The Lagos State House of Assembly has again frowned at the alleged act of insubordination by the Managing Director of the Lagos State Building Investment Company LBIC, Mrs Folashade Folivi.
Reacting to the LIBC insubordination, the Chairman of an ad hoc Committee set up to look into the petition against the company over its excesses in carrying out demolition of structures at government owned estates across the State, Hon. Olanrewaju Layode threatened to evoke section 129 of the Nigerian Constitution which empowers the legislature to subpoena anyone who disregards orders.
Layode made this threat following the refusal of the LBIC boss to appear before the committee investigating various petitions trailing the demolition of structures across Low Cost Housing Estates in the state.
Quoting section 128 of the Nigerian Constitution, the lawmaker explained that the country grand laws empowered the House to investigate any matter that affects any individual or group.
Layode disclosed that Mrs. Folivi had earlier failed to show up when the committee carried out on the spot assessment of complaints raised in various petitions before the House at which the House consequently, constituted an ad hoc committee with a mandate to investigate the demolition of some structures in the estates across the state by LBIC.
“This is the second time the LBIC boss has failed to show up, I hope she would not do that again. She has issues and she did not show up for the meeting we called, this is so bad.
We can invoke our authority on her or order her arrest if she does not show up, but I pray it does not get to that.
She still has a duty to obey us because we appropriate money for the agency.
We allocated N2 Billion to the agency this year alone from tax payers’ money. Even in the last budget reordering, we allocated money to her agency. We know what to do at the right time,’’ Layode said.
He stressed that other stakeholders from the Ministry of Housing, Physical Planning and Urban Development, Lagos State Development and Property Corporation, Lagos State Mortgage Board were at the meeting.
The lawmaker explained that the meeting was organised to allow LBIC come up with its own side of the story and to resolve some issues where the committee has found out conflicting allegations in its investigation.
Also speaking, another member of the committee, Hon. Abiodun Tobun who also frowned at the absence of the LBIC boss said the essence of governance is people, which the House represented.
“What we intend to do is to mediate and resolve the issue. The MD of LBIC must be here to defend herself and why she has taken some actions, since she is not on her own but serving the people of Lagos.
“We are acting on petitions by members of the public; there were grievances across the estates (Lagos State Estates) and the people have been complaining about the activities of the LBIC Plc and the way the company is treating the people and as the representative of the people, we should intervene by way of investigating what is going on with a view to resolving the problems.
“The House is saddled with the responsibility to investigate issues that will come across and by way of resolution advise the governor appropriately and this inform setting up an ad hoc committee to investigate the complaints,” Tobun explained.
He said further that the committee had gone round to see for themselves the situations of the estate with relevant MDAs except LBIC which the petition was centred is represented. The lawmaker said the LBIC had been slowing down the investigation as the meeting of stakeholders slated for today had to be shifted again because the MD failed to appear before it again.
He disclosed that the MD had absented herself from the committee twice now and the committee had availed another opportunity.
According to the lawmaker, the petition before the House ranges from encroachments, illegal building on areas meant for recreation centres, and demolition by LBIC among others.
Recall that the House set up an ad hoc committee on the matter since the MD failed to provide appropriate answer to the House when she was summoned over the demolition exercise.
However, In her remark, Mrs Adebimpe Akinsola, the Special Adviser to Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode on Housing appealed to the committee to give the LBIC boss another opportunity.
The House had earlier on Nov. 21 summoned the LBIC for ignoring an invitation from one of the House committees and she appeared on Nov. 23.
The acting chairman of the House Committee on Urban and Physical Planning, Hon.Setonji David had accused the LBIC boss of disregard for the committee. Meanwhile, Folivi, who said she did not disregarded the House when she appeared before it earlier, had also sent a letter for rescheduling of today’s meeting with the ad hoc committee over clash with her already scheduled engagements.
By Alade Tasma