By Okunade Adekunle
Former Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, may have been experiencing sleepless nights over the ongoing House of Assembly probe of the purchase of 820 Mass Transit Buses at the rate of N45 billion by his administration.
The House of Assembly had commenced the probe since last month and four ex-commissioners who worked with Ambode had appeared before the probe panel to clear their names but the immediate-past governor shunned previous summons.
The Assembly last week published the ‘deadly sins’ of the former governor mandating him to appear before it on Wednesday to answer questions on his stewardship while in power.
It was learnt that Ambode had been secretly reaching out to some top politicians in the country including influential governors in a bid to save him from the establishment in Lagos who are bent on forcing him to account for alleged financial misappropriation.
A highly-placed source informed WESTERN POST that Ambode held secret meetings penultimate Thursday to beg some governors to intervene on his behalf but that one of the governors told him to honour the Assembly’s invitation and clear his name.
“Ambode was advised by one of the governors to honour the Assembly’s summon and clear his name. Some of the governors were surprised that the embattled governor who openly moved against his predecessor, Babatunde Fashola could be soliciting for soft landing over fraud probe”, the source stated.
In a fresh summon notice published on national dailies at the weekend, the Lagos Assembly stated , “The Lagos State House of Assembly, pursuant to Section 129 (1)(c) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) hereby summons His Excellency, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, the former Governor of Lagos State (May, 2015 – May, 2019) to appear before the Committee of the House on Wednesday, October 30, 2019 at the Lateef Jakande Auditorium, Assembly Complex, Alausa, Ikeja by 1 pm.”
The former governor was asked to appear to clarify the following: (1) Unauthorised discounting of promissory note; (2) Purchase of 820 buses by his administration without due authorisation; (3) Misappropriation of Special Expenditure Funds; (4) Improper implementation of the Appropriation Law; and (5) Non-adherence to the Financial Regulations of the state.
The notice implored the former governor to provide the probe committee with documents to justify that the above transactions did not violate constitutional provisions.
It is still unclear if he would honour the summon tomorrow (Wednesday) despite the invitation had been made public as virtually all national dailies published it last Sunday.