Thursday , 14 November 2019
Latest
Home » Tag Archives: Akinwunmi Ambode

Tag Archives: Akinwunmi Ambode

Ambode drags Lagos Assembly to court over probe

A Lagos High Court in Ikeja on Tuesday ordered the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa to appear before it in connection with the ongoing probe of procurement of 820 buses by the administration of former Governor of the State, Akinwunmi Ambode.

The former Governor had instituted a suit against the Assembly to contest the constitutionality of the probe of the buses which were procured based on budgetary approval as part of the Bus Reform Project of the State Government designed to revolutionize public transportation in line with global best practices.

In an order dated 29th October, 2019 issued by Justice Y.A Adesanya after hearing a motion ex-parte moved by Ambode’s lawyer, Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), other defendants ordered to appear before the court at my 9am on Wednesday October 30 are House Clerk, Mr A.A Sanni; Chairman of the Ad hoc Committee set up by the House to probe the procurement, Fatai Mojeed and members of the Committee. They are Gbolahan Yishawu, A.A Yusuff, Yinka Ogundimu, Mojisola Lasbat Meranda, M.L Makinde, Kehinde Joseph, T.A Adewale and O.S Afinni.

Justice Adesanya ordered the originating processes and all the accompanying processes filed by the claimant (Ambode) to be served on the defendants and subsequently fixed Wednesday October 30, 2019 for hearing of motion for interlocutory injunction.

According to his statement of claim before the court, Ambode said contrary to deliberate misrepresentation of facts by the lawmakers, the procurement of the 820 buses was well captured in the 2018 Appropriation Law which was duly approved by the House.

“In section 1 of the Bill, the 1st Defendant (House of Assembly) authorized the total Budget for the year 2018 to be One Trillion, Forty Six Billion, One Hundred and Twenty One Million, One Hundred and Eighty-One Thousand, Six Hundred and Eighty Naira (N1,046,121,181,680.00) comprising the sum of Three Hundred and Forty Seven Billion, Thirty-Eighty Million, Nine Hundred and Thirty-Eight Thousand, Eight-Hundred and Seventy-Two Naira (N347,038,938,872.00) only and Six Hundred and Ninety-Nine Billion, Eighty-Two Million, Two Hundred and Forty-Two Thousand, Eight Hundred and Eighty Naira (N699,082,242,808.00) only as the Recurrent and Capital Expenditures respectively.

“Part of the items authorized by the Bill under Capital Expenditure was: “LAGBUS Public Transport Infrastructure (MEPB); Part financing of 820 buses” which was item 8 under schedule 1- Part C of the Bill,” the former Governor averred.

He added that having prescribed the manner of withdrawal of funds in sections 3 and 4 of the 2018 Appropriation Law, it was unconstitutional for the House to attach another condition in section 9 of the law for further approval to be sought before incurring any expenditure on the purchase of the buses.

Highlighting the specific breach of his constitutional rights to fair hearing by the House, the former Governor said on August 27, 2019 during proceedings of the Assembly, some lawmakers thoroughly vilified and disparaged him as having purchased the buses without budgetary approval and that the procurement was a waste of public funds, while at the end of the proceedings, the House resolved to constitute an Ad Hoc Committee to probe the procurement.

He said it was surprising that the very lawmakers who contributed actively in vilifying, disparaging and denigrating him constituted the bulk of the members of the Committee, which was a clear derogation of his right to fair hearing.

Ambode added that in continuation of deliberate misrepresentation of facts of the issue, the House falsely claimed that an invitation had been extended to him to appear before the Committee but that he failed to honour the said invitation.

“On Thursday 10th October, 2019, the 4th and 5th Defendants (Mojeed and Yishawu) who are Chairman and member of the Committee respectively set up by the 1st Defendant pursuant to the provisions of section 129 of the Constitution again raised on the floor of the House an allegation that the Claimant (Ambode) was invited to appear before the Committee but that he failed to do so whereupon the 2nd Defendant (Speaker) ruled that a warrant of arrest would be issued against the Claimant if he refuses to appear before the Committee.

“The Claimant states that no letter of invitation was delivered to him before the 4th and 5th Defendants made the false allegation against the Claimant which was widely reported by various national Newspapers in the country.

“Further to the foregoing paragraphs, the 1st Defendant had also invited some of the former Commissioners who served under my Government to appear before the 1st Defendant on Tuesday 15th October 2019. These included former Commissioners for Energy, Agriculture and Economic Planning and Budget respectively amongst others.

“After the proceedings of the Committee on 15th October 2019, the 1st Defendant represented to the public that the former Commissioners that appeared before it had indicted me in their testimonies. The information was widely published by National newspapers on Wednesday 16th October 2019.

“Contrary to the information made to the public by the 1st Defendant, the said former Commissioners for Energy and Economic Planning and Budget who were represented by the 1st Defendant to have indicted me, made public statements on Thursday 17th October 2019 denying that they ever indicted me in their testimonies before the Committee. The denials were widely published by online newspapers on Thursday 17th October 2019 and national newspapers on Friday 18th October 2019.

“The 1st Defendant falsely represented to the public that the said Commissioners indicted me in their testimonies before the Committee so as to justify my indictment by the 1st Defendant which indictment members of the 1st Defendant had hitherto threatened to carry out,” Ambode averred.

He added that the House Committee and indeed the entire members of the House had already adjudged him as having committed wastage of public fund by the procurement of the buses in question and had also already determined that the procurement was done by him as opposed to the State Government.

He said it was obvious that the lawmakers were totally biased against him having regard to their pronouncements on the floor of the House by reason of which he believes that his right to fair hearing as guaranteed by the Constitution had been seriously compromised by the defendants.

He is, therefore, seeking among others, the court’s declaration that the power of the House to pass a resolution under section 128(1) of the Constitution to cause an inquiry into his conduct as Governor is subject to right to fair hearing as guaranteed by section 36(1) of the Constitution.

He also wants a declaration that the Resolution of the House setting up a 9-Man Committee comprising of the 4th-12th Defendants to investigate all transactions in respect of the 820 Buses said by the defendants to have been procured by him derogates from his right as guaranteed by section 36(1) of the Constitution and therefore is unconstitutional, null and void.

