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AMBODE: LAGOS SPEAKER, OBASA, ASSEMBLY AGREE TO MAINTAIN STATUS QUO

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***Lawmakers Plead For Time As Court Adjourns Till Nov 20

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Wednesday agreed to halt proceedings in the probe of former Governor of the State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, over procurement of 820 buses for public transportation.

Ambode had instituted a suit against the Assembly, the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa and others, to contest the constitutionality of the probe, accusing them of bias and misrepresentation of facts.

When the matter came up in court on Wednesday morning, Ambode’s lawyer, Mr. Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), informed the court of his pending application for interlocutory injunction, saying that same had been served on the defendants.

In response, a team of lawyers of the defendants led by Mrs. Adenike Oshinowo and included Mrs. Adegbite and Ms. Olayemi Johnson confirmed service of the application, but pleaded for time since the processes were served at about 6pm on Tuesday.

They specifically requested for two weeks to respond but the date they suggested was not convenient for the court.

Responding, Oyetibo did not object to the application of the defendants for adjournment but urged the Court to direct parties to maintain status quo. In her response, the presiding Judge, Justice Yetunde Adesanya, said “it goes without saying” and called on Mrs. Osinowo for her response who also agreed that status quo would be maintained by the Defendants.

The court then adjourned the matter to November 20 2019 for the hearing of the motion on Notice for interlocutory injunction.

With the ruling, the former Governor cannot be summoned to appear again before the House probe panel as both parties have agreed to maintain status quo till the new hearing date.

According to his statement of claim before the court, Ambode had said contrary to deliberate misrepresentation of facts by the lawmakers, the procurement of the 820 buses was well captured in the 2018 Appropriation Law which was duly approved by the House.

“In section 1 of the Bill, the 1st Defendant (House of Assembly) authorized  the total Budget for the year 2018 to be One Trillion, Forty Six Billion, One Hundred and Twenty One Million, One Hundred and Eighty-One Thousand, Six Hundred and Eighty Naira (N1,046,121,181,680.00) comprising the sum of Three Hundred and Forty Seven Billion, Thirty-Eighty Million, Nine Hundred and Thirty-Eight Thousand, Eight-Hundred and Seventy-Two Naira (N347,038,938,872.00) only and Six Hundred and Ninety-Nine Billion, Eighty-Two Million, Two Hundred and Forty-Two Thousand, Eight Hundred and Eighty Naira (N699,082,242,808.00) only as the Recurrent and Capital Expenditures respectively.

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“Part of the items authorized by the Bill under Capital Expenditure was: “LAGBUS Public Transport Infrastructure (MEPB); Part financing of 820 buses” which was item 8 under schedule 1- Part C of the Bill,” the former Governor averred.

He added that having prescribed the manner of withdrawal of funds in sections 3 and 4 of the 2018 Appropriation Law, it was unconstitutional for the House to attach another condition in section 9 of the law for further approval to be sought before incurring any expenditure on the purchase of the buses.

Highlighting the specific breach of his constitutional rights to fair hearing by the House, the former Governor said on August 27, 2019 during proceedings of the Assembly, some lawmakers thoroughly vilified and disparaged him as having purchased the buses without budgetary approval and that the procurement was a waste of public funds, while at the end of the proceedings, the House resolved to constitute an Ad Hoc Committee to probe the procurement.

He said it was surprising that the very lawmakers who contributed actively in vilifying, disparaging and denigrating him constituted the bulk of the members of the Committee, which was a clear derogation of his right to fair hearing.

Ambode added that in continuation of deliberate misrepresentation of facts of the issue, the House falsely claimed that an invitation had been extended to him to appear before the Committee but that he failed to honour the said invitation.

“The Claimant states that no letter of invitation was delivered to him before the 4th and 5th Defendants made the false allegation against the Claimant which was widely reported by various national Newspapers in the country.”

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He added that the House Committee and indeed the entire members of the House had already adjudged him as having committed wastage of public fund by the procurement of the buses in question and had also already determined that the procurement was done by him as opposed to the State Government.

He said it was obvious that the lawmakers were totally biased against him having regard to their pronouncements on the floor of the House by reason of which he believes that his right to fair hearing as guaranteed by the Constitution had been seriously compromised by the defendants.

He is, therefore, seeking among others, the court’s declaration that the power of the House to pass a resolution under section 128(1) of the Constitution to cause an inquiry into his conduct as Governor is subject to right to fair hearing as guaranteed by section 36(1) of the Constitution.

He also wants a declaration that the Resolution of the House setting up a 9-Man Committee comprising of the 4th-12th Defendants to investigate all transactions in respect of the 820 Buses said by the defendants to have been procured by him derogates from his right as guaranteed by section 36(1) of the Constitution and therefore is unconstitutional, null and void.

