The State House of Assembly has opened fresh investigations into transactions by the administration of former Lagos Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
Backstory: The state legislators are looking into the conditions surrounding the purchase of 820 mass transit buses under the former government. Motion sponsor, Honourable Gbolahan Yishawu (Eti Osa II) said Governor Ambode purchased 820 buses without approval of the House. According to him, the House declined several requests by Ambode in the 2017, 2018 and 2019 budgets.
- “The state government still went ahead to import 820 buses at N7 Billion, and out of them, 520 are still awaiting clearance at the ports.
- “The state government requested waivers for the importation of the buses and it was not granted. The value of the buses was overrated; some of the buses are still in the ports and they are attracting demurrage,” he said.
- Per Hon. Yinka Ogundimu (Agege II): “A huge amount of money still needed to be paid on the purchase of these buses. Whoever has erred should be brought to book.”
- The State’s Accountant General, Commissioner of Finance and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transport are to appear before the panel for questioning.
What it means: This is happening barely a week after the Ambode’s Epe home was reportedly raided by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. It is possible that the panel will slap a back-dated abuse-of-powers charge on the former Lagos governor. However, it is unclear how it might impact his EFCC ordeal.
Bottomline: Per our earlier reporting, Insiders maintain that these moves are connected to Ambode’s rift with his one-time godfather, Bola Tinubu. Although the former Lagos governor has repeatedly tried to discountenance the issues arising, it is clear that he is up against strong foes who are pulling all the stops to undermine his legacy.