A former governor of Lagos, Akinwunmi Ambode, and four others who served in his government could be up for arrest if the threat by the state House of Assembly takes effect.
The lawmakers took this decision after two preliminary reports presented by different ad-hoc committees set up by the House to investigate the 820 buses purchased by the former governor and to appraise the 2019 mid year budget.
Those that could be affected by the arrest include 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).
The chairman of one of the sub-committee, Fatai Mojeed, who presented his team’s preliminary report on probe of the 820 buses purchased by Ambode’s government, said that it was discovered that due process was not followed.
According to Hon Mojeed, Ambode used the refund of the Paris Club for the purchase of the buses without the approval of the House. “He did not inform the House before commencing the purchase of the buses. 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. The report also showed that the accountant general of the state told the committee that she depended on the approval of Ambode for the purchase of the buses and that no payment voucher was made available to the committee. Mojeed told his colleagues that the committee also demanded for the budget instrument used for the purchase, but that there was none.
“They could not produce any newspaper where the purchase of the buses were advertised. The committee invited 20 stakeholders, 16 of them complied, while four of them refused against the constitutional provision,” he added. Presenting his own committee report, Hon Gbolahan Yishawu claimed that the affected commissioners were invited but that they refused to appear and did not give any reason for their absence.
The lawmaker noted that Ambode issued some directives on spending without the approval of the lawmakers. Suggesting that a warrant of arrest be issued on the governor and former commissioners, Hon Bisi Yusuff, noted that the House is empowered by the constitution to issue a warrant of arrest on them for their refusal to appear before the committees. However, his colleague, Ibrahim Layode, urged his colleagues to act with caution as he advised the House to invite the governor and the former commissioners through newspaper advertisements.
On his part, Sanai Agunbiade said: “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.” Rounding off the debate, speaker of the House, Rt Hon Mudashiru Obasa, noted that the issue was beyond issue of arrest warrant.
He said this is “because when this House invite people and they refuse to show up, it’s like setting a bad precedence for others coming behind. “The clerk should write the ex-governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, and others and if they refuse, we will do newspaper publications and after that we will issue a warrant of arrest.”
Oshiomhole vs Obaseki: APC Sends Ganduje, Others To Edo
The National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has appointed a team to bring the crisis rocking the Edo State chapter of the party to an end.
National chairman, Adams Oshiomhole and Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, have been at loggerheads,and this crisis has split the ruling party leaders and members.
Last week, Obaseki, his deputy governor, Philip Shuaibu, and Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie, were suspended for alleged anti-party activities.
The suspension was an apparent retaliation by another faction loyal to national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, who was suspended 24 hours earlier.
On Wednesday, the party announced that the Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje will head the party’s five-member fact-finding committee to the state.
Other members of the committee are: Governor of Katsina State, Aminu Bello Masari; former governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi; former governor of Borno State and serving senator, Kashim Shettima and Honourable Ahmed Wadada (Secretary).
The Committee is expected to meet with all disputing interests and present its findings to the party, APC spokesman, Lanre Issa Onilu, said in a statement.
It recalled that “that the party took a decision earlier in the week to constitute a committee of prominent party leaders on the lingering crisis in our party in Edo State.
“This marks another step in our party’s effort to find a lasting solution to the crisis and ensure our party comes out of it even stronger.”
NASS Constituency Projects Gulf 1tn In 10-Years Without Results – Buhari
President Buhari has said that the over N1 trillion spent on the constituency projects of National Assembly members in the last 10 years has produced no results.
He said data collected from Nigerians in rural communities showed that they had not felt the impact of such projects. President Buhari spoke at the National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in Public Sector, which opened at the State House Conference Centre on Tuesday, November 19th in Abuja.
The event was organised by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, in collaboration with the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission.
“N1tn has been appropriated in the last 10 years for constituency projects, but the impact can hardly be seen,” he stated.
The President directed the ICPC to go after the contractors who collected funds for such projects and their collaborators in government
Bayelsa Guber: PDP’s Loss Poses Serious Threat To Rivers – Wike
Governor Nyesom Wike yesterday expressed concern that the capitulation of the Peoples Democratic Party in neighbouring Bayelsa by the All Progressives Congress (APC) portends danger for Rivers State.
He said with the defeat of the Governor Seriake Dickson-led PDP in Bayelsa, it was apparent that the “next onslaught of the APC would be to capture Rivers State at all cost.”
He relived the fears when the new Amayanabo of Wakrike kingdom and prominent chiefs of Okrika visited him at the Government House, Port Harcourt.
“Unfortunately, one of our states is gone to the enemies. But God will help us. For us who are from Rivers State, we should know that there will be attack on us because the enemy has entered our territory. They will attack us, but with your prayer, Rivers State will prevail,” Wike stated.
The governor said while he tarries in office, anything that would promote the interest of Rivers State would remain his drive.
According to him, “you can be my sister state, if you want to take what belongs to Rivers State, I will not agree. I will not sell Rivers State for any cost. Let us be our brother’s keeper.”
Wike stated that his government belongs to all Rivers people and not for any particular group in the state, lauding the Okrika people for the role they played during the last elections
“The role you played during the last elections showed that when you give your support, you give your support. People should be known for something. If you give your word, you give your word. In my entire political career, I have seen that when Okrika people say they want to do something, they will do it. You are different and I commend you, “ he added.
The governor warned the people against bearing arms, saying that it negates the principle of peace.
To him, the only reason why people get arms was because the “Nigerian Army is now part of elections in Nigeria.”
He charged the monarch to use his position to promote peace and development in Okrika and appealed to him to carry all interest groups along.
Wike explained that the state government would approach the House of Assembly for the amendment of the name of the stool to read: “the Amanyanabo of Okrika “ as requested by the traditional ruler.
Responding, King Alfred Sementari Abam congratulated the governor on his re-election and confirmation of his victory by the Supreme Court.
He said his return was on account of his outstanding performance and projects’ delivery.
The monarch also thanked the governor for the recognition granted his stool after the court judgment.
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