement was a waste of public funds, while at the end of the proceedings, the House resolved to constitute an Ad Hoc Committee to probe the procurement.
He said it was surprising that the very lawmakers who contributed actively in vilifying, disparaging and denigrating him constituted the bulk of the members of the Committee, which was a clear derogation of his right to fair hearing.
Ambode added that in continuation of deliberate misrepresentation of facts of the issue, the House falsely claimed that an invitation had been extended to him to appear before the Committee but that he failed to honour the said invitation.
“The Claimant states that no letter of invitation was delivered to him before the 4th and 5th Defendants made the false allegation against the Claimant which was widely reported by various national Newspapers in the country.”
He added that the House Committee and indeed the entire members of the House had already adjudged him as having committed wastage of public fund by the procurement of the buses in question and had also already determined that the procurement was done by him as opposed to the State Government.
He said it was obvious that the lawmakers were totally biased against him having regard to their pronouncements on the floor of the House by reason of which he believes that his right to fair hearing as guaranteed by the Constitution had been seriously compromised by the defendants.
He is, therefore, 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.
He also wants a declaration that the Resolution of the House setting up a 9-Man Committee comprising of the 4th-12th Defendants to investigate all transactions in respect of the 820 Buses said by the defendants to have been procured by him derogates from his right as guaranteed by section 36(1) of the Constitution and therefore is unconstitutional, null and void.
He is therefore, among others seeking:
“An injunction restraining the Defendants whether by themselves, their servants, agents and or representatives from compelling the Claimant, in any manner whatsoever, to appear before the Defendants pursuant to the Resolution passed by the Defendants on 27th August 2019 or any other Resolution passed in respect of the subject matter of this Suit.
“An injunction restraining the Defendants whether by themselves, their servants, agents and or representatives from representing or continue to represent to the Public that the Claimant, AKINWUNMI AMBODE, procured 820 buses in breach of budgetary approval.”
“Our target is 3.5m votes for Sanwo-olu” -Sunday Ajayi
By BOLA AKINMODIRO
It was an impressive outing, as Party faithful and Supporters trooped out in their hundreds to support the official kickoff of campaigns for a second term in office of Babajide Sanwo-olu, the incumbent governor of Lagos state.
Foremost grassroots mobilizer/ Chairman for Greater Tomorrow Lagos State, Hon. Prince Sunday Ajayi, urged all ethnic nationalities resident in Lagos State to come out en mass during the 2023 general elections to give their votes to Governor Babajide Sonwo Olu in terms of what he has done in Lagos State and in terms of what he would do if given the opportunity.
Hon. Ajayi who was impressed for the large turn out of youth during the flag off campaign seized the occasion to call on every youth in the 3, 000 Units / 245 Wards in the State to come out during the elections and cast their votes for Governor Sonwo Olu based on his outstanding track record in Lagos State.
In his word: ” Our target is to have 3 Million votes in Lagos State. Today, we mobilised majority of the youth and they wear our T. Shirt and Face Cap. We urge every Lagosian to come out and vote Governor Sonwo Olu for a second term”
Mammoth crowd as Sanwo-olu kicks off campaign for 2nd term in office
By BOLA AKINMODIRO
The Mobolaji Johnson Arena (Old Onikan Stadium), Onikan, Lagos, in the early hours on Saturday, was beseiged by residents and supporters of All Progressives Congress, APC, for the official campaign kick off for the re-election bid of Governor Bababjide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat in 2023 guber polls.
As of 9am , the stadium was filled to capacity as more crowd from the 20 Local Government Areas and 37 Local Council Development Areas, LCDAs, gathered inside and outside of the Arena.
Armed security personnel, private security outfits as well as emergency responders were seen stationed at strategic areas to ensure protection of lives and properties of residents.
Vehicular movement has been restricted around the area as residents continued to throng the arena.
Prominent personalities at the event included: wife of the state Governor, Dr. Ibjioke Sanwo-Olu, wife of the deputy Governor, Remi Hamzat, former Deputy Governor, and Lagos West Senatorial candidate, Dr. Idiat Adebule, Deputy Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, and Lagos Central Senatorial candidate, Wasiu Eshilokun, members of the Governor’s Advisory Council, GAC, of the APC Lagos, State Executive Council members, members of the state House of Assembly, APC chieftains, market women and men, different solidarity groups, party supporters among others.
The supporters were seen chanting solidarity songs in praise of Sanwo-Olu and APC Presidential Candidate, Bola Tinubu and his Vice, Kashim Shettima.
Various musicians are on ground entertaining guests and participants at the event.
Earlier, Lagos State Government has released traffic advisory, through, a statement by the Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde, announcing restriction of motorists between Police Zonal Headquarters, Zone 2 and Onikan Roundabout.
Oladeinde, advised motorists who intend to make use of Island Club road by Police Headquarters Zone 2, Onikan to make use of the following alternative routes;
Motorists from Victoria Island are urged to make use of Ozumba Mbadiwe road to Five Cowries Bridge (Falomo Bridge) to Alfred Rewane road to Osborne road to connect their desired destinations.
He also urged motoring public moving from Bonny Camp to access CMS/ Marina Bridge after Independence Bridge (Mekunwen Bridge) and loop it down towards Cathedral Church to link Lagos Island through Odunlami Street and connect their desired destinations, or use Force road beside Muson Centre to J.K Randle road Avenue (Race Course) to Water Board to old Broad Street to continue their journeys.
Alternatively, Oladeinde also said Motorists moving from King George V road to Awolowo road/JK Randle Avenue through Onikan Roundabout should make use of Turton Street to Lewis Street to Sandgrouse and proceed on their journeys, or use Moloney Street to Obalende and proceed to their desired destinations.
