No going back on suspension of law makers – Lagos Speaker insists
The Speaker, Lagos House of Assembly, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, has insisted that there was no going back on the suspension of the four lawmakers for allegedly leaking the N2.4 billion vehicle documents to the public.
Obasa made this known following a petition against him on gross financial misconduct, criminal breach of public trust and abuse of office by the suspended lawmakers.
The speaker declared that if those who had been disciplined by the House were responsible for what was being spread all over the place, the committee set up on the issue should be dissolved.
The suspended lawmakers include former Chief Whip, Rotimi Abiru (Shomolu II), former Deputy Majority Leader, Olumuyiwa Jimoh (Apapa II), Moshood Oshun (Lagos Mainland II) and Raheem Adewale (Ibeju-Lekki II).
Mr Buna Olaitan Isiak, Executive Director, Human Rights Monitoring Agenda (HURMA), had on March 12 claimed that popular demand necessitated the petition against the speaker.
Isiak said the petition was written to acquaint the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with gross financial misconduct and abuse of office being perpetrated by the speaker.
The petitioner said EFCC should begin thorough investigation to “avert a further bleeding of the public treasury under his care and restore sanity in the functioning of the state’s legislative establishment”.
Obasa, during the plenary, explained that the petition against him was not about the official vehicles, but the backup vehicles and the money spent to purchase them.
“The official vehicles for the 9th Assembly was the issue. It was a deliberate action to paint the House in bad light.
“The people that stole the vouchers that were leaked to the press is the issue.
“I thank you for all you have said about the petition. We have discussed issues relating to divulging discussions in the House.
“I said that the issue that came out in the Guardian Newspaper is traceable to one of the suspended lawmaker, Mr Moshood Oshun.
“He was asking me for documents of the vehicle given to him, he was the one that called me on the telephone that his vehicle was seized by Customs Officer.
“I once said that someone stole the vouchers of the vehicles. Where did he get it from if not for the role played by a member of the House.
“The writer of the petition is close to Rep. Olumuyiwa Jimoh. Some of the things he wrote were parts of what we have discussed,” he said.
Earlier, Mr Rotimi Olowo, (Shomolu II), who moved a motion on the issue of the petition on Monday under Matter of Urgent Public Importance, said it was malicious and against the image of the House.
“The House bought vehicles worth N2.4 billion. Since I joined the House of Assembly, we always got two vehicles before the end of the assembly”.
“In 2007, I got a vehicle and a backup vehicle before the end of the assembly. The vehicles are always budgeted for, and it has been like that right from the time of the former Speaker, Adeyemi Ikuforiji”.
“We always told the Speaker that the 8th Assembly could not wind up without a backup vehicle”.
“The Speaker used to tell to us that the resources were not available, and we later got the backup in April 2019. In the 9th Assembly, we just got our official vehicles in November/December 2019″.
“None of the 11 new members got two vehicles. We insisted on LandCruiser Prado and Mr Speaker did not want to give us, but we insisted on it. We are all beneficiaries of the largesse, and yet we go about making insinuations and leaking information to the whole world,” he said.
Olowo then moved that having appreciated Obasa to be a democratic, a responsible and a reliable leader, a vote of confidence should be passed on him and this was supported by majority lawmakers with the raising up of their hands.
The lawmakers unanimously passed a vote of confidence on the Speaker over issues relating to the purchase of vehicles worth N2.4 billion for the members of the assembly.
This was also supported by all lawmakers, who spoke on the matter and agreed that the speaker was on the right path.
The lawmakers added that they all took the decision on the purchase of the cars together. (NAN)