Former Commissioner of Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Olusegun Banjo
and his Energy and Mineral Resources counterpart, Mr. Olawale Oluwo in
the administration of former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode have denied
reports that they indicted former Governor Ambode before an ad-hoc
committee of the State House of Assembly.
The Accountant-General of Lagos State, Mrs. Shukrat Umar buttressed the
claims of the former commissioners when she appeared before the ad-hoc
committee on Wednesday, confirming that the State Executive Council
(SEC) approved the budget for the purchase of the 820 vehicles.
The commissioners debunked the reports in separate statements Wednesday
night, noting that the reports were a deliberate misrepresentation of
what transpired during at the proceedings of the investigative committee
probing Ambode’s administration.
The Speaker of the assembly, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa had constituted a
nine-man ad-hoc committee under the chairmanship of Hon. Fatai Mojeed
(Ibeju-Lekki I) to probe the procurement of 820 high occupancy vehicles,
which the Ambode administration under its Bus Reform Initiative (BRI).
He had also claimed that the administration did not seek its approval
for the procurement of the vehicles and directed the committee to Banjo
and other top functionaries that were involved to state their roles in
At the proceedings, reports had claimed that Banjo indicted the former
governor and that Ambode sidelined his ministry in the controversial
purchase of 820 mass transit buses and that the way the ministry was
structured under Ambode did not allow him to function well.
In his statement, however, Banjo denied the reports, noting that he did
not say anything before the committee to condemn or indict the Ambode
administration under which he served as the Commissioner for Budget and
Economic Planning between February 2018 and May 2019.
He explained that he appeared on October 15 before the committee based
on a letter of invitation dated October 11, requesting him “to answer
some questions on the purchase of 820 buses as they relate to the
function of the Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget headed by me
during the last administration.”
At the proceedings, Banjo said he told the committee that he was
appointed in February 2018 when the issue of bus purchase had already
been on the ground, pointing out that the bus issues were not contained
in the budget he managed, though could have been in earlier budgets.
The former commissioner said: “I am deeply saddened and disappointed by
such sensationalism by hitherto section of the press and by its
uninhibited and deplorable abdication of a basic tenet of professional
journalism- impartial reportage.
“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 assumption of duty in
“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.”
However, Banjo claimed that he brought to the attention of the ad-hoc
committee that the operating system of the Ministry of Budget and
Economic Planning should be reviewed, claiming that he pointed out
mentioned other weaknesses of the ministry’s operating system in a