Ambode Probe: Lagos Speaker absent as court orders maintenance of status quo

Akinwunmi Ambode, former Lagos governor [Photo: BBC]
Akinwunmi Ambode, former Lagos governor [Photo: BBC]

The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, and others asked to appear before the State High Court in Ikeja by Justice Yetunde Adesanya were on Wednesday all absent in the court.

They were instead represented by their counsel, Adenike Oshinowo.

The court had on October 29 ordered all parties to appear before it following a ‘motion exparte’ moved by Tayo Oyetibo, counsel to former Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode.

Mr Ambode had instituted a civil suit against the State House of Assembly, its Speaker Mr Obasa, and the House Clerk, A.A Sanni, over the probe into the purchase of 820 buses as part of the Bus Reform Project of the Lagos State Government.

Other respondents to the suit are Fatai Mojeed, the chairman of the probe panel, and the eight other members of the committee.

The other members of the panel are Gbolahan Yishawu, A.A Yusuf, Yinka Ogundimu, Mojisola Meranda, M.L Makinde, Kehinde Joseph, Temitope Adewale and Olanrewaju Afinni.

During proceedings on Wednesday, Mr Oyetibo informed the court that all the respondents had been served with the court processes the previous day.

“Your lordship directed that we serve the respondents with the Application of Notice which has been done.

“We are ready for the Application of Notice filed on October 28 and all the originating processes have been served,” the counsel said.

In her response, Mrs Oshinowo informed the court that the lawmakers will be opposing the motion.

“We were served the Motion on Notice very late yesterday, My Lord, and we shall be opposing the Motion.

“We shall be asking the court for a date to regularise our processes,” she said.

Following the submission of counsel, Justice Adesanya while adjourning the case, ordered parties to maintain the status quo.

“This case is adjourned to November 20 at the instance of both counsel for the hearing.”

Mr Ambode is asking the court to uphold that the actions of the Lagos State House of Assembly regarding the purchase of the buses under his administration and other projects is an infringement of his rights.

He is also asking the court to declare that the power of the state Assembly to pass a resolution, under Section 128(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), to direct an investigation into his conduct whilst being governor was subject to his right to a fair hearing as guaranteed by Section 36(1) of the Constitution.

He also seeks an order from the court to stop the house from representing to the public what he called falsehoods surrounding the purchase of the buses.

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