A Lagos High Court in Ikeja on Tuesday ordered the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa to appear before it in connection with the ongoing probe of procurement of 820 buses by the administration of former Governor of the State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode.
The former Governor had instituted a suit against the Assembly to contest the constitutionality of the probe of the buses which were procured based on budgetary approval as part of the Bus Reform Project of the State Government designed to revolutionize public transportation in line with global best practices.
In an order dated 29th October, 2019 issued by Justice Y.A Adesanya after hearing a motion ex-parte moved by Ambode’s lawyer, Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), other defendants ordered to appear before the court at my 9am on Wednesday, October 30 are House Clerk, Mr A.A Sanni; Chairman of the Ad hoc Committee set up by the House to probe the procurement, Fatai Mojeed and members of the Committee. They are Gbolahan Yishawu, A.A Yusuff, Yinka Ogundimu, Mojisola Lasbat Meranda, M.L Makinde, Kehinde Joseph, T.A Adewale and O.S Afinni.
Justice Adesanya ordered the originating processes and all the accompanying processes filed by the claimant (Ambode) to be served on the defendants and subsequently fixed Wednesday October 30, 2019 for hearing of motion for interlocutory injunction.
According to his statement of claim before the court, Ambode said contrary to deliberate misrepresentation of facts by the lawmakers, the procurement of the 820 buses was well captured in the 2018 Appropriation Law which was duly approved by the House.
“In section 1 of the Bill, the 1st Defendant (House of Assembly) authorized the total Budget for the year 2018 to be One Trillion, Forty Six Billion, One Hundred and Twenty One Million, One Hundred and Eighty-One Thousand, Six Hundred and Eighty Naira (N1,046,121,181,680.00) comprising the sum of Three Hundred and Forty Seven Billion, Thirty-Eighty Million, Nine Hundred and Thirty-Eight Thousand, Eight-Hundred and Seventy-Two Naira (N347,038,938,872.00) only and Six Hundred and Ninety-Nine Billion, Eighty-Two Million, Two Hundred and Forty-Two Thousand, Eight Hundred and Eighty Naira (N699,082,242,808.00) only as the Recurrent and Capital Expenditures respectively.
“Part of the items authorized by the Bill under Capital Expenditure was: “LAGBUS Public Transport Infrastructure (MEPB); Part financing of 820 buses” which was item 8 under schedule 1- Part C of the Bill,” the former Governor averred.
He added that having prescribed the manner of withdrawal of funds in sections 3 and 4 of the 2018 Appropriation Law, it was unconstitutional for the House to attach another condition in section 9 of the law for further approval to be sought before incurring any expenditure on the purchase of the buses.
Highlighting the specific breach of his constitutional rights to fair hearing by the House, the former Governor said on August 27, 2019 during proceedings of the Assembly, some lawmakers thoroughly vilified and disparaged him as having purchased the buses without budgetary approval and that the procurement was a waste of public funds, while at the end of the proceedings, the House resolved to constitute an Ad Hoc Committee to probe the procurement.
He said it was surprising that the very lawmakers who contributed actively in vilifying, disparaging and denigrating him constituted the bulk of the members of the Committee, which was a clear derogation of his right to fair hearing.
Ambode added that in continuation of deliberate misrepresentation of facts of the issue, the House falsely claimed that an invitation had been extended to him to appear before the Committee but that he failed to honour the said invitation.
“On Thursday 10th October, 2019, the 4th and 5th Defendants (Mojeed and Yishawu) who are Chairman and member of the Committee respectively set up by the 1st Defendant pursuant to the provisions of section 129 of the Constitution again raised on the floor of the House an allegation that the Claimant (Ambode) was invited to appear before the Committee but that he failed to do so whereupon the 2nd Defendant (Speaker) ruled that a warrant of arrest would be issued against the Claimant if he refuses to appear before the Committee.
“The Claimant states that no letter of invitation was delivered to him before the 4th and 5th Defendants made the false allegation against the Claimant which was widely reported by various national Newspapers in the country.
