The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt Hon. Mudashiru Obasa has dismissed reports that he was laundering money through contract scam.
News Nigeria reports that the Speaker accused online news medium, Sahara Reporters of making the allegations in a publication titled: “Exposed: Speaker of Lagos Assembly, Obasa, Awards Contracts to Self Through Company Registered in Son’s Name”.
Speaker Obasa described the claims that he awarded contracts to himself through companies registered in the names of his father, wife and children as “absurd, abusive” and “malicious”.
This online news platform reports that Members of the Lagos State Assembly had also condemned the report that Speaker Obasa spent N17million monthly on the maintenance of his home and guest house.
The Clerk of the Assembly, Mr. Azeez Sanni, who had drawn the attention of the lawmakers to the report by SaharaReporters on April 26, said the report was erroneous.
He said: “The sum covers the various expenditure of the full offices; the Office of the Chief of Staff, Special Advisers (Budget, Political Matters), Office of the Chief Press Secretary, Special Assistant (Protocol), Special Assistant (Research and Development), Special Assistant (Women Affairs), and 15 special assistants engaged to attend to the growing demand and speciality of the House.
“I must also state that this expenditure has been in existence prior to the emergence of Speaker Obasa. In fact it is dated as far back as 2012 when it was N27million monthly and I have the document here to show that the expenditure had been in existence since 2012.”
In a letter dated April 30 seen by The Nation, Obasa’s counsel, Lawal Pedro (SAN), stated that none of the companies mentioned by Sahara Reporters had ever been awarded a contract by the Lagos Assembly.
Obasa’s lawyer noted that although the lawmakers had already denied the publication on social media platforms, Sahara Reporters repeated the claims elsewhere.
“In your subsequent publication of March 25, 2020 headlined: ‘Exclusive: Tinubu, GAC back Lagos Assembly Speaker, Obasa, Over Suspension of Lawmakers, Corruption’, you repeated the same malicious statement concerning our client…” Pedro said.
He added: “In the circumstance, it is our client’s instruction and we hereby demand of you, within seven days of receipt of this letter, a retraction of the said false, malicious and defamatory publication against our client through your online publication, social media platforms and three national newspapers circulating in Nigeria.
“You are also to tender a written unreserved apology to our client for the publication.
“Take notice that, if you fail, refuse or neglect to meet our client’s humble request within the stipulated number of days, we have his further instruction to commence a legal action against you and your organisation for the malicious defamatory publication and to claim N1,000,000,000.00 (One Billion Naira) damages.”