…denies spending N53m on US trip with mistress
Lagos State House of Assembly Speaker, Mr. Mudashiru Obasa, has explained how the House expended N80million on the training of the wives of lawmakers in the state in Dubai.
Obasa spoke when he appeared on Saturday before the House panel of enquiry on the corruption allegations levelled against him by an online medium.
The online medium had reported that no fewer than 64 bank accounts had been discovered and linked to the Speaker’s Bank Verification Number.
The online medium also alleged that that the accounts registered under different names were being used to siphon public funds by the Speaker.
But the Speaker told the nine-man panel of the House headed by Hon. Victor Akande (Ojo Constituency 1) in the chamber of the House that the allegations, which were the handiwork of his enemies, were false.
Obasa explained that the N80million expenditure was paid as estacode for the training of women in Dubai, adding that the wives of the 20 lawmakers attended the event, which he declared open.
According to him, “We gave N4million to each of the participants for air ticket, hotels, feeding and local travel.
“Air ticket to Dubai alone cost about N2million. Some of these allegations were raised for a crusade to get the Speaker out of office.
“The House of Assembly is above common standard of excellence and we have to train people, and this comes at a cost. Learning is not cheap and I have never collected N80million for estacode at a go before.
“My approval limit as the Speaker is N100m and anything above that would have to be approved by the Fund Management Committee.”
The Speaker also denied allegation that he spent N53million on a trip to the United States of America with his mistress.
He said, “We were invited by the Consular General for a programme in the United States. Later, the programme was postponed, but I had gone ahead. I had to return home and I told others not to bother to come until the new dates.
“On the issue of awarding contracts to companies belonging to me, they should come and show evidence of where I awarded contracts to myself.”
Obasa further told the panel that vehicles purchased for the members of the House and other expenses made by the House were done with the approval of the House and that of its Fund Management Committee headed by him.
He said, “We bought (Toyota) Land Cruisers for principal officers of the House. The cars we bought for them were more expensive than those of other members and we followed due process in the purchase.
“Also, it is not true that my wife collects N10m monthly from the House. Anyone who says she does should come with proof and evidence.”
Obasa also told the committee that a report that he tricked ex-governor Akinwunmi Ambode to spend N350million to host a meeting of Conference of Speakers was false, adding that this was impossible, especially with the former governor who was once the state’s chief accountant.
“All these allegations are deliberate actions of my enemies to achieve their aims that they could not achieve in the House to remove me as the Speaker, which was why they came up with such reports,” he said.
Deputy Speaker of the House, Mr Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni, who also appeared before the panel, denied the online medium’s report that he attended a meeting in Dubai.
Clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni, also told the panel that the estacode for the trip to the United States followed the standard procedure.