Other claims are: “A DECLARATION that having regard to the provisions of sections 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the Appropriation Law of Lagos State 2018, sections 8 and 9 of the Law which required the approval of the House of Assembly of Lagos State before certain expenditure of money is incurred by the Executive Branch of the State is not in accord with any provision of the Constitution and accordingly is unconstitutional, null and void.

“A DECLARATION that it is not lawful for the Defendants to represent or continue to represent to the Public that the Claimant, AKINWUNMI AMBODE, procured 820 buses in breach of budgetary approval.

“A DECLARATION that the powers of the 1st Defendant under sections 103, 128 and 129 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended does not include power to indict the Claimant as contemplated by sections 66(1)(h), 137(1)i and 182(1)i of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended.

“AN INJUNCTION restraining the Defendants whether by themselves, their servants, agents and or representatives from compelling the Claimant, in any manner whatsoever, to appear before the Defendants pursuant to the Resolution passed by the Defendants on 27th August 2019 or any other Resolution passed in respect of the subject matter of this Suit.

“AN INJUNCTION restraining the Defendants whether by themselves, their servants, agents and or representatives from representing or continue to represent to the Public that the Claimant, AKINWUNMI AMBODE, procured 820 buses in breach of budgetary approval.”

I never indicted Ambode – Ex Commissioner

Olusegun Banjo, former commissioner for economic planning and budget, says he told the Lagos State House of Assembly that there was no provision for the purchase of 820 buses in the budget managed by his ministry at the time he assumed office.

Banjo was reacting to reports that he made statements before the assembly indicting Akinwunmi Ambode, former governor of the state, under whom he served.

In separate statements issued on Tuesday by Banjo and Olawale Oluwo, former commissioner for energy and mineral resources, both men said the reports that they testified against Ambode was not true.

Banjo said he told the assembly that he was not informed about what transpired regarding the 820 buses because the matter preceded him.

“I informed the committee that I was appointed in February 2018 when the issue of bus purchase had already been on the ground. I also explained that the bus issues were not contained in the budget I managed but could have been in earlier budgets,” he said.

“Regarding the operations of the Ministry, I brought it to the attention of the house that the operating system need to be reviewed and also mentioned other weaknesses in a professional manner.

“It is pertinent to note that these observations had earlier been included in my handing over note to the new administration and as it affects all arms of Government and not the executive alone.

“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 February 2018.

“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.”

Also, Oluwo said he did not make any statement to indict his former principal.

“Suarau was asked questions on the Lagos State Rice Mill project in Imota while I was asked questions on the LED UK street lights installations (a UK Exim Bank funded project),” he said.

“I answered the committee’s questions to the best of the information available to me and at no time was anyone of us asked questions on Oshodi Interchange or any other projects outside the two mentioned above;

“For the avoidance of doubt, I reiterate that I DID NOT AND COULD NEVER HAVE INDICTED FORMER GOVERNOR AKINWUNMI AMBODE!!! I am a committed democrat, a loyal team player and a strong believer in the principle of collective responsibility.”

 

Ambode ignored procurement process on purchase of 820 buses, says ex-commissioner

Olusegun Banjo, a former commissioner for economic planning and budget in Lagos, says Akinwunmi Ambode, former governor of the state, did not involve members of his cabinet in the purchase of 820 buses.

Banjo made the allegation during his appearance before the committee set up by the state house of assembly to probe Ambode and four ex-commissioners.

The state assembly had threatened to issue a warrant for the arrest of the former governor and some ex-commissioners.

This followed preliminary reports presented by two committees set up to investigate the purchase of the buses.

Ambode who was expected to appear before the 16-man committee on Tuesday did not show up. The three other former commissioners also failed to appear, but wrote to the assembly that they were out of the country.

Banjo alleged that the former governor ignored the procurement tradition he met on the ground, saying Ambode’s administration “was not transparent” and that “a lot of things could be done without the knowledge of the commissioners”.

“The way the ministry was structured (under Ambode), it did not allow us to function well,” he said.

“The N24bn did not come to my ministry. We didn’t have a running system. As a commissioner, I could not approve one naira. All the MDAs approached the governor directly.

“I don’t know what happens to unbudgeted funds when it comes because the ministry of finance does not inform my ministry; we don’t have a running system.”

But when Shukrat Umar, accountant-general of the state, was asked if the budget for the purchase of the buses was approved by the state executive council, she said: “The state treasury office acted on exco’s approval.”

“The buses were in line with exco’s approval. I would not know whether the Paris refund club was discussed or not.”

Mudashiru Obasa, speaker of the assembly, said the house would invite the former governor through a newspaper publication.

Obasa said if the ex-governor failed to show up then, the assembly would have no choice than to issue a warrant for his arrest.

Ambode congratulates Buhari on election tribunal victory

 

Former governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, has congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari on his victory at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.

The Tribunal on Wednesday ruled that President Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) won the February 23, 2019 Presidential election fairly.

Ambode, in a statement by his media aide, Habib Aruna, said the ruling by the tribunal was a validation of the second term mandate of the people given to President Buhari to continue the strides of development and to take Nigeria to the next level.

“I join millions of Nigerians, the leadership of our great party and all members of our party across the nation to congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari on this well-deserved victory at the Tribunal. This victory is a validation of the confidence in the President’s re-election and a testament to the fact that the people are happy with the progress made by his administration and are keen to see four more years of progressive governance,” he said.

He urged all supporters of the party and Nigerians in general to rally round President Buhari in his quest to return Nigeria to the path of greatness and respectability.

 

Lagos assembly begins probe of Ambode over N45bn buses

The Lagos State House of Assembly has set up a committee to investigate the purchase of 820 buses by the administration of Akinwunmi Ambode, former governor of the state.

The lawmakers said it is important to investigate the purchase of 820 buses despite objection of the assembly.

Gbolahan Yishawu, representative of Eti Osa 2 constituency, said at the executive/legislative parley held at Golden Tulip in FESTAC in September 2017, Ambode informed the lawmakers that 5,000 buses would be bought by the state government.

The lawmaker said the executive proposed to spend N17 billion to purchase the buses in the 2017 budget, but that this was not approved by the assembly.

“In the 2018 and 2019 budgets, the state government proposed N24 billion and N7 billion respectively, but these were not approved,” he said.

“The state government still went ahead to import 820 buses at N7 billion, and out of that, 520 are still awaiting clearance at the ports.”

