Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa is under pressure to stand down as Speaker of the House following a petition against him to the Economic Financial Crimes Commission EFCC believed to be the aftermath of a crisis rocking the Assembly.
Agitation against the Speaker may not be unconnected with the crisis rocking the House which has pitched the embattled Speaker against Senator Bayo Osinowo a.k.a Pepper and his loyalists in the local Assembly .
Sources within the Lagos political power arena have however mentioned to ThePage Online that Speaker Obasa may have, by his confrontational posture against Senator Osinowo by the suspension of his loyalists, may have ignorantly played into the hands of Lagos indigenes who had before the inauguration of the present Assembly insisted that the Speaker must be a Lagosian. Obasa is an indigene of Ogun state.
According to sources, a group of Lagosians had insisted to the powers that be in the state before the inauguration of the current House that a Lagosian must be the Speaker since the Governor, his deputy and the Senators representing the state are allegedly not core Lagosians in the real sense of the identity.
” The movers of the motion even lobbied the Oba of Lagos and some influential Lagosians to ensure that the real Lagosians didn’t not lose out in the power sharing, but they were blackmailed into dropping the agitation. Even Kabiyesi was blackmailed into withdrawing his initial support for the agenda.” a source privy to the move told The page.
According to one of the sources, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola was quoted to have told the Oba of Lagos that Obasa would remain the Speaker, and should Kabiyesi continue to support the agitation, beneficiaries of appointments ceded to him would be replaced, hence that agitation died naturally.
The current brouhaha rocking the Lagos Assembly under the Speakership of Obasa it has been gathered, may have re -awakened the agitation for a real Lagosian as the speaker,following the growing belief that the Speaker may not survive his current travail especially because of the financial misappropriation allegations that have been introduced into it.
A petition has been written against the Speaker over these financial misappropriation allegations, even as a Human Rights group is insisting that Speaker Obasa must step down to allow for thorough investigation of allegations against him by the Economic Financial Crimes Commission.( EFCC)
In the petition recently sent to the office of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and addressed to the office of the chairman of the commission with the title:
“PETITION AGAINST LAGOS STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY SPEAKER, MUDHASIRU OBASA ON GROSS FINANCIAL MISCONDUCT, CRIMINAL BREACH OF PUBLIC TRUST AND ABUSE OF OFFICE,” the Executive Director, Comrade Buna Olaitan Isiak, of the petitioner, Human Rights Monitoring Agenda (HURMA) claimed that popular demand necessitated the petition.
“Further to a popular demand by some members of the public to our office, this petition is written to acquaint your agency EFCC, with the gross financial misconduct and the abuse of office being perpetrated by the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Honorable Mudashiru Obasa, for a thorough investigation so as to avert a further bleeding of the public treasury under his care and restore sanity in the functioning of the states legislative establishment.
The petition reads further: “The Speakers desecration of his office for which a probe of his activities becomes necessary is in twofold: one, his financial recklessness and cornering of public funds through illegitimate means; and two, the corruption and compromise of laid down procedures and rules deliberately foisted on the workforce of the Assembly”.
The Human Rights group further mentioned some of the cases for which the intervention of the EFCC is sought as:
1. Purchase of a bullet-proof car at a market value of less than N100 Million (One Hundred Million Naira), and the inflation of its price to N300 Million (Three Hundred Million Naira). Apart from being inflated by a whopping 200%, the purchase of the vehicle was done in a questionable manner contrary to procurement acts. This constitutes a flagrant abuse of office and the exercise of privilege with impunity in a country where majority of the citizens live on less than a dollar a day.
2. Unilateral purchase of 40 cars for members of the Assembly with neither prior discussion with members nor official approval by the House. We have it on good authority that the vehicles were imported by a notable politician for a failed political project. The Speaker procured those vehicles and has since refused to either release their papers to the supposed beneficiaries or tender their receipt for retirement into the Assembly’s accounts for obvious reasons as the cost of the vehicles is only known to the Speaker.
3. Purchase of 11(eleven) other vehicles without bidding, advertisement and rules and regulations guiding procurement or legislative approval. This is disdain for public accountability and established checks and balances.
4. Use of fictitious companies as fronts for cornering public contracts and fleecing of public funds. The most notorious of these companies is a certain De-Kingrun Multipurpose Nigeria Limited with CAC No: RC 748741 where all his six children are shareholders. A probe of the businesses of the House since his leadership should reveal how notoriously Obasa has been breaching public trust by diverting contracts and projects into companies of his interest with the active connivance of the clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni Adebowale.
5. Compromise of operational procedures, creation of an extra-legal hierarchy and privileging cronies at the expense of the system. This is by far the greatest calamity to befall the Lagos State House of Assembly under Obasas watch. Regulatory procedures have been in most cases set aside with the connivance of the Clerk of the House with the ill-intent of carrying out governmental business for private gains and as a private concern. With this tactics, Obasa created an extra-legal hierarchy within the workforce of the States Assembly where his cronies (including a concubine of his popularly called Madam Speaker) reign supreme. It was on good authority that the girl named Nike Ajibose was promoted to level 9 without promotional exams because of immoral relationship with the Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, she recently traveled to United Kingdom with 9m of LSHA money not approved but more importantly is the using the girl for money laundering activities.
The recent allegation of illegal 2.4 billion naira spent within 11months to purchase 80 cars for 40 members of LSHA must be thoroughly investigated by your establishment that remain the best anti-graft agency in Africa”.
The Rights Monitors stated that if the Lagos Speaker, Obasa is found guilty of any of the above allegations, that would amount to breach of public trust and such a man of questionable character cannot continue to act as Speaker to the Lagos State House of Assembly.
“It is our belief that the actions and activities of Honorable Mudashiru Obasa at the Lagos State House of Assembly is detrimental to the interest of the people of Lagos State and his primary constituency which elected him to serve. It is also breach of public trust and a dent on the anti-corruption drive of the party and the government to which he belongs, hence the need to have him investigated and put him under public scrutiny and account before further damage is done to the collective patrimony of Lagosians.
“It is therefore our demand that such man with questionable character should step down from the position of the Speaker to the Lagos State House of Assembly pending the completion of investigation.
By Femi Adepoju