The Lagos State House of Assembly has expressed satisfaction in the “no case” ruling delivered by the Lagos High Court on the alleged money laundering case instituted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Constitution (EFCC) against the Speaker of the State House Assembly, AdeyemiIkuforiji.
While reacting to the ruling in a statement made available to the pressmen by the spokesperson of the House, SegunOlulade, the House noted that the legislative institution has survived the plot to rubbish its hard-earned integrity and that of its leadership by unknown agents of retrogression and enemies of progress.
The House had earlier at the start of the case expressed ‘vote of confidence’ on the Speaker, saying members have confidence in Ikuforiji’s leadership in the manner he has been piloting the affairs of the Assembly.
At a press conference addressed by other 39 Honourable members led by the Deputy Speaker, KolawoleTaiwo, the House reaffirmed its support over judgement by the Federal High Court, describing the case as “a joke that went too far.”
The statement read, “The House this time has again reaffirmed its belief in Ikuforiji led administration of the Lagos House which has soared above common standard of excellence over the time.
While clarifying the position of the House, the Chairman of the House Committee on Information and Publicity, Olulade said he wished “to remind the public that Mr Speaker was never at any point charged for stealing, embezzlement, misappropriation or financial corruption as popularly misconstrued in the media reports.
“What we were defending was the allegation that Mr Speaker expended money collected in cash above the threshold, and which has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that the present system being run in the country does not leave any high public office holder in the status of Ikuforiji out of spending in range of the amount Ikuforiji was alleged to have expended,” Olulade declared.
He stressed further that throughout the regular court process, it was obvious that the case was one of calculated attempt to witch-haunt the Speaker and rubbish Lagos Assembly as an institution, which to him, was act of sabotage laced in ulterior motive to draw the state back tactically.
He pointed out that the Judge in his ruling has clarified that account department of the House is a financial institution and same is applicable to any institution in the class of Lagos Assembly, and as such, the Speaker could not be liable for drawing funds approved by the House to meet the purpose for which the money was duly approved, especially when it was confirmed even by the EFCC in the exhibit presented before the Court that the money was truly used for the purpose for which it was meant.
Olulade added “if Mr. Speaker was being charged for spending money duly approved by the House and for approved purposes, how would one describe the recent scenario involving Federal Government in arms purchase with whooping 9.3 million US dollars, in cash movement and for a purpose that was neither approved by the National Assembly nor the cash transfer known to the nation’s apex financial institution, the Central Bank?”
The House however said that it was sure that the fictitious petitioner has only helped the Lagos House of Assembly move forward in spite of hurdles placed before the Speaker which has made him to become a man to beat on the track of integrity and prudence.
Olulade expressed confidence in the judiciary which he described as the last hope of common man. “In spite of the stormy situation of our country’s democratic growth, I believe justice can still be found in our judicial system,” he said.