The Lagos State House of Assembly Ad hoc Committee on Housing, may invoke its powers on the Managing Director of the Lagos State Building Investment Company (LBIC) Plc, Mrs Folashade Folivi.
The Chairman of the Committee, Mr Olanrewaju Layode threatened to invoke section 129 of the Nigerian Constitution which gives the legislature the power to subpoena anyone who disregards it.
Layode made this known, in light of Folivi’s alleged refusal to appear before the committee investigating various petitions trailing the demolition of structures across Low Cost Housing Estates in the state.
According to him, the section 128 of the Nigerian Constitution empowers the House to investigate any matter that affects any individual or group.
The chairman said that the managing director had earlier failed to show up after the committee carried out on-the-spot assessment of issues raised in various petitions before the House.
In his own words, ”The House mandated us to investigate the demolition of some structures in the estates across the state by LBIC. See story here: https://hapmag.s3.amazonaws.com/managing-director-lbic-summoned-insubordination/
“The House is acting on petitions received against LBIC and we have been working on it.
“This is the second time the LBIC boss 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 that she should be arrested 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 her 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 also said 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.
According to him, the meeting was organised to allow LBIC come up with its own side of the story to resolve some issues as the committee found out conflicting allegations in its investigation.
Also speaking, Abiodun Tobun , a member of the committee, who frowned at the absence of the LBIC representative, said that the essence of governance is the people, which the House represented.
Tobun said: “What we intend to do is to mediate and resolve the situation. 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 are 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.
“As the representative of the people, we should intervene by 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, which inform setting up an adhoc committee to investigate estates.”
He said that the committee agreed and had gone round to see for themselves the situations of the estate with company of relevant MDAs except LBIC not represented.
Tobun said that LBIC had been slowing down the investigation as the meeting of stakeholders had to be shifted again because the MD failed to appear before it again.
He said that the MD had absented herself from the committee twice now, the committee had availed her of another time.
According to him, the petition before the House ranged from encroachments, illegal building springing up in places
meant for recreation centres, and the demolition exercise by LBIC among others.
NAN reported that the House set up an adhoc committee on the matter since the MD failed to provide an appropriate answer to the House when she was summoned over the demolition exercise.
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 on Nov. 21 summoned Folivi and she appeared on Nov. 23 for ignoring one of its committees.
Mr Setonji David, the acting chairman of the House Committee on Urban and Physical Planning, had accused her of disregard for the committee.
Meanwhile, Folivi, who said she did not disregard the House when she appeared before it earlier, had also sent a letter, rescheduling the meeting with the adhoc committee, because it clashed with her prior engagements.