With all eyes on the general elections and much of the tension associated with the electoral activities and campaign processes, the impeachment saga of governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State is not one to go by without considering.
Obviously, the planned impeachment of the Governor is more political than fiscal and the budget excuse by the lagos lawmakers is merely a smokescreen. It should be noted that ever since Governor Akinwunmi Ambode lost the APC primary election, Lagos seems to have been on ‘Auto-pilot.’ This was affirmed by opposition candidate, Jimi Agbaje. He has slowed down on development activities as initially embarked on.
On Monday 28th of January 2018, members of the Lagos State House of Assembly led by RT hon Mudashiru Obasa commenced the impeachment proceeds against the governor. Of all 34 lawmakers that were involved in the heated plenary session, 28 of them called for Ambode’s impeachment while 6 others asked the governor to tender his resignation.
The lawmakers are furious with governor Akinwunmi Ambode because according to them, he has been spending money from the budget proposal of 2019 even without formally presenting the budget before the lawmakers and the budget, yet to be passed.
In December 2018, Governor Ambode sent the 2019 budget proposal to the Lawmakers of the state. The state lawmakers insisted he should have brought the budget to the floor of the house himself and presented it before them as it is the norm, but instead, he sent aides to submit the proposal on his behalf.
Ambode fell out with the lawmakers after the house endorsed the APC governorship candidature of Babajide Sanwo-Olu who went on to win the October 2nd 2018 primary election, confirming the exit of the incumbent governor Akinwunmi Ambode on May 29 this year . Ambode obviously feels betrayed by APC faithfuls and even as he tries to keep his calm, he threw shades at Rauf Aregbesola, ex-governor of Osun state and former Senator representing Lagos West Senatorial district who strongly against his re-election bid.
According to the speaker of the Lagos house of Assembly, RT hon Mudashiru Obasa, who calmed the irate lawmakers who are ready for a face-off with the governor, Obasa pleaded with his colleagues to give Ambode some time to correct himself. The speaker said,
“The attorney general, finance commissioner and commissioner for budget and economic planning that ought to have advised the governor did not do so.The most important thing is that we should let the people know that a budget that has yet to be approved was being spent, which was why we could not attend to the governor on the budget on Monday 21, January.We must give them a fair hearing to come and explain what happened.The point has been made that there must be something before the House before you can commence expenditure. We can start gathering signatures for impeachment. We can wait till another time.”
The Lagos governor has been given one more week to make an appearance before lawmakers to defend his budget estimates or be impeached.
As the processes unfolds, we’ll keep our fingers crossed and follow up with keen interest.