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Anti-Fashola Group Petitions Lagos Assembly Again

Source: BABATOLA MICHAEL. - thewillnigeria.com
PHOTO: LAGOS STATE GOVERNOR, MR BABATUNDE RAJI FASHOLA.
PHOTO: LAGOS STATE GOVERNOR, MR BABATUNDE RAJI FASHOLA.

LAGOS, August 31, (THEWILL) - A six-month silence was broken today as an anti-Fashola group, The True Face of Lagos (TFL) sent a fresh petition to the state House of Assembly, accusing it of stalling probe into the allegation of financial impropriety and contract inflation against Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN).

But through the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, the Assembly today urged the anti-Fashola group to join as a party in the lawsuit challenging the attempt by the Assembly to investigate allegations of corruption levelled against the state’s executive government by the pressure group.

In its petition dated July, the group broke a six-month silence on its quest to move the Assembly against Governor Fashola, which generated agitation from different quarters within and outside Lagos State as it forwarded a fresh petition to the Office of the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji.

The petition was signed by the group’s chairman, Adebayo Adesina and titled "Stalling of Investigation of Corruption Allegation against the Executive Arm by the Lagos House of Assembly: Where Lies the Hope of Justice?" The petition was read today on the floor of the Assembly.

In the petition, the lawmakers were accused of conspiracy, claiming the Assembly "knows what to do to vacate the court injunction restraining it from proceeding with the investigation but refused to do it.

"Six clear months after we revealed the damning corruption allegations in the Fashola government with a follow-up petition to the House for further action, all that we have so far are mere official foot-dragging exhibited in elaborate legislative window-dressing in the guise of inconsequential adhoc committee on a matter for which many of us staked our lives," the petition said.

The petition also contained several accusative reasons why the Assembly will not investigate the allegations. But a lawmaker, Hon. Babatunde Ogala rejected the position of the group, describing it as a cheap blackmail.

Ogala said: "Who will investigate the allegations then since they have blackmailed everybody including the committee, the House, the judiciary and the executive government? Why are they running to us if they do not trust us? Let them apply to the court to be joined in the case."

Though acknowledging that the petitioners have the right to freedom of expression, the lawmaker said the Assembly should not encourage such petitioners that continue to defame its members.

According to him, that we are public officers does not mean we don’t have rights. Those who are subjects of the group’s "fictitious" accusations can sue them and ask for prove of the allegations, if indeed they are traceable.

The Speaker said as long as the court injunction remains, the Assembly can do nothing about the probe. He therefore asked them to go to "the court and pray for the vacation of the injunction and then they will see whether we are ready to probe the government or not. We are lawmakers and not lawbreakers."