Yishawu added that the house was worried that 520 buses were still awaiting clearance from the bonded warehouse and the port, waiting to be cleared, and that they were purchased with taxpayers’ money without approval.

He asked the house to investigate the purchase of the buses and other issues surrounding it.

“The state government requested waivers for the importation of the buses and it was not granted. The value of the buses were overrated. Some of the buses are still in the ports and they are attracting demurrage,” he said.

“N45 billion would be spent on the total purchase of the buses and we need to prevent such an occurrence in the future.”

Commenting on the issue, Mudashiru Obasa, speaker of the assembly, said: “The vehicles are in the ports and they have been there for almost a year. The state will continue to suffer if we allow the buses to stay in the ports.

“We should be the regulators of transporters, the state should not operate the buses. How much are we giving the buses out should be addressed. We should get the buses to the roads and safe the state from further wastes.”

He then set up a committee headed by Fatal Mojeed, member representing Ibeju Lekki 1, to look into the matter and report to the house.

The speaker directed the committee to invite the accountant-general of the state, permanent secretary of the ministry of transport, and those involved in the purchase.

The development comes exactly one week after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) invaded the residence of the former governor in the Epe area of the state.

The commission later said the ex-governor was under investigation but Ambode said he had not been informed.
The EFCC had earlier asked a federal high court in Lagos to freeze three bank accounts allegedly linked to the former governor over a N9.9 billion fraud.

The accounts are domiciled in First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Access Bank, and Zenith Bank with numbers 5617984012, 0060949275 and 1011691254 respectively.

Ambode denied personal links to the account.

Ambode: CACOL cautions EFCC against selective investigation

 

The Executive Chairman, Centre for Anti-corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL), Mr. Debo Adeniran, has faulted the action of the Economic Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to allow themselves be used by some perceived political enemies to raid the country home of former Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode in Epe.

Adeniran spoke on Thursday during an interview on Arise TV’s Morning Show, where he picked holes in the selective method of the investigation by the anti-corruption agency.

Recall that on Tuesday, EFCC raided the residence of Ambode in Ikoyi and Epe over allegations of corruption allegations leveled against him, but could not find anything incriminating.

“That account we were told is the account of the Lagos State government. It is not a functional account for the former governor or anybody in that government and that because it has to be operated. Nobody is above the law actually and we are not saying that if any corruption issues are developed against the former governor, Akinwunmi Ambode that he should not be investigated or brought before justice.

“The reason why we have to believe that you have to connect with it is that, that is the only corruption allegation that has been leveled against the former governor. And we don’t have anything against that if on reasonable ground that have reasons to believe that maybe the cash is starched in that house just like that found in Osborne’s house, Falomo, Ikoyi or shopping complex. They could raid the place and they can break it down if they refuse to open the place. But then you have to have reasonable reasons to do that. Unfortunately, Epe youths might be too zealous to protect one of their own, that might be the reason.

“But we were told that they actually penetrated the premises and did the search and even going by the account of the young lawyers they said that they insisted that they needed to witness the search. And they actually search the searchers before they started the operation. At the end of the day, they never found anything incriminating in that house except for a stark of files. And those stark of files we wouldn’t know if they suspected that it contains documents, but they could have checked it to find out the contents of those files so that if the files contain secret documents they could have easily tell the world what they have found in the house.

But since there is no incident, it means it’s only normal that people would think it was maliciously done. We believe that EFCC as an anti-corruption agency shouldn’t have allowed itself to be used. Of course, they need to investigate all petitions that have been sent to them,” Adeniran explained.

 

EFCC: Our operatives were attacked by Ambode’s hoodlums

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says its operatives were attacked by hoodlums loyal to Akinwunmi Ambode, former governor of Lagos, on Tuesday.

The anti-graft agency had gone to execute a search warrant on Ambode’s residence in his hometown, Epe.

Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC’s head of media and publicity, said in a statement on Tuesday evening that the commission “had obtained valid warrant to conduct search on Ambode’s residences in Park View, Ikoyi and country home in Epe, as part of ongoing investigation of alleged malfeasance”.

He said the operatives were attacked and prevented from executing the search warrant in Epe by “irate youths” who injured three officers and damaged the EFCC official vehicle.

“The attack was totally unprovoked as the Commission’s operatives were civic and did not molest anybody. The Commission therefore frowns at the attempt to manipulate the video of the search to create the wrong impression that officers of the agency molested residents at the Epe home of the governor. It is also not true that the search was an attempt to plant foreign currencies in the home of the former governor,” he said.

The agency had earlier denied carrying out a raid on Ambode’s residence, insisting that its operatives were on a legitimate duty.

A group of lawyers had also alleged that the EFCC wanted to planted incriminating evidence at Ambode’s house in Epe.

EFCC: Our operatives were attacked by Ambode’s hoodlums

EFCC tried to plant evidence on Ambode – Epe lawyers

 

Some young legal practitioners have claimed that officers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission attempted to plant implicating evidence during a search of the Ikoyi home of former Lagos governor,  Akinwunmi Ambode earlier on Tuesday.

In a statement issued on Tuesday,  th he lawyers gave a detailed account of what transpired at Ambode’s Park View apartment.

 

Below is the full statement:

At early hours of today, we were duly briefed that some officers of the EFCC invaded the apartment of the Former Governor of Lagos State, His Excellency Akinwunmi Ambode with the intention to search the premises.

We got to the scene and met with the officials of the EFCC to inquire whether they have a search warrant to search the premises of the Ex Governor.

Having confirmed the Search Warrant, the EFCC officials told us that nobody will follow them in as they will only go in alone. We resisted as young Lawyers and stated expressly that the principle of search is that the owner of the premises of his representatives must be present to observe the search.

They succumbed to our superior argument and allowed us and the people who has the key to the Ex Governor’s house into the apartment with them. Before they entered, we searched all the officials of the EFCC who intended to go in to effect the search.

There was a blue bag which they were holding with them, we requested to see the content of the bag before they could take it in. They got angry and said we cannot see the content. Having said that, we strongly resisted them to take it in since they cant allow us to see it, which they later agreed. We later got to know that the bag contained foreign currency which they brought to plant in the house of the Ex Governor to incriminate him.

It is important to inform the public that before the entered the house, we all submitted our phones to them as they requested that the only person required to go in with phone is one of them who will record the whole process.

