Lagos state House of Assembly on Wednesday said that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and some of his commissioners earlier invited to explain infractions on the state budget must appear before it to clear themselves.
Majority Leader, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade stated this while briefing House correspondents after an emergency parliamentary meeting by the lawmakers Wednesday night.
According to him, nobody was witch-hunting the governor as being insinuated in some quarters but that the infractions were serious issues the House cannot ignore.
Agunbiade said the House decided to correct some wrong information and misconception being bandied around by the House resolutions on Ambode Monday last week.
Following the massive protest Wednesday at the Lagos State House of Assembly by concerned Lagosians against the planned impeachment of Governor Ambode by the Assembly, members went into an emergency parliamentary meeting immediately after the protest.
Referring to the earlier protest, Agunbiade said the House is not saying that Ambode should not end his tenure but that because of issues surrounding the 2019 budget he was summoned by the House.
According to him, the major contention is that he has started spending from the 2019 budget which has not been laid before the House which is against constitutional provisions.
“The budget is supposed to have been laid before the commencement of another fiscal which has always been the practice in the state, and unless it is laid you cannot spend from it but the governor has gone ahead to make expenditure from the budget.
“There are also some infractions the House observed about the 2018 budget, expenditures made outside the budget, which necessitated the invitation the House extended to him and some commissioners to come and explain things.
“It is not witch-hunting as people believe, to make expenditure from the budget you must have laid it before the House, for now we don’t have the budget so you can’t spend. As legislators we must do things properly,” he said.
The House Majority leader also corrected some misconceptions which he said are being tied to the Ambode issue that it was not true that the lawmakers are after Ambode because he refused to fund their campaign.
“We want Lagos to flourish but we cannot compromise the regulations or constitutional provisions concerning appropriation.
“If we wanted war we would not have written to him to come and explain, what we said was that where the infractions continue we would apply the constitutional provision which is impeachment”.
He assured that there was no crisis or problem but because majority of the people don’t understand the workings of the legislature they misinterpret its actions
The Assembly had adjourned sitting till Monday next week but suddenly summoned members for an emergency meeting Wednesday after the massive protest by pro-Ambode supporters appealing to the Assembly not to impeach the governor.
The Assembly had accused Ambode of alleged gross misconduct and spending money from the 2019 budget that had not yet been laid or approved by the House and spending outside the 2018 budget
Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa had told members who wished that Ambode should be impeached to start collecting signatures in readiness to impeach the governor.
Earlier Wednesday, hundreds of supporters loyal to Ambode stormed the Assembly to protest the planned impeachment.
The protesters, in their number marched to the Assembly and caused traffic gridlock.
The protesters carried placards, saying that any move to impeach Ambode would disrupt the coming election, adding that the governor should be allowed to complete his tenure.
The protesters said the governor did not deserve the treatment he was getting from the party, saying they should leave the governor alone.
The State House of Assembly had moved to impeach Ambode over what they called gross misconduct and spending part of the 2019 budget that had not been presented to the Assembly for approval.