High Court in Ikeja has ordered the Lagos State House of Assembly to stop the probe of former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode pending.

The court adjourned the matter brought before it by Ambode, against the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa in connection with the ongoing probe of procurement of 820 buses by Ambode’s administration while in office.

It was adjourned till 20th of November, 2019 for the respondents in the matter to respond to the plaintiff’s application.

Other defendants are the Clerk of the House, A. A. Sanni, who signed the newspaper ads, inviting Ambode to the House by 2pm, Chairman of the Ad hoc Committee set up by the House to probe the procurement, Fatai Mojeed.
Members of the Committee:
Gbolahan Yishawu, A. A. Yusuff, Yinka Ogundimu, Mojisola Lasbat Meranda, M. L. Makinde, Kehinde Joseph, T. A. Adewale and O. S.  

Lead counsel to the respondents, Adenike Oshinowo prayed the court to give them time to respond to the application because it was received late.
We were served the notice very late yesterday and we shall be opposing the application and we are asking for a date to regularise our processes, she said.

Meanwhile the adjournment at the instance of both counsel, Justice Adesanya, also ordered the parties to maintain the status pending the outcome of the case.
The former Governor had instituted a suit against the Assembly to contest the constitutionality of the probe of the buses which were procured based on budgetary approval as part of the Bus Reform Project of the State

According to his statement of claim before the court, Ambode 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.

Part of the items authorized was: LAGBUS Public Transport Infrastructure, Part financing of 820 buses which was item 8 under schedule 1- Part C of the Bill, he said.
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.

He said it was surprising that the very lawmakers who contributed actively in 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.

After the proceedings of the Committee on 15th October 2019, the 1st Defendant represented to the public that the former Commissioners that appeared before it had indicted me in their testimonies.  

The 1st Defendant falsely represented to the public that the said Commissioners indicted me in their testimonies before the Committee so as to justify my indictment by the 1st Defendant which indictment members of the 1st Defendant had hitherto threatened to carry out Ambode averred.
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 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.