“Further to the foregoing paragraphs, the 1st Defendant had also invited some of the former Commissioners who served under my Government to appear before the 1st Defendant on Tuesday 15th October 2019. These included former Commissioners for Energy, Agriculture and Economic Planning and Budget respectively amongst others.
“After the proceedings of the Committee on 15th October 2019, the 1st Defendant represented to the public that the former Commissioners that appeared before it had indicted me in their testimonies. The information was widely published by National newspapers on Wednesday 16th October 2019.
“Contrary to the information made to the public by the 1st Defendant, the said former Commissioners for Energy and Economic Planning and Budget who were represented by the 1st Defendant to have indicted me, made public statements on Thursday 17th October 2019 denying that they ever indicted me in their testimonies before the Committee. The denials were widely published by online newspapers on Thursday 17th October 2019 and national newspapers on Friday 18th October 2019.
“The 1st Defendant falsely represented to the public that the said Commissioners indicted me in their testimonies before the Committee so as to justify my indictment by the 1st Defendant which indictment members of the 1st Defendant had hitherto threatened to carry out,” Ambode averred.
He added that the House Committee and indeed the entire members of the House had already adjudged him as having committed wastage of public fund by the procurement of the buses in question and had also already determined that the procurement was done by him as opposed to the State Government.
He said it was obvious that the lawmakers were totally biased against him having regard to their pronouncements on the floor of the House by reason of which he believes that his right to fair hearing as guaranteed by the Constitution had been seriously compromised by the defendants.
He is, therefore, seeking among others, the court’s declaration that the power of the House to pass a resolution under section 128(1) of the Constitution to cause an inquiry into his conduct as Governor is subject to right to fair hearing as guaranteed by section 36(1) of the Constitution.
He also wants a declaration that the Resolution of the House setting up a 9-Man Committee comprising of the 4th-12th Defendants to investigate all transactions in respect of the 820 Buses said by the defendants to have been procured by him derogates from his right as guaranteed by section 36(1) of the Constitution and therefore is unconstitutional, null and void.
Other claims are: “A DECLARATION that having regard to the provisions of sections 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the Appropriation Law of Lagos State 2018, sections 8 and 9 of the Law which required the approval of the House of Assembly of Lagos State before certain expenditure of money is incurred by the Executive Branch of the State is not in accord with any provision of the Constitution and accordingly is unconstitutional, null and void.
“A DECLARATION that it is not lawful for the Defendants to represent or continue to represent to the Public that the Claimant, AKINWUNMI AMBODE, procured 820 buses in breach of budgetary approval.
“A DECLARATION that the powers of the 1st Defendant under sections 103, 128 and 129 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended does not include power to indict the Claimant as contemplated by sections 66(1)(h), 137(1)i and 182(1)i of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended.
“AN INJUNCTION restraining the Defendants whether by themselves, their servants, agents and or representatives from compelling the Claimant, in any manner whatsoever, to appear before the Defendants pursuant to the Resolution passed by the Defendants on 27th August 2019 or any other Resolution passed in respect of the subject matter of this Suit.
“AN INJUNCTION restraining the Defendants whether by themselves, their servants, agents and or representatives from representing or continue to represent to the Public that the Claimant, AKINWUNMI AMBODE, procured 820 buses in breach of budgetary approval.”
Makinde vs Adelabu: Confusion As APC, PDP Celebrate Appeal Court Ruling In Oyo
There was wild jubilation in Oyo State following the Monday ruling of the Appeal Court on the application filed by the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the last elections, Adebayo Adelabu, against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Engr. Seyi Makinde.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan held that there was a miscarriage of justice at the Oyo State Election Petition Tribunal because they should have considered every document submitted to prove its case and not lump it together and consider it as one, it did not give any consequential order to that effect.
