By OKUNADE ADEKUNLE
Three Ex-Commissioners of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, who were interrogated by the 9-man probe panel set up by the Lagos State House of Assembly to probe the controversial purchase of 820 buses during the ex-governor’s administration have denied reports that they indicted Ambode when responding to questions from the panel.
The 3 ex-commissioners are Mr Wale Oluwo ( Energy), Mr Toyin Suarau ( Agriculture) and Mr Olusegun Banjo ( Budget).
In a separate press release issued by the ex-commissioners, Oluwo stressed that he and his colleagues did not make indicting statement against their former boss , saying that he believes in the principle of collective responsibility.
Oluwo added ” I attended the second session of the Committee proceedings on October 15, 2019. The Ex-Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Toyin Suarau, and I were called into the Committee room at the same time. So, the questions asked both of us were in the open. Suarau was asked questions on the Lagos State Rice Mill project in Imota while I was asked questions on the LED-UK street lights installations (a UK Exim Bank funded project).
” I answered the committee’s questions to the best of the information available to me and at no time was anyone of us asked questions on Oshodi Interchange or any other projects outside the two mentioned above.
” For the avoidance of doubt, I reiterate that I DID NOT AND COULD NEVER HAVE INDICTED FORMER GOVERNOR AKINWUNMI AMBODE!!! I am a committed democrat, a loyal team player and a strong believer in the principle of collective responsibility” said Oluwo
Also, the Former Commissioner For Economic Planning and Budget, Mr Olusegun Banjo, claimed in his press release, that his responses to the questions from the probe panel were misrepresented by the media, stressing that no part of his responses indicted Ambode.
Banjo added ” I informed the committee that I was appointed in February 2018 when the issue of bus purchase had already been on the ground. I also explained that the bus issues were not contained in the budget I managed but could have been in earlier budgets.
” Regarding the operations of the Ministry, I brought it to the attention of the house that the operating system need to be reviewed and also mentioned other weaknesses in a professional manner. It is pertinent to note that these observations had earlier been included in my handing over note to the new administration and as it affects all arms of Government and not the executive alone. I was therefore, contrary to the impression sought to be portrayed by the press, not saying anything new that had not been said before”, said Banjo
The Former Budget Commissioner stressed ” I wish to state that I am not in a position to know what exactly transpired on the issue of the buses as I was not in Government when the issue was tabled and approved by the State Executive Council and neither was I drafted into the bus Steering committee on assumption of duty in February 2018.
” My response to questions asked by the committee under oath was intended to explain technical issues pertaining to the operations of the Ministry and explain the anomalies they noted and seek explanations to, and nothing said by me there was intended to or said in any manner as to condemn or indict anyone” ,