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Lagos Women Will Install Sanwoolu As Next Governor-Jumoke Okoya-Thomas

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An assurance has been given that the women in Lagos State would deliver the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwoolu as the next governor of the state in the 2019 general elections.

Addressing a selected group of journalists in Ikeja, Lagos on Tuesday, the Women Leader of the Lagos State chapter of the APC, Hon. Jumoke Okoya-Thomas added that the coast was clear for Mr. Sanwoolu to assume coveted office through the support of the women.

Okoya-Thomas pointed out that the women were aware that the APC had better agenda for the women and the state in general in the coming years and that the party was noted for fulfilling its promises.

The Women Leader revealed that she would not rest on her oars to ensure that Mr. Sanwoolu was given the needed support by the women, who she said constituted about 70% of the voters in the state.

According to her, this explains why women have always been more in all political rallies, especially in the state, adding that all categories of women have been fully mobilised to work for the success of the party in the state.

“We the women don’t believe in violence, but we are always there to support the party. This would not be different, and I am happy that I was given this opportunity to be the APC Women Leader in Lagos State at this material time.

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“I have spoken with Mr. Sanwoolu during our several meetings and he assured me that he would run an all-inclusive, which would give more chances to the women once he wins the election.

“There is no doubt that the women have more challenges in our society, but I will use my office as the women leader to ameliorate these, which is why we have perfected strategies to ensure that women come out enmasse to vote for Mr. Babajide Sanwoolu of the APC during the governorship election of March 2, 2019,” she said.

The Women Leader reiterated that the APC was the party to beat, both at the state and at the general levels, saying that people should not be deceived by those, who come to them with empty promises.

Her words: “Lagos cannot afford to go back to Egypt. The progressives have turned the fortunes of the state around since 1999, when Asiwaju Bola Tinubu became the Governor of the Centre of Excellence.

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“Later, Asiwaju Tinubu handed over to Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, who also tried his best and his achievements are for the records. “After that, the incumbent Governor Akinwunmi Ambode took over in 2015 with his people-oriented programmes.

“We are all witnesses to the achievements of Governor Ambode. I want to assure you that Mr. Babajide Sanwoolu would continue with the master plan and even do it better.

“That is why I have taken it upon myself to work with the women in the party and other women in the state because they are critical stakeholders in the whole matter.

“Women play multiple roles as wives, mothers, market women, traders, mobilisers, daughters and home keepers. So they have a lot at stake and they cannot afford to allow charlatans take over the leadership of the state.”

Okoya-Thomas revealed that a programme was underway to meet with professionals and career women, who she said could not afford to sit on the fence at this time, “when a man with a sincere heart to protect the interest of the women in person of Mr. Babajide Sanwoolu is being presented by the APC as the next Governor of Lagos State.”

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Corruption Allegations Against Me Handiwork Of Enemies, Obasa Tells Panel

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Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudaahiru Obasa told the panel of enquiry raised by the Assembly on Saturday that the corruption allegations against him by Sahara Reporters were the handiwork of his enemies.

Speaker Obasa said this when he appeared before the 9-man Fact-Finding Panel of the House chaired by Hon. Victor Akande (Ojo Constituency 1).

The Speaker explained that all the allegations made by Sahara Reporters in its series of reports were unfounded. 

Obasa stressed that the vehicles bought for the members of the House and other expenses made by the House were done with the approval of the House and that of the Fund Management Committee (FMU) of the House headed by him.

“We bought Land Cruisers for Principal Officers of the House. The cars we buy for Principal Officers are always higher than those of other members and we followed the due process in the purchase. 

“We went through the Public Procurement Agency (PPA) and others and the vehicles were distributed appropriately. 

“It was agreed at the parliamentary meetings on about four occasions and the Clerk of the House is the Secretary. 

“Also, it is not true that my wife collects N10 Million monthly from the House. Anyone who says she does should come with proofs and evidences. 

