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|Lagos Assembly Now To Probe Fashola by trueword: 6:19am On Apr 16, 2010|
Lagos Assembly Now to Probe Fashola
By Gboyega Akinsanmi, 04.16.2010
Reprieve is yet to come the way of Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) over allegations of financial impropriety and contract inflation leveled against him by a group called The True Face of Delta after all.
Yesterday, the State House of Assembly set up a fresh seven-man committee to investigate the allegations against Fashola.
The assembly had earlier set up a five-man committee to probe the allegations against the governor but later disbanded the committee in deference to a ruling of a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikorodu, restraining the lawmakers from probing Fashola.
Justice Hakeem Abiru of the court had halted the probe, saying the setting up of a committee to investigate the allegations against the governor without first publishing the resolution in its journal or gazette was unconstitutional and illegal.
But the petition was formally brought to the assembly on March 30, 2010 and consequently deliberated upon.
The outcome is the resolution to investigate all allegations of financial misappropriations and scams leveled against Fashola and some of his allies.
In what seemed a compliance with Justice Abiru’s ruling, the assembly published the resolution in its official proceedings for yesterday, April 15.
Speaking during the deliberation, the state assembly Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji said the resolution to probe the allegations “have been published in our journal as procedurally required.
“It is important for the assembly to do what is constitutionally right for the benefit of taxpayers and to also (absolve) our government of any allegation”.
The seven-man committee is to be chaired by Hon. Ajibayo Adeyeye from Kosofe state constituency.
Members of the committee are Hon. Sanai Agunbiade (Ikorodu), Hon. Rotimi Olowo (Somolu), Hon. Omowunmi Olatunji-Edet (Oshodi-Isolo), Hon. Funmilayo Tejuosho (Mushin), Hon. Babatunde Adejare (Agege) and Hon. Saka Dayo Fafunmi (Ifako Ijaiye).
The assembly gave the committee two weeks to complete its investigation.
However, the venue where committee would be sitting was unclear last night.
Ikuforiji urged the committee to “invite all individuals and corporate bodies connected with the allegations so there can be thoroughness. The committee should investigate with the fear of God in mind and the love of Lagosians”.
The assembly had on many occasions denied it was planning to impeach Fashola.
A pro-Fashola group, however, claimed last night that the motive of the lawmakers in setting up the committee was not only to probe the governor but to impeach him.
The group, Lovers of Raji Fashola (LORAF) led by Mr. Abiodun Olugbenro, said the move by the assembly was to impeach Fashola.
He said two weeks can never be enough to thoroughly investigate the allegations.
Olugbenro stated that the assembly “is not a neutral party and therefore should not investigate allegations that also implicated its members. It is a kangaroo probe; they are only interested in impeaching Fashola”.
He said a neutral body like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) should be invited to handle the investigation.
The True Face of Lagos had in an advertorial published in a national newspaper on January 28, 2010 alleged that Fashola engaged in diversion of funds without due approval and indiscriminate award of contracts.
Among others, the group accused the governor of spending N1.5billion of unappropriated fund on the demolition of Oshodi and jacking up the LASU-Iba Road awarded by the Senator Bola Tinubu government for N6.2bn to N10b less than two weeks after he took over.
In the advertorial, where it detailed the allegations against Fashola, the group said among others that, “The helicopter deal was a big fraud – the helicopter was not built for any kind of emergency evacuation, rescue or to even combat fire. Over N5bn has been spent on the two helicopters and the seal of Lagos State is not on it. It is not in Lagos but the Niger Delta making money for some private people in government.
But a Lagos-based journalist and human rights activist, Mr. Richard Akinnola, had approached the court to stop the state House of Assembly from investigating allegations of financial impropriety leveled against it and the governor.
The lawmakers through their counsel had filed a preliminary objection, stating that Akinnola had no locus standi to institute the suit.
Justice Abiru in his ruling, however, faulted the lawmakers for acting on bare allegations published in the advertorial by a group, which he described as faceless instead of a petition addressed directly to the assembly.
Meanwhile, the group came out publicly tow months ago to own up to making the allegations.
The Leader of the group, Mr. Adebayo Adeshina, led Dr. Tunde George and Mr. Kasali Martins to the assembly last month, where he said the governor should be investigated over the allegations.
Adeshina, who addressed the lawmakers on behalf of the group, however, absolved the state assembly members of any financial impropriety, saying the group erred by accusing them of taking a bribe of N20 million each without confirming the allegation.
|Re: Lagos Assembly Now To Probe Fashola by trueword: 6:20am On Apr 16, 2010|
if these people devise a way to impeach Fashola, i will just give up on this country. Progress is constantly slow by evil and selfish forces.
|Re: Lagos Assembly Now To Probe Fashola by Nobody: 9:53am On Apr 16, 2010|
^ Dont mind them!
|Re: Lagos Assembly Now To Probe Fashola by yemmight(m): 5:07pm On Apr 16, 2010|
These people won't stop.
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