The Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday pardoned officials of Lands Bureau, when the officials apologised for their failure to honour an invitation of a committee of the Assembly.
The House had summoned the Permanent Secretary and the Executive Secretary of the bureau, Mr Shuaheeb Agoro and Mr Olukayode Ogunnubi last week Tuesday.
The summon followed the apparent disregard of the officials to calls made by the committee on a disputed land matter brought to the House by Iju Youth Action Committee.
Chairman of the House Committee on Special and Inter-government Relations, Hon. Olusola Sokunle had informed the House about the affected top officials’ disregard for the committee’s invitation, while investigating the matter.
The officials, who tendered their unreserved apologies for disregarding the committee, vowed never to repeat such.
Agoro said, “I want to sincerely apologise, we do not mean to disregard the House. We accept the blame and we will henceforth attend any committee meeting of the House anytime we are called upon.
“We will never ever disregard any invitation of the House again,” he said.
Ogunnubi added, “I just want to apologise to the House, l want to plead with the House and we will not do that again.”
However, some of the lawmakers, who condemned the attitude of the officials, took turns to appeal to their colleagues to pardon the erring officials after they had tendered the apology.
Chairman of the House Committee on Information, Strategy, Hon.Tunde Braimoh, then called for better cooperation by different institutions of government with the legislature.
Braimoh (APC-Kosofe II) said, ” We expect all government functionaries to be in tune with the tenets of democracy. We should not allow ourselves to be instrument of discord among the different arms of government. With this apology, let’s tamper justice with mercy.”
The Chairman, House Committee on Education, Hon. Lanre Ogunyemi urged the officials to be acquainted with legislative processes, adding that the officials should know that the House operates by committee system.
“The committee holds power in proxy for the Speaker and the House, so refusing the committee is refusing the Speaker himself. No institution should jettison the invitation of the House.
“Things like this can cause rift between the House and the executive. Be more conscious of your relationship with the House,” Ogunyemi said.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the House Committee on Works and Infrastructures, Hon. Abiodun Tobun said that the people of Lagos had handed the House the sovereignty to hold in trust for them
According to Tobun, what the affected officials have done was to disregard the entire people of Lagos.
Hon. Victor Akande (PDP-Ojo I) said that the House had the power to summon any government official, adding that if any of them disrespected the House, the legislature had the constitutional powers to issue the person warrant of arrest.
The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa said, “Relate with the House with respect. This is an institution on its own. There is need for us to work together if we must progress.