All documents, including the State Executive Exco Meetings Vol 1 – 16 in the personal study of the Ex Governor and His Luggage room which they intended to take along with them for further investigation was resisted by us as we told them that failure to take records of all the documents from A-Z, they cannot go out with anything and they agreed with us.

Flowing from the aforesaid, they searched the nooks and crannies of the Ex Governor’s house and they couldn’t find any incriminating documents or materials. We authoritatively assert that, they did find anything in the house and they didn’t leave the house with anything.

We followed them as they entered from one place to the other, when our presence was intimidating them, they said we should sit down while they will do the search. We resisted that we must follow them to observe every of their activities in the premises.

To our greatest consternation, the officials of EFCC led by Rotimi Oyedepo, Esq held on to our phones and told us to follow them to their office in Ikoyi to get our phones. All efforts to get back our phones was abortive as the EFCC officials led by Rotimi Oyedepo, Esq rushed into their white Hiace Bus with our phones and instructed that since we have resisted their efforts to take “the said blue bag” into the main premises of the Ex Governor, they will hold on to the phone. Thus, almost six (6) phones were forcefully taken away, iPhones inclusive.

It is our happiness as Young Lawyers in Epe to be part of the process to legally and successfully resist the EFCC from incriminating the Ex Governor with the blue bag they brought with them from an unknown destination, and we also compelled them to conduct the search within the ambit of the law. Hence, the success.

We are sincerely elated that our presence really helped a long way to legally and successfully expose the intention of the EFCC to incriminate the Ex Governor. To this end, we are ready to challenge the search as they have gone beyond standard and the search warrant in this regard successfully whisking our phones away.

Thank you for listening and God bless you.

Signed.

Fatai A. Adebanjo, Esq.

Busari M. Olanrewaju, Esq.

Samson K. Okuneye, Esq.

APC reacts to EFCC raid on Ambode’s home

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has reacted to the search conducted by the Economic Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) at the Epe home of a former governor of Lagos, Akinwunmi Ambode.

Ambode left office on May 29 after serving a single four-year term and is believed to be under investigation for alleged corruption.

The former governor’s residence in his hometown, Epe was searched around 9:35 a.m.

The residence of his former chief of staff was also searched in the same Epe town of Lagos State.

Two weeks earlier, multiple bank accounts holding billions of naira and linked to Ambode were frozen as part of the probe.

While Ambode has denied links to both the accounts and any allegations of corruption while in office, the EFCC said whatever it was doing with regards to the investigation “is in line with its mandate and the rule of law.”

Reacting to this development, the APC spokesperson, Lanre Issa-Onilu, said “there are no sacred cows”

He said this in a telephone interview on Tuesday afternoon.

“It is about time we knew that the APC government is not joking with its commitment to fight corruption in whatever form it is. This government has demonstrated that there are no sacred cows”, he said.

“The naysayer can continue to say what they like but they must be ashamed of themselves by now, knowing that on daily basis, the anti-corruption agencies are proving them wrong,” Mr Issa-Onilu said.

When asked if the party was in support of the move against Mr Ambode, he said: “We are not specific about any issue. The fight against corruption is our own policy and there are no sacred cows. We just hope that the allegation against former governor Ambode is not true. If true, this APC government will not bend the rule for any personalities.”

He maintained that corruption fight is the “cardinal principle of the APC.”

Ambode reacts to EFCC search, says no cause for alarm

 

Former governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Tuesday urged his supporters and the general public to remain calm and law-abiding as there was no cause for alarm.

Ambode, in a statement by his media aide, Mr. Habib Aruna, spoke on the backdrop of a search by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on his Epe Country home and Parkview Ikoyi residence, where the anti-graft agency conducted the exercise without any incident.

He said the Commission, till date, has not opened any direct communication with him on any issue, adding that he was ready and willing to respond if or when they do so.

The statement reads: “This morning, operatives of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission visited the Epe Country home and Parkview Ikoyi residence of Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, former Governor of Lagos State, with warrants to conduct a search. These searches were carried out extensively and at the end of the exercise the operatives left without any incident.

“The former Governor reiterates that the EFCC has till date not had any direct communication with him on any subject matter whatsoever and if or when it occurs he is ready and willing to respond.

“The former governor wishes to assure his supporters and the generality of Lagosians to continue to remain calm and law-abiding as there is no cause for alarm.”

The former governor reiterated his belief in the rule of law and due process and remains grateful for the opportunity to have served Lagos State diligently and conscientiously.

It would be recalled that Ambode, in an earlier response to allegations by the EFCC that it had frozen certain accounts linked to him, insisted that no account of his contained N9.9bn let alone being frozen by the Commission as those accounts were opened and operated by the Lagos State Government.

 

JUST IN: EFCC raids Ambode’s residence

Agents of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) raided the residence of Akinwunmi Ambode, former governor of Lagos state, in Epe area of the state, on Tuesday.

Tony Orilade, EFCC spokesman, confirmed this to TheCable.

He said the anti-graft agency had received petitions against the governor, and that it was investigating his administration.

”Yes, we received petitions regarding the governor, and we are investigating,” he said on Tuesday.

When asked if agents of the commission were at the residence of the former governor, he said: ” Yes, that is part of the investigation.”

A federal high court in Lagos had ordered the freezing of three bank accounts allegedly linked to the former governor over a N9.9 billion fraud following an ex parte application by the EFCC.

The accounts are domiciled in First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Access Bank, and Zenith Bank with numbers 5617984012, 0060949275 and 1011691254 respectively

The EFCC had prayed the court to freeze the accounts pending the conclusion of an investigation and possible prosecution of Adewale Adesanya, permanent secretary in the office of the chief of staff to the governor of the state, for money laundering.

Kungmi Daniel, a member of the EFCC investigating team, said the anti-graft agency discovered “a huge inflow of N9,927,714,443.29” from the state accounts into an FCMB bank account opened on September 17, 2018 during the administration of Ambode.

He said the account was operated by Adesanya.

Ambode denied operating those accounts, saying he had no personal links to them.

“Those accounts were opened in the course of normal operations by the Lagos state government for its administrative purposes and not for the former governor’s personal transactions as was being wrongly insinuated and have been operated to ensure smooth operations of government activities by previous and present administrations,” he had said in a statement issued by Habib Aruna, his media aide.

