Lagos Assembly inaugurates committee to probe Ambode

By David Olalekan.

The Lagos State House Assembly has inaugurated a nine-man ad-hoc committee to probe into the purchase of 820 buses worth N7 billion by ex-Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.

Ambode was accused of arbitrarily purchasing 820 buses out of the 5,000 buses he had proposed, despite being objected by the State Assembly.

It was gathered that in September 2017, Ambode informed the Assembly that 5,000 buses would be bought by the state government at the cost of N17 billion but was declined approval as it reportedly did not follow stipulated terms.

It was also learnt that in the 2018 and 2019 budgets, the state government proposed N24 Billion and N7 Billion respectively, but had its proposal declined again by the House.

The state government was said to have jettisoned the State Assembly and went ahead to import 820 buses at N7 Billion, out of which, 520 of the buses are yet to be cleared at the ports.

In a motion titled, “Lagos State House of Assembly Motion Number 2”, Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu, prayed the House to set up an ad hoc committee to investigate all the issues relating to the purchase of the buses.

He described as worrisome the fact that about 520 buses which were purchased with taxpayers’ money were still awaiting clearance from the bonded warehouse at the Port without approval.

The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, stated that the Executive under Ambode had no business with operating buses.

“The vehicles are in the ports and they have been there for almost a year. The state will continue to suffer if we allow the buses to stay in the ports.

He added that contrary to the practice in the state, Ambode’s government delved into operation, when “we (the Assembly) should be the regulators of transporters, the state should not operate buses.

“How much are we giving the buses out should be addressed. We should get the buses to the roads and save the state from further wastes,” the Speaker said.

A member of the House, Hon. Saka Solaja reiterated the need for investigation and possible sanctions.

He said: “We need to investigate the issue and whoever is culpable should refund money to the government. By getting ISPO without budgetary approval should attract punishment.”

The nine-man ad-hoc committee is chaired by Hon. Fatai Mojeed. Other members include: Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu, Hon. Bisi Yusuff, Hon. Afinni Olanrewaju, Hon. Rasheed Makinde, Hon. Yinka Ogundimu, Hon. Mojisola Meranda, Hon. Temitope Adewale and Hon. Kehinde Joseph.

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