By OKUNADE ADEKUNLE
The Lagos State House of Assembly has thrown out a petition alleging the receipt of $200,000 bribe by Hon. Moshood Oshun, representing Lagos Mainland Constituency 2 in the Assembly.
Oshun had been accused of collecting a whooping two hundred thousand dollars bribe money from three companies in order to cover up for their non-performing contracts worth over nine billion Naira awarded to them by the immediate past Akinwunmi Ambode administration.
In a petition, which was submitted to the Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudasiru Obasa, by an anti-corruption campaign organization, Stop Corruption Now Initiative and signed by its President Barrister Olakunle Omisade.
In the petition, Hon. Moshood Olanrewaju Osun who is the Chairman of the House ad-hoc Committee on Environmental Sanitation was accused of collecting the said illicit money from contractors who were awarded various contracts bordering on the environment by the Akinwumi Ambode administration to the tune of nine billion Naira paid upfront against established rules.
The said companies are: Quality Sanctuary Services Limited, Jane Rin International Services Limited and Blue Bridge Marine Services Limited.
Raising the matter under urgent Matter of Public Importance on Thursday, Hon. Tunde Braimoh stated that the Speaker sent the petition to the House Committee on Public Petition, LASIEC, Human Rights and Judiciary, which he chaired, on Tuesday.
Hon. Braimoh stated that the address of the petitioner was not traceable and that there was no phone number where the petitioner could be located.
“The committee considered this and noted that the petitioner could not be located. We noticed some discrepancies in the petition, and it was frivolous and smack of acrimony.
“It is a criminal offence that attracts punishment. The petitioner is not even available to establish his case. Under the rules of the House, the petitioner ought to disclose his address,” he said.
The committee then recommended that the petition should be struck out because the petitioner was faceless, adding that members of the public should embrace decorum in approaching the House and beware of information in the social media.
This was supported by Hon. Desmond Elliott (Surulere 2), who commended the Speaker for the way the issue was handled.
Elliot stated that the values of the House were accountability, probity and transparency, and that they ensure that justice is upheld for anyone that is accused of any offence, while advising that the petition should be thrown out.
In his view, Hon. Yinka Ogundimu (Agege 2) expressed happiness that the House rose to the occasion on the issue immediately.
“The report showed that the petition is baseless as the address and the phone number of the writer cannot be verified.
“We should not waste our time on the actions of faceless people. I will advise that the petition should be thrown out in its entirety.
“The petitioners are ghost, so we should not waste our time on them,” he said.
Contributing to the matter, the Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade (Ikorodu 1) stated that the writer of the petition had a motive which could be malicious and scandalous.
Agunbiade stressed that the petition was submitted to the House with the hope that they would take action on it only for the writers to go to the social media.
He added that the rate at which the matter was handled was to embarrass the person whose name was mentioned in the petition.
“But it is good the way the Speaker handled it. I will suggest that we should just throw the petition out since they have not come forward to show their faces. We should disregard the petition,” he said.
In his view, Hon. Tijani Olumo (Ajeromi Ifelodun 1) said that the matter was a diversion to take the Assembly from its focus.
Olumo added that the House had been focused under Speaker Mudashiru Obasa, and that the petition was baseless, noting that it was from Lagos Mainland, where Hon. Moshood Oshun came from.
The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa thanked the committee “for the quick action of the report.”
Obasa added that members should disregard “the frivolous petition.”
“It is common with my years of experience to see such a petition only for the petitioner not to come at the committee level.
“It is either the petitioners were looking for favour. I have received reports even from television stations on the matter.
“This is wrong and the media should scrutinize whatever they receive about people.
“When you damage people’s reputation how do you want to mend it. You don’t think about his wife and children. What do you want him to tell them. I am even used to it as the Speaker because it happened to my predecessors,” he said.
The Speaker added that it never happened to him as a member, but that it started in 2015 when he became speaker, adding that it might be one of the features of the office of the Speaker.
“But for it to happen to a member that is investigating something that was done in the past is unfortunate.
“We should just get used to it because we are investigating a matter that involved billions of naira.
“We will want the writers of the petition to come forward or else we will throw it out.
“The people involved in the investigations would definitely want to fight back. I want to urge Hon. Moshood Oshun to just take it as one of those things,” he said.
It was then concluded that the petition should be thrown out by the House.