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
Inclusive Foundation Mourns Veteran Actress, Rachael Oniga
Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation, a non-governmental organisation has expressed its heartfelt sympathy to family, friends and the entire movie industry over the loss of the veteran actress, Rachael Oniga who died at age 64.
The CEO of the foundation, Chief (Mrs.) Pat Eleto, in a condolence visit to the family, on Saturday, July 31st, said the news came as a rude shock to many, but she believes that the late actress has created a great impact with her career, and her legacy should never be forgotten.
In her statement, Chief (Mrs.)Eleto said:
“It is with a heavy heart that I grief with the family of a sister, friend and adviser of Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation.
“Mrs. Oniga, is one of our great ambassadors, and we were actually working on a project that is meant for the later part of this year when the sad news of her demise came.
“Death is inevitable, we pray for the repose of her soul, and may God comfort all the people she left behind. We also hope and pray that all her good legacies, be sustained because, she was indeed a pillar of support to our foundation, and also one of veterans that contributed immensely to the growth of Nollywood,” the statement reads.
A native of Delta State, Oniga was one of the ambassadors of Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation.
Alaafin Shuns Ooni-Backed Group Over Alleged Anti-Buhari Posture
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, on Friday, at the last minute, allegedly cancelled an appointment he gave to a Yoruba group, Ooni’s Caucus, on the alleged complaint that members of the group are “notorious critics” of the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
The Ooni’s Caucus, which was inaugurated at the palace of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, on July 20, 2021, is made of many influential Yoruba persons and is being coordinated by a former Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria, Mr Akin Osuntokun.
PUNCH learnt that Osuntokun led about 14 members of the group to Alaafin’s palace for the alleged 11am appointment on Friday, but after waiting for about two and a half hours, the influential monarch sent words to them that he would not be seeing them.
According to a source, who spoke to PUNCH on condition of anonymity, some of the group’s members who went to Alaafin’s palace with Osuntokun were a monarch, the Olugbon of Orile-Igbon, Oba Francis Alao; a former presidential spokesman, Dr Doyin Okupe; a former commissioner in Osun State, Muyiwa Ige; a former Minister of Defence, Mrs Dupe Adelaja; a retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Taiwo Lakanu, Oye Oyewumi, Sola Lawal, among others.
A former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, is also said to be a member of Ooni’s Caucus, but he was not on the delegation to Alaafin’s palace on Friday.
The source, who is a member of the group, claimed that the group had through the Olugbon secured an appointment with Alaafin since Monday, and the same appointment was confirmed on Thursday, only for them to get to the palace and the Alaafin refused to see them on the claim that they were anti-Buhari and were also loyalists of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The source explained that the main purpose of the meeting was for the newly-inaugurated group to get Alaafin’s blessings and to possibly discuss the issue of the embattled Yoruba Nation agitator, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, alias Sunday Igboho, who is currently being held and tried in Cotonou, Benin Republic.
The source said, “The Olugbon, a member of the caucus, was the one who booked the appointment, but he said the Alaafin said he didn’t want to see us because we’re notorious critics of the Buhari government.
“He (Alaafin) confirmed the appointment yesterday (Thursday). But when we got there today, he kept us waiting; after a while, he asked to see the Olugbon. He (Alaafin) didn’t come to see us; we were told he said he wouldn’t see us because we are notorious critics of Buhari’s government and that some of us are close to Obasanjo, who is also critical of the government.
“We were made to wait for about two and a half hours; he gave us an appointment for 11am; we got there at 11am and at about 1.30pm, that was when it was obvious to us that he wasn’t coming (to see us). But he initially asked to see the Olugbon, who went to see him for about an hour. When the Olugbon eventually came back, he said Alaafin would not see us, saying we are a group that is critical of the Buhari government and some of us are loyalists of Obasanjo.”
On whether the group’s mission to Alaafin’s palace was to discuss Sunday Igboho’s matter, the source said, “Of course, the issue (of Igboho) would come up but that was not the purpose of the visit. The issue of Igboho concerns all the Yoruba people but that was not our reason for going to him.”
On whether the group would try and book another appointment, the source said, “I don’t know; we were all surprised that a Yoruba oba can refuse to see his children on account of not wanting to be on the bad side of Buhari’s government. I would have thought that an oba is supposed to take everybody as his children, whether they are supporters of Buhari the All progressives Congress or the Peoples Democratic Party or whatever party.”
But when contacted by PUNCH, the Media Director to the Alaafin, Bode Durojaye, said the reason his principal did not see the group was because they did not have any prior appointment with him.
Durojaye said the Alaafin would be willing to entertain the group if they booked an appointment.
He said, “Those who came are men of honour and kabiyesi did not say he did not want to see them. He did not say he would not see them because they are critical of President Buhari or they are former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s men. Obasanjo himself is a friend of Kabiyesi, so you can see that what you were told was not what happened.
“Kabiyesi said he could not see them because they did not give him prior notice that they were coming. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to see them again. They can notify him and he will give them an appointment. You cannot just come and say you want to see him, there are protocols to follow and due process is always adhered to at Alaafin’s Palace.
“There was no rancour, no ill-feeling even when they were going; I was there and I saw them off to their vehicles. If anybody told you that kabiyesi said he didn’t want to see them because they are critical of government or they are Obasanjo’s men, that is a lie.”
NMA Reacts As Bandits Break Into, Pick Nurse At Zamfara General Hospital
Suspected bandits invaded General Hospital, Dansadau, Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State on Friday, resulting in the abduction of a nurse and caregiver.
Residents said that immediately the men stormed the medical facility, the armed men headed to the outpatient ward in search of a doctor or nurse.
“When they couldn’t find anybody there, they started going from one ward to another. A nurse and a caregiver were abducted. They then moved to staff quarters looking for doctors and nurses but could not find any.”
“The armed criminals had earlier attempted to attack Maigoge, a community located six kilometres north of Dansadau town.
“But when they laid siege to the community, the vigilantes otherwise known as Yan Sakai firmly defended the village. The vigilante killed some of the bandits and injured several others.
“They then invaded the hospital to kidnap nurse and doctors that will treat their injured brothers in the forest.”
Maigoge is one of the few communities in Dansadau Emirate known to be firmly defending themselves against bandits.
“The staff of the facility are not carrying out night duties now. They only attend to patients at day time. They then move inside the town to spend night usually at undisclosed locations,” he added.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association in Zamfara state, Dr Mannir Bature, who confirmed the attack said the association is worried by the unfortunate incident.
He said they would hold an emergency state officers council meeting on Saturday.
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