“The former governor was not and will never be involved in any unauthorised use of government property and resources.”

Ambode denies involvement in N9.9bn fraud allegations

 

The immediate past Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, has denied involvement in the N9.9bn fraud said to have been discovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Ambode said none of his accounts contained N9.9bn let alone being frozen by the EFCC.
He said in the spirit of Sallah and having served Lagos State well, his record was clear.

In a statement on Friday by his media aide, Habib Aruna, Ambode said he did not intend to join issues with the anti-corruption agency as there had not been any communication between him and the commission on the issue.
He added that he, however, wanted to clear his name.
According to the former governor, the accounts frozen by the Federal High Court belong to the Lagos State Government and not him or any individual.

“Those accounts were opened in the course of normal operations by the Lagos State Government for its administrative purposes and not for the former governor’s personal transactions as was being wrongly insinuated and have been operated to ensure smooth operations of government activities by previous and present administrations. The former governor was not and will never be involved in any unauthorized use of government property and resources.

“We strongly believe that after four demanding years as Chief Executive of Lagos State, Mr. Ambode is entitled to some deserved rest with his family and loved ones without the unwarranted attacks on his well-earned reputation,” the statement said.

Ambode congratulates Oyetola on Supreme Court victory

Former Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Friday congratulated the Governor of Osun State, Gboyega Oyetola on his affirmation by the Supreme Court as the duly elected Governor of the State.

Ambode, in a statement signed by his media aide, Habib Aruna, said it was a well-deserved victory and an affirmation of the mandate given to Oyetola by the people of Osun State on September 22, 2018.

“I congratulate my brother, Governor Gboyega Oyetola on this resounding victory at the apex court. It is not only a victory for the All Progressives Congress (APC), but also an attestation to the fact that the judiciary remains the last hope for the common man.”

“With this victory, I strongly believe that it would enable the Governor to focus on delivering on his campaign promises and implementing policies that would make life more comfortable for the people of Osun State,” Ambode said.

 

Ambode says decisions taken was with best interest of Lagos in mind, thanks Buhari, Tinubu, others

Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday said all the decisions, plans, programmes and policies of his administration in the last four years were taken with the best interest of Lagos in mind and for common good of all residents of the State.

Governor Ambode, in a farewell State broadcast to officially mark the end of his administration, said the driving force with respect to programmes executed was to lift more people out of poverty and make every part of the State economically viable and livable.

“For this administration, policies, programmes and projects aimed at lifting more of our people out of poverty and making every part of the State safe, accessible and economically viable were always the priority; the driving force behind all our decisions and plans.

“A few of our policies might have been unpopular but these were decisions taken with the best interest of our State in mind. With the benefit of hindsight, maybe we could have done some things differently but our intention was always clear, for the good of Lagos,” Governor Ambode said.

He particularly commended the people for the constructive feedback to some of the policies of his administration which, according to him, helped to surmount challenges, saying it had been a remarkable journey to serve the State.

“With a heart full of gratitude, I address you today for the last time as your governor. It has been an honour and a privilege of a lifetime to serve you for the last four years.

“It has been a remarkable journey which has had a lasting impact in my life and I want to thank all Lagosians for the experience of these last four years.

“As in the beginning when we visited every single corner of this state listening to you and asking for your votes, I have felt the power of your support, your collective energy and the endless goodwill that has propelled us to achieve many things,” he said.

Describing Lagos as a place where dreams come true and a home for everyone, Governor Ambode said it was the duty of all residents to continue to ensure that the State remained the true centre of opportunities and growth for all.

“From being just a commercial centre, our State has now become a prime destination for tourism, sports, entertainment and culture. And the future is even brighter with more exciting prospects and possibilities. In the near future, with God on our side, Lagos will take its rightful place in the comity of major city-States of the world.

“Fellow Lagosians, it has been a remarkable journey. One in which we have pushed boundaries and moved our State to another level. A journey in which we have transformed many aspects of our State and set the ball rolling in other sectors. But there is still a lot more to be done.

“But it is a job not for only the government; it is a responsibility for us all. In Lagos everyone counts and we all have a part to play,” he said.

While appreciating the people for the support given to successive administrations in the State, Governor Ambode also urged all stakeholders to support the incoming administration of Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, saying such would be in the best interest of all.

“By tomorrow, there will be a change of guard in our State. I will be stepping down and a new Governor will be sworn in. We will have a new Governor and a new administration with the same objective; achieving a better Lagos.

“Those who have had the privilege of serving our dear State in different capacities especially as Governors owe their successes to your prayers, understanding and support. The same courtesy and cooperation that you gave to my predecessors from the first elected Governor of the State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande to our national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) to my humble self, I urge you to extend same to the next administration of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and ensure that he succeeds. It is in our best interest to do so,” he said.

Besides, Governor Ambode thanked President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the executive, the legislature, the judiciary; leadership, elders and members of All Progressives Congress (APC); Local Government Councils and community leaders, all our security agencies, civil society groups and religious leaders, among others for their immense support throughout the tenure of his administration.

“To my wife, Bolanle and the children, who have had to endure many days and nights without me; I thank you for your love and steadfastness. You will continue to be my pillar of strength.

“To all Lagosians; for your love, compassion, cooperation and support, I am eternally grateful. My love always,” Governor Ambode concluded.

Ambode’s artistic legacy defined in three new books

As Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode finalises preparations to leave office on May 29, his uncommon legacy as an institution builder, technocrat, visionary and lover of the arts have been captured in three new publications, which succinctly document his remarkable achievements in the last four years.
The books – Mad Fun: Inside Nigeria’s Biggest Musicfest; Akinwunmi Ambode: Indelible Marks of a Cultured Mind and The Coolest City of Earth…Lagos, a contemporary bio, all produced by the Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Art and Culture, combine to sum the landmark transformation Lagos has seen in the Ambode years.
Commenting on the publications, Ambode stressed that significant transformation must take place to prepare Lagos residents and visitors for the realities and challenges of the 21 century.
“Under our watch, Lagos has seen huge expansion and improvements in the quality of living, work and leisure spaces.
“We ramped up investments to ensure a more efficient transportation and waste management, modernising our traffic management, security, social services as well as shopping, recreation and tourism facilities.
“Our leisure and tourism sector is practically booming with new hotels, restaurants, bars springing up as more investors see the huge opportunities available here.
Explaining the rationale behind the publications, Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Art and Culture, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, points out that Lagos residents and visitors need to appreciate the important role tourism plays in any economy and that Lagos was in a vantage position to maximise its tourism potential with relevant policy initiatives – the Lagos State Tourism Master plan,  and creation of the Lagos State Tourism Promotions Agency; development of physical infrastructure and arts and culture programmes that could attract more tourists to the city and which residents themselves could enjoy all year round.

