First, he was denied a second term ticket. Then, as soon as he was out of power and without constitutional immunity, the dreaded Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) began a probe of his four-year tenure as Governor, freezing an account the state government operated. His name was robustly mentioned in the operation of the account.
Next, his country home in Epe was visited by EFCC agents with a search warrant to the chagrin of his neighbours and townspeople. They effectively and riotously prevented the government agents from carrying out their lawful duties, even damaging a bus in the process. The agents shot their way out of the melee.
But Tuesday, former Governor Akinwumi Ambrode, got a fresh challenge to contend with, as the State House of Assembly opened investigations into his administration’s purchase of 820 buses despite the State lawmakers opposition to the deal.
The buses were commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari during his visit to Lagos last April. However, the buses are yet to come into service despite the commissioning.
A motion to investigate all the steps taken to purchase the buses and recommend appropriate sanctions against those involved was adopted by the House on Tuesday.
Moved by one of the lawmakers representing Eti-Osa, Gbolahan Yishawu, the motion alleged that despite repeated rejection of the item in the 2018 and 2019 budgets of the state, Ambode went ahead to procure the buses.
“In the 2018 and 2019 budgets, the state government proposed N24 Billion and N7 Billion respectively, but these were not approved. The state government still went ahead to import 820 buses at N7 Billion, and out of them 520 are still awaiting clearance at the ports,” he said.
“The state government requested waivers for the importation of the buses and it was not granted.
‘The value of the buses were overrated. Some of the buses are still in the ports and they are attracting demurrage. N45 Billion would be spent on the total purchase of the buses and we need to prevent such an occurrence in the future.”
The Assembly set up a committee to conduct investigations. It is headed by Hon. Fatal Mojeed, (Ibeju Lekki 1) and has Yishawu, Yinka Ogundimu (Agege 2), Temitope Adewale (Ifako-Ijaiye 1), Mojisola Miranda (Apapa 1), Bisi Yusuff (Alimosho 1), Olanrewaju Afinni (Lagos Island 2), Rasheed Makinde (Ifako Ijaiye 2)as members.
The Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, stated that the House needed to prevent waste because the expenditure had been done, adding “the vehicles are in the ports and they have been there for almost a year.
“The state will continue to suffer if we allow the buses to stay in the ports. We should be the regulators of transporters, the state should not operate the buses. How much are we giving the buses out should be addressed. We should get the buses to the roads and save the state from further wastages.”