Impeachment: Lagos Lawmakers, Executive End Rift as Tinubu, GAC Intervene
Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly may after-all jettisoned its earlier impeachment plot against Governor Akinwunmi Ambode as they reconvene sitting today, following series of interventions and parleys by National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu and members of the Governor’s Advisory Council, GAC, at the weekend.
Recall that a seven day ultimatum issued by members of the Lagos State House of Assembly to Governor Ambode to appear and defend actions over alleged impeachable offences, expired today, Monday, February 4th, 2019.
The sitting which had earlier been predicted to be stormy may however be formal,in view of the current understanding between the two arms of government after weeks of public bickering over issues of budget provisions.
The lawmakers had last Monday, summoned the governor to appear before it within a week, today to address the issues and respond appropriately or risk impeachment.
The lawmakers, citing the 1999 constitution, alleged that the governor, who was yet to lay the budget before the house for consideration was already spending from the state funds, an action they described as an “aberration.”
According to the lawmakers, the governor’s action amount to either resignation or impeachment as stipulated by the 1999 constitution.
However, the state Deputy Governor, Dr. Idiat Adebule, last Friday, paid an unscheduled visit and met with caucus of the Assembly to deliberate on the way forward over the budget imbroglio between the Executive and the Legislative arms of government in the state.
The outcome of the meeting, it was gathered was favourable towards reaching an amicable resolution.
It was also gathered that the leadership of the Assembly, had last Saturday met with Tinubu at his Bourdillon residence to take final position on the impeachment plot.
It was also learned that the new deal became necessary in the interest of peace, tranquillity and progress of the state, particularly, as the general elections is just few weeks away.
Meantime, members of the Governor’s Advisory Council, GAC, of the All Progressives Congress in the state, held a meeting on Sunday, in Marina, Lagos State House to resolve the conflict between the executive and legislative arms. The meeting it was gathered had Tinubu, Lagos Central Senatorial Leader, Prince Tajudeen Olusi, Governor Ambode, his deputy, Adebule, Speaker of the Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, his Deputy, Wasiu Esinlokun.
Speaking at the end of the meeting, Tinubu, said; “We held a meeting on behalf of entire Lagosians. In the last one week or so, there has been some talk about a conflict between the Executive and the Legislature in Lagos. This is of great concern to us. We looked at the source of the conflict, which is normal in a democracy, and that is why there are also conflict-resolution mechanisms.”
“We examined the grievances on both sides. As leaders, we also looked into areas where there has to be compromise. In order to build institutions and encourage consensus-building, we have to do what is right.”
“There is no impeachment. Let there be more communication and consensus-building and understanding. All these are inbuilt in the democratic system.
“We thank the Speaker and the leadership of the House. We thank the Governor and the Deputy Governor. They have all demonstrated respect for the party leadership in Lagos. You know when Lagos sneezes, other areas catch cold. We are happy that we are able to resolve the conflict and things will start moving well going forward.”
Prince Tajudeen Olusi, a leader in Lagos APC, said, “The APC leader has spoken. This is just to further confirm the decisions that we reached. Conflict is an institutional part of the governance. the Executive/Legislature must work together.
“We have reached a decision that they must work together amicably. And very soon, both the Legislature and the Executive must resolve the grey areas in their relationship.”
The meeting was also attended by; Majority Leader, Sinai Agunbiade; Chief Whip, Rotimi Abiru, among other principal officers of the Assembly.
Others in attendance were all the members of the Governors’ Advisory Council (GAC), the highest decision making organ of the party in the State; Governorship candidate of the party in the State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr Femi Hamzat, among others.
Earlier, several groups, comprising of civil societies, human rights activists, among other groups sympathetic to Ambode had planned to storm the Assembly complex, in an apparent move to disrupt and stop possible impeachment process by lawmakers against Ambode.
A group, Lagos Liberation Movement, LLM, in a statement, by comrade Mark Adebayo, had accused the Assembly of haven deviated from its statutory responsibility of law making, and planning to hijack Executive responsibilities.
“It beats our imagination that Lagos State, that should play the leading role when it comes to democratic practices and respect for the rule of law would be disgracing itself before the nation and the international community with this kind of development, being embarked upon by the Obasa led House.”
Also, the Legislative Probity and Accountability, LPA, through its Chairman, Olu Fajana, rather asked the Assembly to account for the N28.8 billion it collected as running cost under Obasa’s leadership. The group also vowed to stop any attempt to impeach.
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