The Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre) has called on the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to interrogate and investigate the allegation of arson against the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa.
HEDA in a petition to the IGP, urged him to use his “good office to ensure that the matter is effectively and painstakingly investigated to ensure the prosecution of all and sundry involved and found culpable in the spirit of upholding the rule of law and putting a stop to the culture of impunity in the society”.
Chairman of HEDA, Olanrewaju Suraju, cited a publication by SaharaReporters revealing that Obasa had sponsored some thugs to attack the Civic Media Lab as well as a Television Continental journalist, Babajide Kolade-Otitoju, for speaking about him on his show, Journalist Hangout.
According to Suraju, the allegations required immediate investigation and the need for attribution of immediate urgency to ensure justice is seen to be done at large in promoting the sanctity of the rule of law.
Suraju said, “The above subject-matter is premised on the report published by SaharaReporters on the 3rd of May, 2020. The report encapsulates the allegations of arson. It was reported that as a result of the misappropriation of funds and various corruption allegations published against the Speaker, he has targeted the media house and other individuals for attacks.
“It was conveyed that as a fallout of recent publications on the various corruption activities allegations against him, it was published that he allegedly paid some thugs to burn down the office complex of SaharaReporters with persons in the building.
“It was also reported in the publication under reference that the Mr Obasa is alleged to be gunning after Television Continental journalist, Babajide Kolade-Otitoju, for speaking about him on his show, Journalist Hangout, aired on TVC.
“It was also stated in the report that the Chairman of HEDA Resource Centre, Mr Olanrewaju Suraju, is under the radar of the Speaker because of the active and concrete steps taken by the organisation to expose the alleged acts of corruption by the Speaker.
“This petition is one which involves arson and allegations of threat to lives, therefore criminal in nature and which is within the purview of the powers of the Nigeria Police Force to ensure that an investigation is undertaken and eventual prosecution of the suspects.”
The HEDA Chairman is urging the police to not only investigate the allegation but also ensure the protection of the “persons and their families of the entire staff of the SaharaReporters’ (Civic Media Lab), Television Continental journalist, Babajide Kolade-Otitoju, and the Chairman, Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre)” in line with the need to protect the fundamental rights to life of all Nigerians as entrenched in Section 33 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
SaharaReporters had exposed how Obasa used a number of companies registered under different names to execute contracts and siphon public funds.
The online news medium also exposed how he spent N17m monthly to maintain his personal residence and guest house from tax payers’ money.