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Impeachment Threat: More unrest for Fashola , as Festus Keyamo asks Court to Dismiss Fashola’s Suit

Source: huhuonline.com
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Huhuonline.com can confirm that counsel to the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr. Festus Keyamo has asked a High Court sitting in Lagos to strike out the suit instituted by a journalist, Mr. Richard Akinola to stop the state assembly from investigating financial impropriety levelled against the embattled Governor of Lagos state, Mr. Babatunde Fashola who has been having tough time with his predecessor/god-father, Bola Tinubu . Available facts have it that Festus Keyamo is going all out to ensuring that allegations of financial misappropriations and looting against the Governor are not swept under the carpet. Huhuonline.com understands that Mr. Festus is praying the court to dismiss the suit, arguing that the action is incompetent, frivolous, speculative and an abuse of legal process. Citing from Section 4 [6] and [7], Mr. Keyamo says the respondent were right to set up a 6-man panel which was not to try the governor but rather to be informed as to whether there was a basis to proceed further with the allegations.

It could be recalled that a court sitting in Ikorodu had granted an order restraining the State House Of Assembly from proceeding with its probe on allegations of financial impropriety levelled against the state Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola and the state lawmakers.

In his short ruling, Justice Habeeb Abiru held that an order of interim injunction is hereby made restraining the defendant, that is, the Lagos state House of Assembly, whether by themselves, agents, members, officers or by whosoever from proceeding with or acting on the purported investigation of allegations of financial impropriety levelled against the executive an legislative arms of Lagos state government by a group published in a punch newspaper of January 28, 2010 under the caption “The True Face of Lagos” or by any other group pending the determination of the motion on notice.A journalist and human rights activist, Richard Akinnola, has filed a suit before a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja, against the Lagos State House of Assembly, asking for a declaration by the court that the decision of the defendant to set up a committee to investigate the allegation of financial impropriety levied against the executive and legislative arms of Lagos State government is unconstitutional.Amongst other claims, Mr. Akinnola wants a perpetual injunction of the court restraining the defendant or its agents from proceeding on the purported investigation of the allegations levied against it by a group under the caption, “The True Face of Lagos”.₦20m allegationIn the affidavit in support of the originating summon, Mr. Akinnola stated that a group under the caption “The True Face of Lagos” had, in the Punch Newspaper of January 28, 2010 placed an advert containing allegations of financial misappropriation against the executive and legislative arms of the state government. Accordingly, the following allegations were made against the defendant: “it was alleged that each member of the House was given a sum of ₦20 million through a lawyer member of the House from the Lagos West Senatorial District, (the constituency of the Governor emeritus himself).” It continued, “when this was about to be leaked to the press, the Lion of Bourdillon used his powerful media contacts through two of his former aides who are media chieftains to suppress the leakage. Were this not to be the case, we would have otherwise sent these complaints to the House of Assembly. But since we no longer trust this pliant House of Assembly, we have decided to go public with the following...”The group further alleged that the defendant was silent on the issue, “In all these aberrations, the Lagos State House of Assembly has kept mute, and the House has become inept, archaic, drab, docile and inefficient. All the noise by Mr. Speaker about accountability and probity was only to enable House members' line their pockets and feed fat on the sweat and toil of the people of the state. It is also true that they have been given their own share of the loot, they are maintaining undignified silence over the report of the ad hoc committee set up to look into the books and activities of the Lagos State Government pursuant to section 103 of the 1999 Constitution with power expressly provided in section 1a, b (i) and (ii) as well as well as section 129 1 a b c and d.”

Defendant cannot investigate itself
Also in the affidavit, Mr. Akinnola held that on January 28, 2010 the defendant set up a six-man committee to investigate the allegation, a decision which according to him was not published in the official journal or Gazette of the defendant.

“On Wednesday 3rd of February, 2010 the Speaker of the Defendant inaugurated the Committee and stated clearly that the aim of setting up the Committee (Panel of Inquiry) and which he also referred to as a Public Hearing is 'to show to the whole world that we have nothing to hide and that democracy is alive here in our clime.” Mr. Akinnola further contended that all the members of the investigation committee are also the ones against whom the allegations were levied. Based on this, he said “I believe that the Defendant cannot impartially investigate the allegations made against it collectively.”

He then concluded by stating that it is in the interest of justice to restrain the defendants from proceeding with the investigation since there is no pending bill before the defendant in respect of the allegations, to make a new law or to amend the existing one.”

However, there is a saying which says, 'he who must come with equity must come with clean hands', this sayings has apparently put Action Congress to the position of a party that is selfish, and one that prides in grandstanding in the political milieu. The party has consistently maintained campaign of calumny against PDP, ANPP, AGPA and other parties in the country and identifying itself as the best in the country. But Alhaji Lai Mohammed the party's publicity secretary has refused to make any statement in the instance of the Lagos state impasse involving the Governor, his god-father and the state assembly members, yet they have been reporting other parties as corrupt, fraudulent, and engrossed in highhandedness and constitutional breach among others.

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