Mr Akinwunmi Ambode
Three ex-commissioner in Lagos State have denied indicting ex-governor of the state, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on the controversial purchase of 820 buses worth N45bn by the last administration.
The three former commissioners were Mr. Wale Oluwo (Energy), Mr. Toyin Suarau (Agriculture), and Mr. Olusegun Banjo (Budget).
In a separate statement issued in Lagos on Thursday, the ex-commissioners who were interrogated by a 16-man investigation panel set up by the State House of Assembly revealed that they never indicted the ex-governor during the probe.
Banjo had earlier been reported to have indicted Ambode over the purchase of 820 mass transit buses without due process.
The ex-commissioner claimed in his statement, that his responses to the questions from the probe panel were misrepresented by the media, stressing that no part of his responses indicted Ambode.
He said: ” I informed the committee that I was appointed in February 2018 when the issue of bus purchase had already been on the ground. I also explained that the bus issues were not contained in the budget I managed but could have been in earlier budgets.
” Regarding the operations of the ministry, I brought it to the attention of the House that the operating system needs to be reviewed and also mentioned other weaknesses in a professional manner. It is pertinent to note that these observations had earlier been included in my handing over note to the new administration and as it affects all arms of governments and not the executive alone. I was, therefore, contrary to the impression sought to be portrayed by the press, not saying anything new that had not been said before.
“I wish to state that I am not in a position to know what exactly transpired on the issue of the buses as I was not in government when the issue was tabled and approved by the State Executive Council and neither was I drafted into the bus steering committee on the assumption of duty in February 2018.
” My response to questions asked by the committee under oath was intended to explain technical issues pertaining to the operations of the ministry and explain the anomalies they noted and seek explanations to, and nothing said by me there was intended to or said in any manner as to condemn or indict anyone.”
Another ex-commissioner, Oluwo restated that he and his colleagues did not make indicting statements against their former boss , saying that he believes in the principle of collective responsibility.