He is therefore, among others seeking:

“AN INJUNCTION restraining the Defendants whether by themselves, their servants, agents and or representatives from compelling the Claimant, in any manner whatsoever, to appear before the Defendants pursuant to the Resolution passed by the Defendants on 27th August 2019 or any other Resolution passed in respect of the subject matter of this Suit.

“AN INJUNCTION restraining the Defendants whether by themselves, their servants, agents and or representatives from representing or continue to represent to the Public that the Claimant, AKINWUNMI AMBODE, procured 820 buses in breach of budgetary approval.”

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Interpol Detains Ex-AGF Bello Adoke In Dubai

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Adoke

Interpol in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE),  reportedly detained  a former Attorney-General of Nigeria, Mohammed Bello Adoke.

Adoke was  detained following confusion over a warrant of arrest that has already been vacated.

A federal capital territory (FCT) high court in Abuja had issued a warrant of arrest against Adoke and four others on April 17, 2019, following a request by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the controversial OPL 245 deal executed by the federal government in 2011.

However, following an application by Adoke’s lawyers, the court, presided over by D. Z. Senchi, vacated the warrant on October 25, 2019, declaring it “null and void and of no effect whatsoever”. While the first order was sent to Interpol by the Nigerian police, the vacating order was not transmitted, thereby creating confusion for the multinational force.

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The EFCC, reacting to the vacated order, had said it would advertise the originating summons in the newspapers after which it would declare the defendants wanted if they fail to appear for trial. Adoke himself said he was preparing to return to the country after releasing his book and attending to his health.

 

The senior lawyer, who was said to have arrived Dubai on Monday, November 11, for a scheduled medical check-up, was quizzed by the Interpol and then taken into custody following the mix-up.

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Adoke has been on self-exile since 2015, accusing the EFCC of trying to humiliate him and maintaining that he did no wrong in the OPL 245 affair.

 

He recently published his memoir, “Burden Of Service: Reminiscences of Nigeria’s former Attorney-General”, detailing his role in the OPL 245/Malabu Oil deal as well as other events that happened in the Goodluck Jonathan administration, which he served as AGF from 2010 to 2015.

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Kogi West Rerun Election: I Reject Factitious Result In Totality-Dino Melaye

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Senator Dino Melaye has rejected the results of the Kogi West Senatorial District rerun election which held on Saturday November 16.

Melaye who described the election as “helicopter election”, told newsmen that it was marred by compromise, extreme violence, and rigging.

According to Dino, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should have stopped the collation of results following the violence recorded in the election.

“The innovation is that what we had is what I have christened ‘Helicopter election’. For the first time, rigging has been advanced to the level that now the use of a helicopter in perpetuating this electoral atrocity manifested yesterday,” he told newsmen in Abuja.

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“Helicopter hovering around Polling units in Lokoja, dropping bullets on innocent, harmless citizens and electorate; and as I speak, yesterday, teargas being fired from this helicopter.

“Despite the fact that this helicopter was used in harassing, intimidating and firing innocent electorates, the votes of those places were carted away and taken to the government house, stuffed and brought back to the collation centre and they have been accepted and admitted and collation is ongoing.

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“They brought mayhem on my own community and even killed my nephew, we are waiting to see what INEC will do, but I reject in totality, this fictitious result and I want to say that all these are not about the election, it is about Dino Melaye,” he said.

Recall that the election that saw Melaye emerging as the senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District was nullified by an Appeal Court on October 11.

 

 

 

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 “Style By Zenith 2.0” Set To Take Centre Stage

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Sytle By Zenith 2.0

 

Nigeria will play host to foremost designers and brands, as the second edition of ‘Style By Zenith’ set to hold.

A lifestyle fair, ‘Style by Zenith 2.0’ will hold between Friday, November 29, and Sunday, December 1, at the Eko Energy City, Eko Atlantic, Victoria Island, Lagos.

With an interesting line up of activities such as runway modelling, modelling masterclasses, exhibition of lifestyle, beauty, health & fitness products, food and drinks, games arcade for both children and adults as well as musical concert featuring Nigeria’s biggest artistes, it’s a must-attend event.

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It is billed to feature designers such as Tom Ford, Dolce and Gabbana, Tokyo James, Eyola, Mai Atafo, Okunnoren Twins, Ejiro Amos-Tafiri, Telvin Nwafor, Fikirte Addis, House of Kaya, Gozen Green, Trish O, Chulaap, Agatha Moreno, Sunny Rose, Nonnistics, Caesar Couture, Yartel, Orapeleng Mdutle, Mustapha Hassanali, and the Fabric Hub, amongst others.

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The ‘Style by Zenith’ initiative which launched in 2018 is aimed at supporting and creating value for customers by focusing on various aspects of their lifestyle.

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