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Lagos assembly: Why Ambode is at risk of impeachment

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The Lagos house of assembly has explained why Akinwunmi Ambode, governor of the state, risks being impeached.

The house had on Monday threatened to commence impeachment proceedings against the governor over alleged infractions in the 2018 budget and the yet-to-be-laid 2019 appropriation bill.

The house had summoned the governor and relevant commissioners to appear before it in seven days to explain themselves.

Speaking on the matter during a press conference on Wednesday, Sanai Agunbiade, majority leader, said the house is not witch-hunting Ambode, but wants due process on the appropriation bill.

Agunbiade said the house would apply the maximum sanction on the governor if he failed to utilise the window of one week given to him to appear.

The majority leader said it is illegal for the governor to start spending budget estimates without the appropriation bill being first laid before the house.

He said: “We are responding to various groups that have come today to appeal to the house in respect of what they heard and the seeming impasse between the executive and the house.

“We decided to correct the misconceptions and wrong information that have been fed the public.

“We wish to state clearly that today, about five groups paid visit to Lagos assembly to plead with the house not to impeach the governor.

“The issue before us is not whether or not we want governor Ambode to end his tenure. He is still the governor of Lagos state and we take him as the governor.

“We want the public to know that the major issue in contention is the 2019 appropriation bill, which by now we feel should have been before the house.

“Unless the budget is laid before the house, there is no budget before the house of assembly. We were willing to take the budget, but we didn’t have the budget.

“We now discovered that expenditures are being incurred and warrants have been issued in respect of the budget that has not been laid before the house.

“This we found inappropriate, and before this also, we have found some infractions in the 2018 budget, where we discovered that some expenditures were made outside the budget without the approval of the house.

“It is now left for the governor to shut the window at us and tell us he is not interested or take advantage of the window we have given. Of course we are expecting that he will walk in and we look at the issues.

“Of course, the constitution is so clear about what is to be done where there are infractions, that is why the issue of impeachment came in.

“Where these infractions continue with impunity and nothing is done and the opportunity given to make clearance on these, we will apply the necessary provisions of the constitution, which is impeachment.

“If the public is saying the house should not impeach the governor, the public should also tell the governor to do the needful in respect of the budget.”

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Lagos Matters

Vanguard Newspaper Editorial lauds Ambode over MMIA Road

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AS the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwumni Ambode, prepares to hand over the reins of power to his successor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, at Alausa on May 29, 2019, perhaps the greatest achievement for which he will never be forgotten is the conception and completion of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Road in Lagos.

Motorists who regularly use the road, on Thursday, April 11, 2019, noticed that full street lights had come alive on the first phase which starts from Oshodi and ends at the Ajao Estate U-Turn. The beauty of the project which is still proceeding at steady pace day and night, is a sight to behold, especially at night now that the lights have been installed.

This former four-lane road, which the Lagos State Government started reconstructing roughly two years ago, has been expanded into a ten-lane marvel with two flyover bridges at Mafoluku and Hajj Camp and at least one pedestrian overhead bridge at Ajao.

When fully completed it will be a world-class masterpiece befitting of a country that likes to pride itself as “The Giant of Africa”. It will be a stunning departure from the old road that signposted the shame of a nation.

The old MMIA Road, apart from being narrow, was potholes-infested, with furniture makers, petty traders, fuel stations and commercial buses/motorcycles (Okada) struggling for space with users of the road, which is supposed to be the number one gateway into Nigeria from all parts of the world.

The situation was worse at night when the unlit corridor which was overgrown with elephant grasses seemed to welcome foreign visitors to the “kingdom of darkness”. Happily, those days will soon be over.

Yet, the road to this accomplishment was not exactly strewn with roses. Governor Ambode, in March 2017, went public with his feeling of frustration at the delay in securing the Federal Government’s approval to start work on its own road.

He blamed his immediate predecessor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Works, Power and Housing for that. Fashola, however, denied the charge, pointing out that the delay was caused by adherence to due process.

All is well that ends well. Though Ambode will leave office disappointed for not getting the chance to serve for two terms, he can take solace in the outpouring of gratitude from all well-meaning Nigerians for this gesture of wiping the shame of the MMIA Road from the brow of the nation.

This is another confirmation that a serious government can start and finish major mega-projects within a term of four years.

We hope the road will be completed before May 29, 2019 to enable Governor Ambode entertain the honour and pleasure of hosting the inauguration of this game-changing signature project.

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Crime

Lagos ‘gay’ pastor arrested for infecting underage boys with HIV ‘attempts to molest a suspect in cell’

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The founder of Jesus Intervention Household Ministry, Ejigbo, Lagos, Chizemdere Ezuma, 32,  who was recently arrested, reportedly tried to sexually molest a suspect he was kept with in a cell at the Lagos State Police Command headquarters cell in Ikeja.

The suspect he attempted to molest was said to have raised an alarm and threatened to attack him if he went ahead with it. 

A police source told a Punch correspondent that the incident made policemen on duty to relocate him to another cell and kept an eye on him till the next morning.

“All the policemen on duty that night were amazed when the suspect complained that the pastor wanted to molest him. The suspect said the pastor was romancing his legs and when he was awake, the pastor gestured for him to come close,”

The source also added that the pastor who is being held in Police custody for allegedly sodomising, prostituting and infecting underage boys with HIV virus, did not deny the allegation when a policeman confronted him.

“He was taken to another cell that night and was kept under watch. He had been arraigned for sexual harassment.A boy (Shedrack) whom he was sleeping with was also charged with prostitution. The boy confessed to have slept with a lot of men in exchange for money.“He was remanded in a correctional home while Ezuma was remanded in prison custody,” 

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Crime

2 UNILAG Students Arraigned In Court For Attempting To Rape Coursemate In Hotel

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Two students of the University of Lagos who attempted to rape their course mate on Thursday has appeared before a Yaba Chief Magistrates’ Court on a 5-counts charge.

The students identified as Ikedi Okpanlanedu, 21 and Samuel Idongesit, 20. Both students are facing charges of conspiracy, attempted rape, assault, impersonation and threatening violence.

Police Sgt. Modupe Olaluwoye, who prosecutes the case, told the court that the undergraduates invited the course mate who was a makeup artiste to an hotel and attempted to rape her.

The sergeant also told the court that the defendants committed the offence at 4:40pm on April 1, at Peace Land Hotel, Folagoro, Lagos State.

Olaluwoye also said that the defendants invited the make up artiste with the promise that they wanted to introduce her to someone who needs her services.

The case submitted…
“My lord, they strangled her because she was calling for help. It was a hotel staff, Mr Ohaeri Godlove, who heard her screaming and called the hotel security.“Okpanlanedu claimed to be an army personnel, and threatened to stab her with a knife he was holding, if she would not co-operate with them.“The knife was recovered from the crime scene, and we intend to tender it in evidence,” she said. The alleged offences contravene Sections 411, 262, 170 (1), 380 and 56 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015 (Revised). The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that attempted rape attracts 14 years’ imprisonment while impersonation is punishable with three years’ jail term. The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges, and were granted bail by Chief Magistrate Peter Ojo in the sum of N200,000 with two sureties each in like sum. Ojo directed that the sureties must be gainfully employed and possess evidence of three years’ tax payment to the Lagos State Government. The case was adjourned until June 26 for mention.

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