“My approval limit as the Speaker of the House is N100 million. Anything above that would have to be approved by the Fund Management Committee. On Prado Jeep that we bought for the members, we followed the due process like we did in that of the Principal Officers,” he explained.

Obasa also debunked an allegation that N258  million was spent for the printing of invitation cards for the inauguration of the 9th Assembly adding that the whole event cost N61 million while  N1.1 million was spent to print the invitation cards. 

“It is not possible to spend N258 Million to print invitation cards. We are not involved in such a frivolous expenditure,” he added.

Concerning the alleged N80 million expended as estacode for the training of women in Dubai, the Speaker said that wives of 20 lawmakers attended the event and that he was there to declare the event open. 

“We gave N4 million to each of the participants for air ticket, hotels, feedings, and local travel. Air ticket to Dubai alone is about N2 million. Some of these allegations were raised for a crusade to get the Speaker out of office. 

“The House of Assembly is above the common standard of excellence and we have to train people, and this comes with a cost. Learning is not cheap and I have never collected N80 Million for estacode at a go before,” he said.

The Speaker defended the purchase of eight Hiace buses for committee works in the Assembly as he explained that it was discovered that the House was spending a lot of money to repair vehicles, which he said was why the House decided to buy the buses and that the buses were there for everybody to see with documents to defend the purchases.

He denied the allegation that he spent N53 million for a trip to the United States of America with his mistress. 

“We were invited by the Consular General for a programme in the United States. Later, the programme was postponed,  but I had gone ahead. I had to return home and I told others not to bother to come until the postponed dates,” he said.

The Speaker told the committee that it was not possible for him to spend N17 million for cleaning of his guest house as against the allegation made by Sahara Reporters. 

“They only remove documents and fly them around to please themselves. All our payments go through certain procedures. 

“The expenditure had been there before I became the Speaker. There was no way I could have spent N17 million on cleaning my guest house. 

“On the issue of awarding contracts to companies belonging to me, they should come and show evidence of where I awarded contracts to myself,” he said.

Concerning the report that he tricked former governor Akinwunmi Ambode of the state to spend N350 million for hosting a meeting of Conference of Speakers, Obasa said told the committee that this was not possible.

He maintained that such was not possible since Ambode is an accountant, who rose to be the Chief Accountant of the State.

“There was no way I could have tricked Ambode to release such money anyhow. We had a meeting of the Conference of Speakers, who came with three members each, and we had subcommittees who were given N2 million each. 

“We paid for the tickets of each Speaker, we pay for their hotel accommodation, feeding, and souvenirs. 

“We also provided local transportation for them. All these allegations are deliberate actions of my enemies to achieve their aims that they could not achieve in the House to remove me as the Speaker of the House, which was why they came up with such reports.

“On N60 Million spent for social influencers, I did not sign such money. I don’t even know the companies they are talking about. The BVN they are flying about is not correct.

“Whatever I have done as a Speaker, all the approvals I gave as Speaker were given based on collective approval of the members of the House,” he said.

The Deputy Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni, who also appeared before the panel denied attending meeting in Dubai as against the report of SaharaReporters.

Also speaking, Chairman of the House Committee on Information and Strategy, Hon. Tunde Braimoh, said that while a media parley was held by the House, he didn’t know how much was spent on the event since different people handled different aspects of the event.  

“We provided hospitality for the few people that came. The event involved other things, there were catering and others that were given to other people to handle.

“It is most uncharitable to say we spent N47.5 Million for social media influencers. We spend money on publicity and public relations. 

“We have programmes that we pay for on TVC and LTV 8. We have a magazine that we produce and we print 40,000 copies quarterly and distribute to schools and other places and we pay for the content, design, and production,” he said.

The Clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni also defended the estacode for the trip to the United States of America, saying that it followed the standard procedure and that the programme was budgeted for under conferences and seminars.

“We did not buy 11 buses, we bought eight Hiace buses for committee assignments. 