The Appellate Court in its ruling resolved the four issues filed by Adelabu in favour of Makinde and dismissed the four reasons. The court had noted that it allowed the appeal because there were issues of a miscarriage of justice at the lower court but added that a judgement must be given after considering a situation in its entirety.
The four-man panel further noted that in this situation the 180 days mandated for the tribunal to operate had lapsed and there was consequently no reason to touch the ruling of the lower court.
Adelabu had filed an appeal through his counsel, Yusuf Alli (SAN), against the judgement of the tribunal upholding the victory of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Engr Seyi Makinde, praying the court to dismiss the judgment of the lower court and order a fresh election while counsel to Seyi Makinde urged the court to dismiss the appeal and uphold the judgement of the case.
While the camps of the APC has started jubilating, the PDP camp has also started jubilating in reaction to the judgement.
APC United Kingdom as at 1:07 PM via his verified Twitter handle @APCUKingdom tweeted that “[BREAKING NEWS] Appeal court rules in favour of APC Gubernatorial candidate in Oyo State, Adebayo Adelabu, as his appeal was upheld. More Details shortly! #NextLevel @OfficialAPCNg @apcghanachapter @apcyouthomoodua.”
Appeal court rules in favour of APC Gubernatorial candidate in Oyo State, Adebayo Adelabu, as his appeal was upheld.
More Details shortly!#NextLevel @OfficialAPCNg @apcghanachapter @apcyouthomoodua pic.twitter.com/pHnxg7L5GC
— APC United Kingdom (@APCUKingdom) November 11, 2019
The PDP via G.S.M Media @MakindeMedia, an independent media campaign team for Makinde said: “Congratulations Gov. Seyi Makinde. People’s choice!”
Congratulations Gov. Seyi Makinde.
People’s choice! pic.twitter.com/P2xHZEMAt2
— G.S.M Media (@MakindeMedia) November 11, 2019
A copy of the image accompanying the tweet was also posted by Oyo State PDP via @PDPOyoState.
Great News! 12-Year-Old Nigerian Boy, Chika Ofili, Bags Award In UK For Discovering A New Formula In Mathematics
Master Chika Ofili, a 12-year-old Nigerian boy based in the UK, has bagged a special award for recognition after making a shocking new discovery in mathematics.
He is said to have discovered a new formula for divisibility by 7 in mathematics.
12-year-old Nigerian boy based in the UK, Chika Ofili, has been presented with a Special Recognition Award for making a new discovery in Mathematics.
The little Mathematician just discovered a new formula for divisibility by 7 in Maths. pic.twitter.com/KGUIgsT6Dm
— NG to the World (@SplufikNG) November 11, 2019
His new formula for divisibility of 7 is to multiply the last digit in the figure and then add everything together, then check if the new figure is a multiple of 7.
For example, to check if 7 can divide 532, the process is illustrated below:
53 + 2 x 5= 63
63, is a multiple of 7; hence 7 can divide it. Amazing isn’t it??? Nigeria to the World!!!
FG Declares Monday Public Holiday
The Federal Government has declared Monday as Public Holiday to mark the 2019 Eid-ul-Mawlud which is in commemoration of the birthday of the Holy Prophet Muhammad.
Mr Mohammed Manga, Director Press and Public Relations of the Ministry of Interior, announced this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, NAN reports.
He said the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, congratulated the Muslim faithful on the occasion and enjoined them to live within the virtues and teachings of the Prophet.
He said imbibing the Prophet’s virtues of love, courage, and perseverance would guarantee peace and security in the country.
Aregbesola expressed confidence that the challenges confronting Nigeria at the moment would soon be over and therefore called on Nigerians to remain focused and determined.
He gave the assurance that with the immense potentials the country is endowed with; coupled with its human and natural resources, Nigeria will sooner than later join the league of developed nations.
“With love, commitment, self-sacrifice, patience and patriotism, we will certainly, build a greater Nigeria,” Aregbesola said.
The Minister restated the Government’s desire to ensure a peaceful and secure environment for all Nigerians.