Lagos Commissioner for Information, Gbenga Omotoso has refuted claims that the State Government, under the leadership of Babajide Sanwo-Olu, is planning to shield some personalities with the State’s new anti-graft law.
The anti-graft law, which was recently signed by Sanwo-Olu, mandates agencies like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), and other anti-graft agencies to hand over corruption cases to the State Government.
Section 13(3) of the law reads, “The commission shall upon the commencement of this law take over the investigation of all anti-corruption and financial crime cases involving the finances and assets of Lagos State Government being investigated by any other agency.”
Section 13(5) also states, “The commission shall have the power to the exclusion of any other agency or body to investigate and coordinate the investigation of corruption and financial crimes cases involving the finances and assets of the state government.”
Some Nigerians who believed that the State Government is trying to protect the likes of the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu; Immediate past Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode; Former Executive Chairman Lagos State Board of Internal Revenue, Babatunde Fowler; Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa among others, have questioned the intention of the law.
However, Omotoso on Tuesday, insisted that the law was not established to protect any personality, adding that the people should also focus on contractors and others handling the State’s money when discussing corruption and not just some personalities.
“The idea that the law is to protect either Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu or anybody is highly speculative, presumptuous and in the conjectural imagination of anybody thinking so. It’s out of place for anybody to think that a law will be made because of a section of the society or some personalities,” the Commissioner said when he appeared on Arise TV.
“That’s not the aim of the law. Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the governor, said very clearly when he signed the law that he signed it for accountability so that people won’t misappropriate the state’s funds and get away with it.
“Why is it that people are talking about some personalities when you talk about corruption, they are not even talking about contractors who may go away with the state’s money without doing any job. There are many people who are supposed to be reined in through this law, not just some people.”