“The cost exceeded N100 million and it was approved by the Management Committee of the House. It was also approved by the Public Procurement Agency and the Ministerial Tenders Board and we got a Certificate of Compliance for the purchase. 

“The buses are in place at the car park. We have budgetary provision for the vehicles.

“The women trip to Dubai was also approved for in the budget. The Speaker was there, the wife of the Deputy Speaker was there and wives of 17 other lawmakers. Each participant got money for air fare, local transportation, and others,” he said.

Sanni also cleared the air on N258  million for the printing of invitation cards, saying that the money for the whole event was N61 Million and that only N1.1 million was spent for the printing of the programme for the event. 

He confirmed that 80 cars were bought in 11 months for the 8th and 9th assemblies. 

“We bought 40 Corolla Cars back-up vehicles for the 8th Assembly.  

“The purchase was approved by the Management Committee led by the Speaker with Hon. Olumuyiwa Jimoh, Saka Fafunmi, Hon. David Setonji and others as members.

“In the 9th Assembly, we bought Toyota Prado for members and this was approved by the Funds Management Committee headed by the Speaker. 

“The issue of the vehicle was discussed at the various parliamentary meetings and it was unanimously agreed by the members. 

“We bought 36 Prado Jeeps for members and it went through the PPA and we have Compliance Certificate for the purchase.

“We also bought six Land Cruisers for the Principal Officers approved by the FMC and PPA with Certificate of Compliance.

“On women empowerment programmes. We raised a submission for the programme and it was recognised by the Assembly budget. It was not paid into the account of the wife of the Speaker. The facility manager has no relationship with the Speaker of the House,” he said.

The Clerk of the House, however said that some documents might have been released to SaharaReporters “through some disgruntled staffers of the House.

“We have been taking steps on that and we have transferred some staff. 

“The files go through many tables and there is no doubt that some devilish staffers take pictures of some of these documents and send to these people. 

“The staff have taken oaths and this attracts dismissal. Unofficial disclosure of information attracts dismissal in the civil service,” he stated.

Two officials of Zenith Bank;  Mr. John Olorundare, Chief Compliance Officer, Mr. John Olorundare, Zonal Head of  Alausa, Mr. Sanni Idowu Awe also appeared before the panel.

The bank officials stated that an individual could only have one BVN.

They confirmed that different account names could not be used for one BVN and that Speaker Obasa had only six accounts with Zenith Bank.

According to them, only two of the accounts are operational; one savings and current, while the rest are dormant.

Present at the meeting were other members of the committee including Hon. Yinka Ogundimu (Agege 2), Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu (Eti Osa 2),  Hon. Lukmon Olumoh (Ajeromi Ifelodun 1)  and Hon. Ajani Owolabi (Lagos Mainland 1).

Others are Hon. Mojisola Alli-Macaulay (Amuwo Odofin 1), Hon. Rotimi Olowo (Shomolu 1) and Hon. Akeem Shokunle (Oshodi/Isolo 1).

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Orji Uzor Kalu’s Reprieve

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Orji

The prison is definitely not a place for the wealthy and affluent.

But when circumstances lead a man of means to such a place, he can only hope for a way out.

One man who understands this analogy is Orji Uzor Kalu, the erstwhile Governor of Abia State and Senator representing Abia North in the Senate.

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Having been found guilty of allegedly stealing public funds, the man was sentenced to 12 years in jail.

However, reprieve came for him when a court ruled that his case was heard out of jurisdiction.

The situation has thus seen Uzor Kalu walking away a free man, at least for the main time.

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Spick And Span: Obasa Absolved Of Corruption Claim, Owning Multiple Bank Accounts**Official Position Of The Banks Revealed

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Speaker

A patient man with a clear conscience will definitely get his day of absolution.

Indeed, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly,  Mudashiru Obasa, has been severely embarrassed with unfounded claims of corruption.