Ayorinde

The commissioner said that the governor, in recognition of these facts, had created a full ministry to address arts and tourism issues, laid down solid policy initiatives to develop tourism, which the incoming administration could easily build upon, and invested massively in infrastructure such as the J.K Randle Arts and Culture Centre and four 400-seater theatres in Oregun, Igando, Badagry and Epe; the restoration of Glover Memorial Hall among others.
For example, he said that Mad Fun documents all the activities surrounding the One Lagos Fiesta, the popular weeklong programme of music concerts held in different parts of Lagos during the yuletide period since 2015, which has provided free but quality entertainment for Lagosians and also provides a platform for both established and upcoming artistes to showcase their talents in a secure and fun-filled environment.
.
According to Ayorinde, the book captures each edition in the last four years neatly and pictorially, and celebrates the creative idea borne out of Governor Ambode’s Project THESE (Tourism Hospitality Entertainment and Sports for Excellence) to give a sense of belonging to every part of the state.
Indelible Marks, according to Ayorinde takes a deep look at the collective efforts from 2015 when a full-fledged ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture was created for the first time in the state as against what obtained in the past when Tourism was subsumed under Intergovernmental Affairs or Waterfront Infrastructure Development while Culture co-habited with the Home Affairs Ministry and traces the landmark upliftment of that sector to the centre stage, positioning Lagos as a true tourist destination and exposing her potential for more investments in tourism and many other sectors.
It gives further insight into Ambode’s personality as an art lover not just it’s own sake but as someone who realises the huge investments needed to boost the arts, leisure and tourism economy in Lagos State.
Perhaps, the most objective  assessment of the huge transformation Lagos has witnessed during the Ambode years can be found in the testimonies of well-travelled foreigners, working, living or just visting the megacity as captured in a third publocation – The Coolest City on Earth – an anthology of essays on their thoughts about the unique Lagos life.
Providing an outside view of the eclectic nature of the whole of Lagos socioeconomic and cultural architecture, the contributors are in agreement that the energy, vibrant colours, liberal disposition and entrepreneurial spirit found in all nooks and crannies of the city make each visit worthwhile and creates and appetite for more.
As Governor Ambode puts it, “Our vibrancy and uncommon energy is borne out that welcoming spirit imbued in the everyday Lagosian and attracts talents and skills to create that economic force, united in its commitment to excellence and leadership, that we are today.
“We are proud to be providing the template for growth and transformation for the rest of our country with prudent resource management and exploring innovative ideas in public services.

Sanwo-Olu speaks on his cabinet, promises not to abandon Ambode’s projects

Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor-elect of Lagos state, has disclosed the kind of people that will make it into his cabinet.

Speaking with select journalists in Lagos on Thursday, the incoming governor said only those who have shared vision with him and Obafemi Hamzat, his deputy, will make it into his government.

He promised to hit the ground running, promising to run an inclusive government.

“There are so many intelligent people in Lagos. It’s just for us to identify them. Some could work full time, some part time, others could be technocrats or politicians but the bottom line is for us to identify square pegs into square holes and round pegs into round holes. That’s number one” he said.

“Number two, those who would work with Dr Hamzat and I must share our vision. They have to be on the same page with us from day one. The moment a politician or technocrat is appointed, he or she should see himself as a commissioner or staff adviser of Lagos, not for a sect or an area or jurisdiction.

Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat

 

We are out to empower the people of Lagos state… These are the basic things, we will not compromise. Femi and I have been on this journey for the past eight or nine months. So, immediately we come on board, we will organise a crash course for them (cabinet members) to see where we are going. The moment we all see a common vision, it will be easier for us to drive a common agenda. But I can say Lagosians will be happy with us when we finally bring out those names.”

The governor-elect said he would make all the major appointments of his government within three months.

He also spoke about his plans to tackle traffic which is a major problem in the state.

“In the first 90 days or so, we are hoping that we would have a working government in all the cabinets, all of the major appointments that we need to have, we would have them running very quickly,” he said.

“We should begin to see huge solutions in our traffic management. I mean there will be some that we would have solved, there would be some that would still be working on because we are going into a rainy season and when it’s raining, for instance, you can’t pour concrete.

“So, some of those issues will come up. But in terms of the design, identifying those corridors that would need traffic improvement, we would have done all of that. In terms of places where we need to improve and increase waste management solution, we would have done all that.

“Like I have also said, the solution of Apapa gridlock. I am believing that we would have solved it as promised but the sustenance of it is another issue. So, sustaining what we solved is key. It’s going to cost us some money to ensure that people are on ground to ensure that the situation doesn’t get bad again but those are the things we need to do.

“In terms of infrastructure, before the end of the year, you will see our road plan in terms of which road, which bridges we would need to complete in the next two or three years.”

Asked what he plans to do differently in government, Sanwo-Olu said: “I really don’t know if a man in his 50s would change how he dresses but my style would be to be very humble, transparent, accessible and to be very engaging.

“Let people have a voice, let them have a say. You might not necessarily have your way, but you can have your say. Everybody has a role… it is only if you don’t have any business here and you creating a security challenge for us that you won’t be guided by the style. Other than that, the style would remain to be the governor of everybody.”

On the resources of the state, Sanwo-Olu said no matter how much is in the treasury, it cannot be enough because the challenges are numerous.

COMPLETING INHERITTED PROJECTS

The outgoing governor exchanging pleasantries with the man who will succeed him on Wednesday

However, he promised that his 1administration would find a creative way to get revenue for its projects.

The governor-elect also promised to put finishing touches to some of the projects which Akinwunmi Ambode, the outgoing governor, is yet to complete.

“No matter how the situation is, money will never be enough but we cannot continue to give money as an excuse not to work,” he said.

“There are creative ways by which you can finance, manage all of the things you want to do, for as long as you are right and people can see the charge out, money will look for you. Money will move to people who need it the most.

