Lagos lawmakers want Ambode sacked, summon governor

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (right), delivering his speech during the presentation of the Y2018 Budget Estimates to the House, at the Assembly Complex, Alausa, Ikeja, on Monday, December 11, 2017.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode

There was a new twist to the lingering crisis between the Lagos State House of Assembly and the state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Monday as some lawmakers called for his removal from office.

PREMIUM TIMES gathered that members of the state assembly Monday evening called for Mr Ambode’s sack over allegations of gross misconduct.

The governor and the state lawmakers have been at loggerheads following his failure to present the state’s 2019 budget earlier in the month.

On Monday, the lawmakers accused the governor of committing atrocities bordering on alleged gross misconduct and illegal budgetary spending because they had yet to look into or approve the state’s budget for the year.

This newspaper gathered that out of the 34 lawmakers who spoke at the plenary Monday, 28 of them called for the impeachment of the governor while six others called on the governor to resign. It was also gathered that the majority of the lawmakers in a voice vote supported the impeachment of the governor.

But in his intervention, the Speaker of the Lagos House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, said the house would allow Mr Ambode to appear before it for him to address the allegations of misconduct levelled by lawmakers. He, however, asked the lawmakers who still wanted the governor to be removed to gather signatures.

The state assembly thereafter asked the governor to appear before it in one week, with explanations on the alleged misconducts levelled against him or face impeachment. The house also agreed to summon Mr Ambode alongside his commissioners for finance, economic planning and budget as well as the state’s attorney general.

All of the officials are to appear at the next sitting of the house scheduled for Monday.

There has been palpable mistrust between Mr Ambode and the lawmakers following his failure to present the state’s 2019 budget to the lawmakers. Mr Ambode had failed to present the budget last December because the lawmakers were said to be on recess.

Last week, amidst high expectations that the budget would be presented to the state assembly, the presentation failed to hold.

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The mistrust between the governor and the state lawmakers heightened in the wake of the Lagos State All Progressives Congress’ primaries that produced Babajide Sanwo-Olu as the party’s gubernatorial flagbearer.

Last October, the state assembly debunked speculations that it was plotting to remove Mr Ambode, following widespread rumour in government circles that the governor would be sacked. Speaking at the time, the speaker, Mr Obasa, said there was no truth in the rumour.

“If there would be an impeachment, it would be from the governor and if there would not be any need for impeachment, it would be from him, based on his actions,” he had said.

“Even at that, impeachment is constitutional, so many speakers, senate presidents, presidents and others have been impeached all over the world.

“So, nobody can threaten us if it happens because we are representatives of the people.”

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