Friday, October 18, 2019

Ex-Lagos commissioners deny indicting Ambode in alleged 820 bus fraud

Former Lagos commissioners, Mr Olusegun Banjo (Economic Planning and Budget) and Mr Olawale Oluwo (Energy and Mineral Resources), have denied indicting ex-governor Akinwunmi Ambode before an ad hoc committee of the state House of Assembly.

The men on Thursday refuted reports that they incriminated their former boss in the statements they made to the committee.

Rather, they insisted that that Accountant-General of Lagos State, Mrs Shukrat Umar, buttressed their claims when she told the committee on Wednesday that the State Executive Council approved the budget for the purchase of 820 vehicles for the state.

The Assembly had claimed that Ambode did not get approval for the purchase of the buses and subsequently set up a probe committee.

The committee had summoned the former commissioners and some other government officials to make statements on the project.

Banjo and Oluwo were reported to have indicted Ambode when they appeared before the committee.

But the former commissioners in separate statements said the reports were a misrepresentation of what transpired at the proceedings of the committee.

Banjo said he told the lawmakers that he was appointed in February 2018 when the issue of bus purchase had already been on the ground.

He pointed out that the issue was not contained in the budget he managed, though it could have been in earlier budgets.

Oluwo acknowledged that he attended the second session of the committee on October 15 alongside a former Commissioner for Agriculture, Toyin Suara.

“For the avoidance of doubt, I reiterate that I did not and could never have indicted Akinwunmi Ambode. I am a committed democrat, a loyal team player and a strong believer in the principle of collective responsibility,” he said.