“In terms of completion of projects of the outgoing government, oh yes, we will complete them because what doesn’t get completed, wasn’t done in the first place. So, we will ensure that we do that and there shouldn’t be any problem.

“Given my sense of understanding of government, it is a continuum, anyhow it is, we really cannot begin to give excuses. Just go out there go fix it, that is the way it is. Wherever it is that things are wrong, we can make it better, quicker, that is what we have promised.”

 

Ambode commissions theatre, other projects…assures of continuity

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode yet again on Wednesday commissioned the Agric Access Road, Egan in Igando Ikotun Local Council Development Area (LCDA) and the Lagos Theatre in Igando as he gets set to exit office, saying that his administration has succeeded in its quest to transform the infrastructural landscape of the State with massive construction of critical roads and bridges.

The Governor, who also flagged off the construction of a link bridge connecting Egan and Ayobo communities, said he was fulfilled that his administration had delivered on its promise to run a government of inclusion that would leave no resident and area of the State behind.

“When our administration came into office, one of our cardinal promises was a government of inclusion. We committed to a government where nobody, community or people will be left behind. As a result we were determined to address the challenges of gross infrastructural deficit, flooding and erosion which the people around this senatorial district have lived with for some time now.

“I am very pleased and fulfilled to see that our commitment to make our State globally competitive and radically change our infrastructural profile to one that befits a contemporary smart city has been successful with the massive construction of roads and bridges we have undertaken in the last four years. We not only prioritized renewal and development of road infrastructure but we have done so using an all-inclusive approach that has touched rural and urban areas in the State,” he said.

He said that in constructing the Agric Access Road, the State Government took cognizance of the need to make commuting stress-free for pedestrians and motorists with wider roads and walkways, tackling flooding by providing adequate and covered drains, and street lights that would guarantee added safety and security for all road users.

The Governor expressed optimism that the roads constructed along the corridor would go a long way to create direct and indirect employment, increase connectivity and increase economic activity in the community and its environs.

“The unveiling of Agric Road Bamidele Kasali/Dosu Ekunrin Road today is a testimony to our passion to make our people happier, our roads better and our State safer. By this action, we are providing critical and needed infrastructure as well as reciprocating the support our government has enjoyed from this constituency in the last four years,” he said.

While imploring community, religious leaders and the people of Igando/Ikotun to guard the infrastructure jealously, he thanked Lagosians for their support and prayers, particularly in the discharge of their civic responsibility through payment of taxes.

“I believe strongly that our State is on a positive growth trajectory and I urge you to give the next administration the same unflinching support you gave us as we work together in transforming our State to the “Lagos of Our Dreams”, he said.

Governor Ambode said the State Government had already mobilized the contractor while work has started Egan-Ayobo Link Bridge, assuring that the incoming administration would see through the project to completion.

At the unveiling of 500-seater capacity Igando Theatre, Governor Ambode said the development was in accordance with his administration’s promise to create a new economy around Tourism, Hospitality, Entertainment and Sports, saying it was gratifying to note that a solid and long term foundation had been effectively laid to support a sustainable tourism and entertainment-driven economy. 

He said with the unveiling, lovers of live theatre and the Arts would henceforth experience spectacular fun, adding that as the nation’s hub for commercial activities and entertainment, the State Government was providing key infrastructure to support growth as exemplified by the theatre.

He said the theatre, aside providing a platform for performances which would in turn bring revenue to artistes and entertainers, it would also go a long way to create opportunities for the tourism and hospitality sectors and the ripple effect would ultimately touch every aspect of the host communities.

“There is no State in the country that attracts visitors and new comers on daily basis as Lagos does. With our population, we have a large market for every sector. After the hustle and bustle of the day, people crave for entertainment and leisure. These theatres are built to provide for this need as well as creating jobs,” the Governor said.

In her goodwill message, Chairman of Igando-Ikotun Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Mrs Morenike Adesina-Williams commended Governor Ambode for the projects executed in the area, saying they would go a long way in enhancing the socio-economic development within the axis and the State in general.

“I wish to express our deep appreciation to the Governor for this laudable road project and the Theatre. We are aware of the deplorable state the road was but today the State Government has brought comfort and succor to people of Egan, Ayobo and all the people making use of this road.

“Also, the ground-breaking ceremony of the Egan-Ayobo link bridge is a thing of joy for us. This is a testament of the fact that your (Governor Ambode’s) administration has indeed provided good and qualitative social infrastructure across all divisions in Lagos State, particularly this road which will provide and enhance socio-economic development, investment and employment in this axis,” she said.

On his part, Onigando of Igando, Oba Lasisi Gbadamosi said the unveiling of the theatre was an emotional moment for him considering that Governor Ambode would be exiting office soon, just as he prayed that God would continue to bless and order the steps of the Governor.

“I want to profusely thank our Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode for standing firmly and seeing this project through. If I open my mouth and start to talk about the good things the Governor has done in our community, the State in general and even personally for me, I may cry but I just pray that God will be with the Governor in all his endeavours,” Oba Gbadamosi said.

Some residents of the area- Mrs. Aderinola Adetola and Mrs. Folashade Olanrewaju, who spoke on the projects, commended the Governor saying that the road has transformed the axis and upgraded their standard of living. 

 

Ambode commissions ferries, jetty…says integrated transport on track

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday commissioned the Bariga Waterfront Jetty, Five Transport Ferries and the Ilaje Road, saying that the development was a testament to the fact that the State’s integrated transport management system was firmly on track.

Governor Ambode, who spoke at the unveiling of the projects, said the development would greatly lessen pressure on road transportation, reduce travel time as well as enhance connectivity within the State.

“With these projects, our State is firmly on track with our goal of establishing an integrated transport management system. These facilities will continue to impact positively on the lives of Lagosians as we strive to address traffic gridlock, reduce travel time, improve road connectivity and abate flooding,” Governor Ambode said.

He said like other projects delivered by his administration, the projects were inspired to open up the Bariga community for more commercial activities and make residents feel the impact of government, recalling that his administration since inception set out on a mission to make every community economically viable and livable.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, the thinking behind these projects is inclusion; an inclusion where every resident of our State has a say, feels the impact of government in their lives and is given the opportunity to realise their dreams.

“When we assumed office four years ago, we set out on a mission to make every community economically livable. This has been the guiding principle behind spreading our different projects across the State,” he said.

