By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Gbenga Akanmu
LAGOS â€” The Lagos State House of Assembly, yesterday, pardoned the state Commissioner for Tourism and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi, after tendering his apology over his failure to submit the relevant documents on the current Sunborn Yacht Hotel controversy early.
The House had summoned the commissioner to appear before it yesterday following his refusal to submit the documents in its ongoing investigation into the deal.
Appearing in black suit at about 4 p.m., Afikuyomi tendered his unreserved apology to the House when he was asked to explain why he failed to submit the documents on time and explained that it was due to circumstances beyond his control as he had to move around to collate the documents which were not in his possession.
He begged the lawmakers to pardon him for the act, saying it was not intentional and should not be viewed as being disrespectful to the members and the House.
Afikuyomi later submitted all the contract documents to the Speaker, Mr. Adeyemi Ikuforiji.
Mr. Rotimi Olowo in his comments at the weekly Yoruba session, reprimanded the commissioner for treating the matter with levity and warned him against repeating such act in future.
He noted that Afikuyomi should have called the speaker or send a letter informing the House of the situation instead of keeping members in the dark.
Mr Adelabu Onibiyo was, however, soft on the commissioner as he asked the House to pardon him for his sincere apology tendered.
Mr. Bayo Osinowo was quick to clarify the purpose of calling the commssioner, saying it was not to witch hunt the executive members but that the House was merely doing its legislative functions as well as clear all the grey areas in the matter.
It will be recalled that controversy had greeted the presence of the yacht on the Lagos Lagoon, berthed along Marina shore with concerned Nigerians criticising the Lagos State Government for lavishing tax payersâ€™ money on fancy investment.
Subsequently, Lagos State Government was later cleared of any financial commitment to the hotel as financiers of the investment, Diamond Capital Limited said the state government has no hand in the hotel.
Also, at a press briefing in Lagos House Alausa, Ikeja, after a meeting chaired by Governor Babatunde FasholaÂ to resolve the various issues surrounding the hotel, Managing Director of Diamond Capital Limited, Mr. Tony Onwu confirmed that the Lagos State Government and the taxpayers in the State have no financial commitment to the hotel.
In a short statement he read to newsmen at the occasion, Onwu declared, â€œLagos State Government and the taxpayers in Lagos State do not have any financial commitment or otherwise to the entire investment that has brought this project this farâ€.