…Pass vote of confidence in their leader
By OKUNADE ADEKUNLE
Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly during plenary on Monday cleared both the Speaker of the House, Rt (Hon) Mudashiru Obasa and his deputy, Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun, of corruption allegations levelled against them by an online medium (SaharaReporters).
The lawmakers also passed vote of confidence on Obasa, saying the allegations were frivolous and thereby be disregarded in its totality.
This followed the presentation of the report of a 9-man fact-finding panel constituted by the House to investigate them.
The panel which was headed by Hon. Victor Akande (Ojo Constituency 1) was charged with the responsibility of investigating the allegations against the Speaker bothering on operation of 64 bank accounts with different banks in different names, unilateral approval of expenditure for programmes and activities in the House, spending of N258 million to print invitation cards for the inauguration of the 9th Assembly.
The online medium also alleged that Obasa received N80 million as estacode and that his wife was collecting N10 million from the House on a monthly basis.
There were also allegations that the Speaker purchased 11 Hiace buses for the House as well as 80 cars for the lawmakers within a year without following due process.
In its report, the panel stated that all the allegations were frivolous and that the Speaker followed due process in all the purchases.
According to the panel, the allegations were frivolous and unfounded.
The panel, however, recommended that the Clerk of the House begin the process of investigating the leakage of some documents of the House to the press and bring the erring staffers to book.
it also recommended that the activities of the House should be digitalised for proper record-keeping and monitoring.
The panel suggested that vote of confidence should be passed on the Speaker of the House.
Hon. Setonji David (Badagry 2) later moved a motion for the adoption of the recommendation of the committee and was supported by Hon. Temitope Adewale (ifako-Ijaiye 2).
The whole members then agreed with the recommendations based on a voice vote conducted by the Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Sanni Agunbiade, who acted as the Speaker during the sitting.
However, earlier in his report, the Chairman of the 9-man fact finding panel, Hon. Victor Akande, had summarised the findings of the panel.
Akande stated that the House was concerned about the damaging allegations against the Speaker by the online medium and that the panel was constituted by the House to investigate the allegations made against him.
He said the panel invited SaharaReporters, Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA), Budgit, Concerned Nigerians, Independent Diaspora Nigerians Against Corruption, Mr. Bayo Oluwasanmi of SaharaReporters, and Mr. Babajide Kolade Otitoju of TVC but they did not honour the invitation.
He, however, said that all the banks invited including Ecobank, Wema Bank, Polaris and Zenith Bank denied the allegations that the Speaker had multiple accounts with them with the same BVN and different names.
The lawmaker stated that the panel found that the Speaker has only one account with Ecobank, which he opened in 2007, but that the account is dormant and that the BVN quoted for Ecobank was not correct.
“The Speaker did not have multiple accounts with Ecobank, the BVN ascribed to Wema Bank does not belong to him and the companies attributed to him in Wema Bank is not correct. Out of the 14 accounts attributed to him for Zenith Bank, only six belong to him and only two are active.
The companies ascribed to him in Zenith Bank do not belong to him. The Deputy Speaker did not attend any trip in Dubai as against the reports of SaharaReporters,” he said.
In its report, the Committee also stated that it found out that the purchase of vehicles for the lawmakers were ratified by the Fund Management Committee (FMC) of the House in both the 8th and 9th assemblies.
It was also revealed that the purchase of Toyota Prado and Land Cruiser cars for members were approved by the FMC and the Lagos State Public Procurement Agency (PPA).
“The purchase of operational vehicles for members of the 9th Assembly was approved by the FMC members.
“The purchase of 36 Toyota Prado and 6 Land Cruisers were budgeted for and approved by the PPA. The allegations of spending N64 Million for social media influencers was not true.
“The USA trip was attended. Only eight Hiace Buses were purchased for committee works and staff buses. Contrary to the claim of N258 million spent for printing invitation cards for the inauguration for 9th assembly as only N61 million was spent for the event and N1.1 for invitation cards.
“The facility management company in the House does not belong to the Speaker. The alleged N10 million paid to the speaker wife is false,” Akande said .