The Commissioner further advise motoring public moving from Awolowo road, Ikoyi to Onikan to make use of Falomo Roundabout to access Alfred Rewane road to Osborne road through Simpson to Sandgrouse and connect their desired destinations, or from Simpson interchange to Obalende to Moloney Street and proceed on their journeys.
He added that Motorists moving from JK Randle Avenue (Race Course) to Water Board can make use of either Old Defence road or Ganiyu Smith road to link Igbosere, Sandgrouse to connect Simpson Street and Third Mainland Bridge through Simpson Interchange for their desired destinations.
The commissioner further enjoined party members and others attending the gubernatorial campaign to make use of the Third Mainland Bridge and descend at Onikan exit to access designated car park or Alfred Rewane road through Falomo to Awolowo road to access the car park, or make use of Outer Marina through Force road to access the parking space.
He mentioned that the designated Free Car Park include; Multi-Layer Car Park on King George V road, TBS Oval Car Park, Old Defense Headquarters Parking Lot and other Parking Lots as directed by Officials.
Oladeinde said that in order to cushion the inconvenience and reduce travel time, Security and Traffic Management Personnel will be deployed to all the strategic junctions and intersections to ensure safety and security of all road users as well as free flow of traffic within the perimeter of the campaign venue and alternative routes.
Lagosians host Tinubu as he promises massive youth development
by Bola Akinmodiro
The Lagos city that hosted the first All Progressives Congress (APC) convention after the party was formed in 2014 – became a beehive of political carnival on Saturday.
A mammoth crowd thronged the main bowl of the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere, as the ruling party returned to the city for its inaugural 2023 presidential rally in the Southwest region.
Clad in various shades of APC-branded vests, caps and Ankara brocade, a mass of the party’s supporters, who filled the 24,000-capacity stadium to the brim, defied the searing heat from the sun to receive the APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, his running mate, Sen. Kashim Shettima, members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) and the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) team.
At 12:45, Tinubu’s motorcade made a grand entry into the venue, moving the crowd into a spontaneous excitement. The APC presidential candidate arrived in company of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Minister for Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, and members of Progressive Governors’ Forum led by their chairman, Gov. Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State.
The huge turnout at the rally again confirmed Tinubu’s popularity at his political base. The APC presidential candidate hails from Lagos and was a two-term Governor of the State.
Sanwo-Olu opened the floor with his short remarks, thanking Tinubu for laying the foundation for the physical and socio-economic growth being witnessed in Lagos since 1999.
The Governor, who described the APC presidential standard bearer as “architect of modern Lagos”, said Tinubu’s vision, character and tenacity stood him out among presidential contenders, urging Lagosians to elect the candidate with unprecedented number of votes at the polls.
Sanwo-Olu said: “Tinubu is the builder of the modern Lagos we are all enjoying today. For implementing his vision through character and tenacity, and pushing his ideas to what we can physically see, our candidate is the best choice for the president.
“Aside being a visionary leader, Tinubu has also been an advocate of unity and a figure who has stood firm in support of national cohesion. We are all witnesses to all outstanding achievements to his name. His reputation stands tall among his peers And he is the right man for the job.”
Tinubu took to the podium to share message of “Renewed Hope” with the mass of young people at the rally. He said his administration’s priorities would focus on improving human capital development and harnessing energy of the youth through job creation to accelerate economic growth.
His capacity to lead the country, the APC presidential candidate said is not in doubt, noting that Lagos’ growth trajectory from a State in deficit to one of the six largest economies in Africa best demonstrated his ability to drive the needed change to put the country on the path of prosperity.
When elected, Tinubu said he would do his best to change the country’s fortunes, but noted the task would not be easy at the start.
He said: “I stand before you all with a solemn promise that when we are elected next year, we will continue and build on the progressive path laid forth by our party since 2015. We have clear agenda for the future of the country and with your support, we will work to achieve a better future for you and your family.
“Nobody will be forgotten when we roll out our development plans. We have great plans for our youths in education and employment. You will not be forgotten. Economic growth is one of our biggest priorities. We will do our best to solve the contemporary challenges facing us, but it will not be easy at the start.”
Tinubu, again, took a swipe at Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, calling on the electorate to use their votes to retire him finally. The APC presidential candidate said PDP spent 15 years of excuses and forgot the mandate given them to better the lives of Nigerian in the era of boom.
Under the PDP, Tinubu said major infrastructure projects were left to rot with no plan for their rehabilitation, including Lagos-Badagry Highway.
“Rejecting Atiku with your votes and retiring him will be the final step to take in burying PDP for life,” Tinubu said.
The APC National Leader passed a vote of confidence on Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, saying the Governor had become symbol of good governance.
Tinubu said PDP would repeat another outing of failure in Lagos gubernatorial election, stressing that the opposition party did not have enough strength to stop Sanwo-Olu’s re-election
PCC Director-General and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, described Tinubu as a “consummate manager of people and resources” with capacity to change difficult situation.
Lalong said Tinubu’s greatest success as former Lagos governor was his ability to groom brilliant successors that expanded his ideas to the next level.
Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, said Tinubu’s winning the party presidential ticket took him out as the most investigated politician the Fourth Republic.
Despite series of wild allegations being bandied against Tinubu, the Speaker said none had been proven to be true. The APC presidential candidate, Gbajabiamila said, would win the election with convincing margins.
He said: “This is not the main rally for Lagos. We are energising the base with this large turnout witnessed here today. When the main campaign is held, it will be the double of the crowd we see here today.”
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