A former commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources in Lagos State, Hon. Olawale Oluwo Wasiu has denied indicting former governor Akinwunmi Ambode before the committees of the State House of Assembly.
Oluwo stated this in a statement addressed to the Managing Director of Independent Communications Network Limited (Publishers of PM News) and dated Wednesday October, 16, 2019.
In the statement, which he personally signed and made available to the media, the former commissioner referred to the PM News report of October 15, 2019 regarding the Lagos State House of Assembly Committees probing the purchase of 820 buses by the Akinwunmi Ambode administration.
“The news report headlined “Ambode Shuns Lagos Assembly Again, Ex-Aides Indict Him,” contains a particular offensive phrase that reads, “Former Commissioners For Agriculture and Energy, Toyin Suarau and Wale Oluwo said many of the projects, including the Oshodi interchange and others were never captured in the state budget,” the statement read.
Oluwo stated that the report was completely false and “indeed a misrepresentation of the proceedings.”
The ex-commissioner revealed in the statement that he attended the second session of the Committee proceedings on October 15, 2019 and that he could not remember seeing a reporter of the PM News inside the Committee room.
He added that the ex-commissioner for agriculture, Mr. Toyin Suarau and him were called into the Committee room at the same time, and that the questions asked the two of them were in the open.
“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).
“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,” the statement read.
Oluwo emphasized in the statement that it was therefore very disturbing “how a reporter of PM News, purportedly designated to cover the State House of Assembly Committee proceedings, came about the report that “Suarau and Oluwo said many of the projects, including the Oshodi interchange and others were not captured in the state budget.” This is rather strange,” he said.
The former commissioner stated that he had read the reports in all other news media on the same event and found out that “this false and offensive reportage is limited to “ONLY PM News.”
“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,” he said further in the statement.
He however said that “it will serve the course of truth and professional journalism if this misconduct is investigated by the management of Independent Communications Network Limited (Publishers of PM News) and promptly corrected.
“By so doing, PM News would have succeeded in convincing the general public that it is unbiased and capable of staying above the fray in this high-wire political events unfolding in Lagos State.”