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Probe: Drama, as court serves restraining order on Lagos Assembly

By Olasunkanmi Akoni, Gbenga Akanmu & Monsur Olowoopejo
A mild drama ensued Thursday at the Lagos State House of Assembly when the Bailiff of the state High Court went to the House to submit the court order restraining the House from continuing with the investigation of alleged financial impropriety levelled at Governor Babatunde Fashola by a group known as the “True Face of Lagos.”

The Lagos High Court, Ikorodu Division had on Wednesday restrained the House from further investigating the matter, in a case brought before it by a human rights activist, Richard Akinnola, seeking an injunction to restrain the House pending the outcome of the case.

But, yesterday when the Bailiff made attempts to serve the House with the order in the morning, security men in the House frustrated him.

The Bailiff had to go back to inform counsel to the complainant, Mr. Bamidele Aturu of his frustration in the House, but when Aturu returned to the House with the Bailiff accompanied by Akinnola and some journalists, the drama was still the same, as they were not allowed through the main gate of the complex by security men.

Journalists molested

While the drama lasted, some journalists were almost rough handled. For example, a Correspondent of ThisDay, Mr. Gboyega Akinsanmi, had his jotters torn, while the tape of the Channels cameraman was seized, but returned on the intervention of the Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker, Mr. Lanre Odubote.

However, it took the intervention of members of the House, Mr. Bayo Osinowo and former Deputy Speaker, Funmi Tejuosho, a member of the investigating panel, to ensure that the court order was received at the reception of the Speaker, Mr Adeyemi Ikuforiji.

Osinowo, Tejuosho apologise

Though none of the lawmakers was willing to react, Tejuosho, was however, seen apologizing to the Bailiff for the behaviour of the security men.

A chieftain of the Action Congress, AC , Chief Kola Oseni, who was also around at the time and later joined the lawmakers in apologizing to Aturu and his team, threatened to break the camera of the Lagos Television if the cameraman dared to record his conversation with the men.

Aturu reacts

Reacting to the incident, Aturu expressed surprise at the behaviour of the security men who he said claimed to be acting on orders from above.

“Honestly, I was a bit scandalised with what we saw here in the morning and this afternoon (yesterday) until some of the very highly respectable and responsible members of the House intervened in the matter.”

“We had sent the Bailiff of the high court to come here to serve the injunction of the court to the Lagos House of Assembly, but at the gate they were told that they could not go in and that there was an order from above and this order could not be served. That is something that is quite strange. So we had to come back with the Bailiff and ensured that the order is served,” he said.


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