However, Obasa’s day of glory has since come, as officials of the banks where he is alleged to have multiple accounts have all cleared him.

In a recently held meeting, officials of Ecobank, Wema Bank and Polaris  absolved Obasa of the allegation owning multiple accounts.

Some representatives of the banks spoke before the 9-man House Adhoc Committee on fact finding and investigation on the corruption allegations against Speaker Mudashiru Obasa being circulated on the social media on Friday.

The bank officials stated that it was not possible for an individual to operate multiple accounts with one Bank Verification Number (BVN).

The Committee is headed by Hon. Victor Akande (Ojo Constituency 1).

Present during the meeting were Hon. Rotimi Olowo, Hon. Yinka Ogundimu, Hon. Lukmon Olumoh and Hon. Mojisola Alli-Macaulay.

A Business Development Officer with Wema Bank, Mr. Adekunle Adeleke, said that the BVN server is not reserved with any bank, but the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“Sahara Reporters stated the account number and other details in their reports, but they didn’t state the BVN. What Sahara Reporters wrote is not BVN. There are a lot of errors in their report.

“The BVN and the accounts stated in the story are not correct and they don’t belong to the Speaker of the Assembly.

“It is not possible for a BVN to have two dates of births. If they do so, it would be rejected in another bank, they would have to swear to an affidavit so that it would be the same.

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“If it should be changed, it would be backed up by marriage certificate or sworn affidavit,” he stated.

Adeleke stressed that the companies stated by Sahara Reporters in their reports had no linkage with Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa.

He added that the name, signature and other details in the story has no relationship with Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa.

“You can write Wema Bank to confirm if the accounts mentioned by Sahara Reporters had any relationship with the Speaker.

“The computer system in the bank has a digital footprint that would show any visit to any account. It will show imprint of anyone that checks the account. You can request the details of all the checks, but we will need written request from the owner of the account.

“BVN is a different server, it does not belong to any bank. You cannot punch BVN and get any financial details. It is only the regulator or the anti-corrupion agency that can do so through the CBN,” he said.

Polaris Bank was represented by Mr. Charles Osho and Mr. Rotimi Omotayo, Chief Internal Auditor of the bank.

Mr. Omotayo said that only three of the 64 accounts credited to the Speaker by SaharaReporters were with Polaris Bank.

He revealed that two of the accounts belong to one Mr. Adebayo Adeyemi David, while one belongs to Mr. Ajayi Mudashiru Obasa.

“Mr. Adebayo Adeyemi David is different from Mr. Ajayi Mudashiru Obasa and there is no linkage between the two personalities.

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“Rt. Hon. Ajayi Mudashiru Obasa has one account with our bank and the BVN quoted for Obasa is correct. The other person has a separate BVN for the two accounts.

“It is not possible to check someone’s account without authorisation. There is what we call system log. Whoever accesses an account is logged on the system and we can see whoever does that.

“We know those who access any account at any point in time. We can avail you of the information if you require it,” he said.

General Manager of the Lagos State Public Procurement Agency (PPA), Mr. Onafowote Fatai Idowu, who was also invited by the Committee, revealed that the 40 Toyota Corolla back-up cars bought for the 8th Assembly were with the notice of his office and that the purchase followed the due process.

He said that Certificate of Compliance was issued for the procurement of the vehicles on 30th April, 2019.

“We were communicated and we responded for the process to continue and we approved the purchase of the vehicles.

“The purchase of the vehicles was approved by the Management Committee of the House, led by the Speaker Mudashiru Obasa and the relevant documents were provided.

“Members of the Committee were Hon. Wahab Olumuyiwa Jimoh, Hon. Rotimi Olowo, Hon. Dayo Saka-Fafunmi, and Hon. Setonji David. The purchase was budgeted for and It is in tandem with the appropriate Procurement Law,” he said.

The committee subsequently adjourned sitting to Saturday 6th June, 2020 at 10am.

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