An Ikeja High Court will on February 27 rule on the validity of a suit filed by former Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, seeking an injunction restraining some of the state lawmakers from probing him over purchase of 820 buses.
Justice Yetunde Adesanya fixed the date after hearing the submissions of counsel to Ambode, Mr Tayo Oyetibo and counsel to the lawmakers, Mr Olukayode Enitan (SAN).
“This case is adjourned to February 27, 2020, for ruling,” Adesanya said.
Earlier, Ambode’s counsel told the court that the lawmakers should act in line with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution.
Oyetibo said that the former governor was seeking six regulatory reliefs and two injunctive orders against the lawmakers.
“The claimant (Ambode) has not come here to say that the lawmakers do not have power of investigation; he is saying that the exercise of that power is subject to the provisions of the Constitution.
“He is saying that his right under Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution is violated.
His case is that the exercise of that power is subject to the provision of the Constitution particularly the right to fair hearing as contained in Section 36.
“Secondly, the court will determine whether the exercise of the power of the House of Assembly is subject to the provisions of the Constitution under Section 128.
“If the court answers the second question in the affirmative, it has the right to ask if those rights have been violated by the House of Assembly,” the counsel submitted.
According to Oyetibo, the first three of the six regulatory reliefs sought by Ambode deal with the scope of the powers of the House of Assembly as provided in Sections 128 and 129 of the 1999 Constitution.
He said that the fourth relief challenged the constitutionality of the Lagos State Appropriation Law, 2018.
“We are asking your lordship to determine the validity of a law or provision that will require the executive to come back to the House to seek disbursement of funds approved under the budget.
“The fifth relief is tied to the fourth relief: The lawmakers have been accusing the claimant of breach of budgetary approval. If there is no need for budgetary approval, they cannot accuse him of a breach,” he said.
He urged the court to dismiss the objection of the lawmakers with substantial costs.
Before Oyetibo’s submission, counsel to the lawmakers, Enitan, had via a preliminary objection dated November 14 2019, challenged the competence of the court to hear the suit based on three grounds.
“The first ground is that it is ultra vires (beyond legal power or authority) – that is, the power of the court to interfere with any investigation of the Lagos State House of Assembly or any arm of government based on the principle of separation of powers.
“The second ground is that the suit is preemptive and premature and not actionable, and the third ground is that it discloses no reasonable cause of action.
“I urge the court to decline jurisdiction as this suit is premature,” he said.
Enitan said that rather than accept an invitation to attend a probe sought by the House of Assembly, Ambode “rushed” to the court.
“The claimant has not been indicted; he has been invited to come and explain some things to us, but he ran to court.
“I urge the court to dismiss the suit,” he prayed.
Our corresponent reports that Ambode instituted the civil suit against the State House of Assembly, its Speaker Mudashiru Obasa and the House Clerk, Mr A.A Sanni.
Other respondents to the suit are Mr Fatai Mojeed, the Chairman of an Ad-hoc Committee set up by the House to probe the procurement of the buses, and eight members of the committee.
‘Buhari Does Not Know What Restructuring Means’
A chieftain of Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, has described President Muhammadu Buhari as an “illiterate”, who does not know what restructuring means.
Adebanjo said Buhari’s illiteracy was taking Nigeria back to the dark ages by refusing to implement resolutions on how to restructure the country.
The Afenifere chieftain decried that the country has not been lucky in electing the right political leaders since the return of democracy in 1999.
He spoke at a lecture titled: ‘Restructuring: Building a Knowledge-Based Economy’, organised by the Voice of Reason in honour of her Founder, Late Prince Goke Omisore in Lagos.
Adebanjo also stated that Buhari was less-concerned about the future of Nigeria.
According to Adebanjo: “Despite far-reaching resolutions submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari on how to restructure Nigeria politically, economically and socially, Buhari is less-concerned because he does not know what restructuring means.
“President Buhari is an illiterate, he does not know what restructuring means, he is less concerned about the future of Nigeria, he is only bothered about his cows.”
The elder statesman urged youths in the country to form a movement that would ensure they regained power from the old generation.
“I am 92 now, I want to challenge the younger generation to take their destiny into their hands.
“There is little to what I can do, the energy is no longer there.
“I want you to take the bull by the horn, take Nigeria back from the hands of your oppressors and build a society that will make you proud among your fellow young people in the global economy,” he said.
Buhari Will Not Resign – Lai Mohammed
The Federal Government says President Muhammadu Buhari will not resign because he has the overwhelming mandate of Nigerians to preside over the affairs of the country until the expiration of his tenure in May 2023.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed stated this at a media briefing in Abuja.
Mohammed was reacting to “diversionary statements by some commentators, especially political and religious leaders” calling for Buhari’s resignation over purported spate of insecurity.
The minister conceded that the country was facing security challenges but they were being tackled headlong.
“There have been some red herrings in recent times, including those calling for the resignation of Mr President or the sack of the security chiefs.
“I just want to say that the government, which has provided and continues to provide the military and the security agencies with the wherewithal, believes in their ability to tackle insecurity.
“These challenges will be successfully tackled. I will however advise all commentators, especially political and religious leaders, to be very careful at this time not to aggravate the situation with incendiary comments.
“These are comments that cash in on our religious, ethnic and political fault lines to further divide us,” he said.
Abba Kyari Drives Buhari’s Fight Against Corruption – Lawyer
A legal practitioner, Mr Leo Ekpenyong, has described Abba Kyari, Chief of Staff to the President, as a man driving President Muhammadu Buhari’s fight against corruption.
Ekpenyong,the Managing Director of De Bongos Media was reacting against the barrage of sponsored attacks in the media and protests against the Chief of Staff, in a statement in Abuja yesterday.
He described such sponsored protests as an attempt to malign his person, saying under a Buhari’s administration, it had been difficult for people, even those within the government to loot the country’s commonwealth.
“And Abba Kyari’s job as Chief of Staff to the President, is not one that anyone should admire; it is a difficult one.’’
According to him, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media, Garba Shehu, rightly captured the reasons for this when he said; “I will say that the problem Malam Abba Kyari has with most people is that he, like the President he serves, will not throw money at people in order to please them.”
“This is surely bad news for those who feel a sense of entitlement to the nation’s purse. In a country like Nigeria where most of the elites survive on government patronage, why would anyone be happy with a Chief of Staff like Abba Kyari.
“The reason is simple. Kyari has done quite well to protect President Buhari from some hawks whose negative influences have played key roles in wrecking many administrations in the past.
“If he was allowing them access to the loot, he would have been the best man for the job.”
Ekpenyong said to get back at him, they went to town with all sorts of false tales about the man.
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