A Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja, on Wednesday, put the planned probe of immediate past governor of the state, Akinwunmi Ambode by the state House of Assembly on hold. It ordered the Assembly to maintain status quo and fixed November 20, to hear the suit filed against the probe by Ambode.
The lawmakers had insisted on probing the ex-governor over the purchase of 820 buses in the Bus Reform Project of his administration.
Ambode had instituted the suit against the Assembly; its Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa and the Clerk of the House, Mr A.A. Sanni.
Other respondents in the suit are Mr Fatai Mojeed, the Chairman of the ad-hoc probe committee and other members of the committee.
The committee members are Gbolahan Yishawu, A.A. Yusuf, Yinka Ogundimu, Mrs Mojisola Meranda, M.L. Makinde, Kehinde Joseph, Temitope Adewale and Olanrewaju Afinni.
Counsel to the former governor, Tayo Oyetibo(SAN) had filed an ex-parte motion on October 29, before Justice Yetunde Adesanya, who ordered that the lawmakers appear before the court on October 30.
At Wednesday’s proceedings, the lawmakers were absent in court but were represented by their counsel, Mrs Adenike Oshinowo.
Oyetibo told the court that all the respondents had been served with the court processes the previous day.
“Your lordship directed that we serve the respondents with the Application of Notice which has been done.
“We are ready for the Application of Notice filed on October 28 and all the originating processes have been served,” he said.
Responding, Oshinowo informed the court that the lawmakers will be opposing the motion and that the respondents were served the court documents very late the previous day.
She said:“We were served the Motion on Notice very late yesterday my lord and we shall be opposing the motion.
“We shall be asking the court for a date to regularise our processes.”
Following the submissions of both counsels, Justice Adesanya while adjourning the case ordered both parties to regularise their processes before the next adjourned date.
“This case is adjourned to November 20 at the instance of both counsel for hearing,” the judge ruled.
Ambode is seeking a court injunction restraining the lawmakers from compelling him to appear before them pursuant to a resolution passed by the House of Assembly on August 27, as well as any other resolution passed in respect of the probe .
The former governor is also seeking another injunction restraining the respondents from representing or continuing to represent to the public that he procured 820 buses in breach of budgetary approval.
The claimant wants a court declaration that the powers of the State Assembly under Sections 103, 128 and 129 of the 1999 Constitution as amended did not include power to indict him as contemplated by Sections 66(1)(h), 137(1)i and 182(1)i of the Constitution.
Ambode is further seeking a court declaration that the provisions of Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 8 and 9 of the Appropriation Law of Lagos State 2018 requiring the approval of the House of Assembly before certain expenditure of money is incurred by the executive branch of the state is not in accordance with Constitutional provisions.