Alleged 820 Bus Fraud: Ambode’s commissioner faults lawmakers’ claim

Former Lagos Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode [Photo:]

A commissioner under former governor Akinwunmi Ambode has disputed the claim by the State House of Assembly that some officials of that administration refused to appear before an investigative panel of the House.

The House had set a nine-man ad-hoc committee to investigate the purchase of over 800 buses for mass transit by the Ambode administration.

Fatai Mojeed, the chairman of the ad-hoc committee, while presenting the outcome of its investigation to the house on Thursday said the committee invited some former commissioners but they refused to show up.

He listed them as Kazeem Adeniji, who was the 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.

Reacting to this allegation, the former commissioner for budget, Mr Banjo, said no committee of the House invited him, saying he would have cooperated if he received an invitation.

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“As a commissioner in charge of budget at the time, this publication of the proceedings of the State House of Assembly came to me as a surprise since at no time was any invitation extended to me to appear before any committee of the House.

“Though I was not expecting any invitation as I was never part of the Bus Purchase and Implementation Committee set up by the former governor before my appointment as a commissioner, I would gladly have responded to any invitation addressed to me by the House or any anti-corruption groups looking into the matter or any matter concerning the period of my service.

“I wish to correct the insinuation in the publication that I deliberately avoided the House of Assembly and also to state my readiness to appear before any of its committees as this is the least required of me as a citizen of Lagos State and someone who has occupied a public position in the past.”

The Lagos House of Assembly had, after the report, deliberated on issuing warrants of arrest on the former governor and some of his commissioners named in the report.

But the lawmakers decided to shelve the action after a suggestion made by Ibrahim Kayode, member representing Badagry Constituency 1, and supported by Majority Leader Sanai Agunbiade who suggested that the ex-governor and the commissioners be written to again.

The House said it would exercise its powers to issue arrest warrants if the fresh invitation is ignored.


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