Explaining how the jetty and Ilaje Road came about, Governor Ambode said the projects were basically in response to the security challenges of late 2015 as investigations then revealed that the cultists terrorizing the people and threatening peace of the State were getting funds from sand dredging activities in the area, adding that the projects were a clear example of urban regeneration inspired by creating solution to challenges.

The Governor said that the initial plan was to upgrade the roads in the community but that a proper assessment of the community revealed a greater need to improve the lives of the people and make Bariga a transport hub that would connect the community to other parts of the State through water transportation.

“The delivery of this road, the jetty and our new ferries signifies our commitment to the people of Lagos State to continuously provide the critical infrastructure that will improve their standard of living and also be an impetus to increase the socio-economic activities of this axis.

“The provision of comfortable, safe and reliable ferry services for the residents of Bariga and environs will no doubt bring about an improvement in journey times that would lead to greater productivity,” he said.

The Governor explained that the new Ilaje Road would serve as a very good access road to the jetty as well as opening up the community, while the Bariga Jetty would serve as a terminal where residents in the area can access ferry services and easily get to other jetties at Ikorodu, Marina, Falomo and Badore in Ajah, among others.

He said the jetty has a 150-car parking lot that would provide an avenue for people to park their cars comfortably and get on a ferry taking them to other parts of the State, adding that residents of the area can also make use of the ample space for social events.

Besides, the Governor said that of the five new ferries, four are passenger ferries that can accommodate between 40 to 60 passengers, while the fifth ferry – a Car Barge has the capacity to take between 16 and 20 cars at a time on water.

He said the projects were also in line with his administration’s policy to develop an efficient integrated transport model to decongest roads in the State by getting more people to utilise water transportation as a viable alternative.

Earlier, Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr Ade Akinsanya said aside the jetty, road and ferries, the State Government was also constructing 12 other roads within Ilaje and Bariga, just as he urged the people to take ownership of the projects.

On his part, Baale of Ilaje, High Chief Kayode Ajetiwa, who spoke on behalf of the community, thanked Governor Ambode, saying the people of the area would forever appreciate and remember him for transforming their neighborhood and making life comfortable for them through the projects.

“The good people of Ilaje-Bariga Community and Bariga Local Council Development Area (LCDA) and Shomolu Local Government and all Lagosians will ever remember your Excellency (Governor Ambode) for the construction of this ultra-modern jetty at Ilaje-Bariga Community for the sole purpose of easing water transportation in Lagos.

“We salute your courage for providing the funds for this project within four years of your administration to which no other Governor has ever done. We are grateful that you have taken us to the next level,” Ajetiwa said.

I am wiser now, says Ambode

Akinwunmi Ambode, governor of Lagos state, says he has been describing himself as techno-politician but having spent four years on the saddle, he is wiser.

Speaking with state house correspondents during what he referred to as a “thank you visit” to President Muhammadu Buhari for inaugurating some of projects in the state, Ambode said politicians learn everyday.

Asked to state what lesson he has learnt as a politician in Lagos and in a very unpredictable terrain as Nigeria, the governor said: “You see, every politician learns every day. The fact remains that I came in as a technocrat, so I use to call myself a techno-politician but I think I am wiser now. I am more of a politician than a technocrat.”

Since the return of democracy to Nigeria in 1999, Ambode goes into history as the first Lagos governor not to serve two terms.

Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor-elect of Lagos, beat him to the ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) last year.

APC leaders in the state, including Bola Tinubu, a former governor, supported Sanwo-Olu over Ambode.

On what he wants to be remembered for after bowing out of office in two weeks, the governor said: “Well, in another 16 days or so we will be leaving office but what is important is that I was able to have that opportunity to be elected as governor of Lagos State and to touch humanity in a way that I deem it fit.

“We did our best and most importantly the projects we did were people friendly and people central. I just think a lot more people have enjoyed the benefits and dividends of democracy than we actually met it. And that gives me joy that we were able to touch lives.

“Wherever you find yourself just make positive difference to people and Nigerians, that is the whole essence of service. I’m grateful that I had that opportunity.”

Anglican church honours Ambode, tips him for federal job

The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), diocese of Lagos, has presented a special episcopal award to Akinwunmi Ambode, governor of Lagos state, for his “monumental achievements” in all sectors and sections of the state in the last four years.

The church also tipped the governor for federal appointment in the President Muhammad Buhari incoming team, after his four-year term as Lagos governor.

The award presentation held at Our Saviours Church, Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Onikan, on Monday.

Speaking during the presentation, Humphrey Olumakaiye, the diocesan bishop, described Ambode as an administrator with a patriotic drive who, through hard work and grace, rose to become distinguished among his peers.

He said the governor deserved to be appreciated for excellent performance and selfless service to God and humanity. He commended Ambode for always identifying with the church, saying it was an eloquent indication of his love and undying passion for God and humanity.

“We are very proud of you for taking Lagos state much higher. You have proved beyond doubts that there is great hope for a better Nigeria through your transformational touch in this state,” Olumakaiye said.

“You are a man of courage who believes in possibilities against all odds; a man of focus and dignity. We are indeed very proud of you and we pray that God will grant your heart desires and take you to the next level of your political career.

“Today, we have decided to honour you in due recognition of your exceptional achievements as our governor.”

On his part, Adebola Ademowo, immediate past bishop of the diocese,  said Ambode’s name was already written in gold.

“I want to congratulate our Governor for a very successful tenure. Your name has been written in gold and I do hope that Abuja will do something,” Ademowo said.

Responding, Ambode thanked residents and faith-based organizations for cooperating with his administration to maintain law and order, saying it is on record that there was no single religious conflict in the state in the last four years.

The governor said he was particularly proud of the relationship and massive support extended to him by religious leaders which, according to him, resulted in peaceful co-existence and progress of the State.

“To our Fathers in the Lord and clergymen, I thank you for all you have done to move Lagos forward in the past four years of my administration. I am proud of the relationship and support that has yielded the peaceful co-existence and atmosphere of love and brotherhood. For me, this is the strongest plank upon which the progress we have achieved rests,” Ambode said.

“It is also on record that no single religious conflict was recorded in the last four years. The peaceful co-existence of all religious sects is a testimony of our collective heritage in the state.

“As our administration makes way for another, I ask for your continued support and prayers for the incoming government, the governor-elect, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his team.”