The immediate-past governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, has asked the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja to stop the state House of Assembly from probing him over the 820 mass transit buses purchased by his administration.
The Lagos lawmakers had accused Ambode of purchasing the 820 mass transit buses in breach of budgetary provisions.
They issued a summons for the ex-governor to appear on Wednesday (today) before an ad hoc committee set up to probe the purchase of the buses.
The Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, threatened that the House would issue a warrant for Ambode’s arrest should he continue to shun invitation by the lawmakers.
But on Tuesday, Ambode, through his lawyer, Mr Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), went before Justice Y.A. Akinsanya with an ex parte application, seeking an interim order of injunction against the lawmakers.
However, rather than hear the ex parte application, Justice Adesanya ordered Ambode to put the lawmakers on notice.
The judge directed service of originating processes, accompanying processes and all pending applications on the defendants/respondents.
“The said processes are hereby ordered to be served on the 1st to 12th respondents forthwith,” Justice Adesanya held and adjourned till Wednesday (today) for hearing.
Listed as defendants in the suit are the House of Assembly, Lagos State; Speaker, House of Assembly, Lagos State, Mudashiru Obasa; and Clerk of the House of Assembly, Lagos State, A.A. Sanni.
Also joined as defendants are members of the ad hoc committee set up to probe the purchase of the bus – Fatai Mojeed, Gbolahan Yishawu, A.A. Yusuff, Yinka Ogundimu, Mojisola Meranda, M.L. Makinde, Kehinde Joseph, T.A. Adewale and O.S. Afinni.
In the suit filed on his behalf by Oyetibo, Ambode urged the court to restrain the lawmakers “from compelling the claimant, in any manner whatsoever, to appear before the defendants pursuant to the resolution passed by the defendants on August 27, 2019 or any other resolution passed in respect of the subject matter of this suit.”
In his statement of claim, the former governor accused the lawmakers of deliberate misrepresentation of facts, contending that contrary to the claim by the lawmakers, “the procurement of the 820 buses was captured in the 2018 Appropriation Law which was duly approved by the House.”
He said, “Part of the items authorised under Capital Expenditure was: ‘LAGBUS Public Transport Infrastructure; part financing of 820 buses’ which was Item 8 under Schedule 1- Part C of the bill.”