A high court in Lagos has summoned Mudashiru Obasa, speaker of the state house of assembly, over the ongoing probe of 820 buses procured by the administration of Akinwunmi Ambode, ex-governor of the state.
Yetunde Adesanya, the chief judge, gave the order on Tuesday after an ex-parte motion was moved by Tayo Oyetibo, Ambode’s lawyer, in a suit against the assembly.
The judge also summoned Azeez Sanni, the house clerk; Fatai Mojeed, chairman of the ad hoc committee set up by the house to probe the procurement; and members of the committee including Gbolahan Yishawu, A.A Yusuff, Yinka Ogundimu, Mojisola Lasbat Meranda, M.L Makinde, Kehinde Joseph, T.A Adewale and O.S Afinni.
Adesanya ordered the defendants to appear before the court at 9am on Wednesday.
The state assembly had earlier summoned Ambode on two occasions to give account of some financial dealings during his administration.
According to the statement of claim before the court, the ex-governor said the procurement of the buses was well captured in the 2018 appropriation bill which was duly approved by the house.
“In section 1 of the Bill, the 1st Defendant (House of Assembly) authorized the total Budget for the year 2018 to be One Trillion, Forty Six Billion, One Hundred and Twenty One Million, One Hundred and Eighty-One Thousand, Six Hundred and Eighty Naira (N1,046,121,181,680.00) comprising the sum of Three Hundred and Forty Seven Billion, Thirty-Eighty Million, Nine Hundred and Thirty-Eight Thousand, Eight-Hundred and Seventy-Two Naira (N347,038,938,872.00) only and Six Hundred and Ninety-Nine Billion, Eighty-Two Million, Two Hundred and Forty-Two Thousand, Eight Hundred and Eighty Naira (N699,082,242,808.00) only as the Recurrent and Capital Expenditures respectively,” the statement read.
“Part of the items authorized by the Bill under Capital Expenditure was: “LAGBUS Public Transport Infrastructure (MEPB); Part financing of 820 buses” which was item 8 under schedule 1- Part C of the Bill.”
Ambode denied receiving any letter from the state assembly, alleging that the lawmakers were biased against him based on their pronouncements on the floor of the house without hearing his side.
The ex-governor is seeking, among others, the court’s declaration that the power of the house to pass a resolution under section 128(1) of the constitution to cause an inquiry into his conduct as governor is subject to right to fair hearing as guaranteed by section 36(1) of the constitution.
He is also seeking an injunction restraining the defendants “whether by themselves, their servants, agents and or representatives from representing or continue to represent to the public” that he procured 820 buses in breach of budgetary approval.
The judge fixed Wednesday, October 30, for hearing of motion for interlocutory injunction.