THERE was a mild drama at the hallowed chamber of Lagos House of Assembly on Monday, November 9, 2015, when the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, reeled out the names of the chairmen of the various standing committees and Hon. Adefunmilayo Tejuosho, a ranking member of the Assembly openly rejected the chairmanship of House Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, Public Petitions, LASIEC, that was allocated to her. The whole drama took everybody by surprise.
The Majority Leader, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, had earlier moved the motion for adjournment and seconded by another member.
Members and people in the gallery were just waiting for the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Obasa, to hit the gavel on the table and declare the day proceedings closed when rather than doing that, he said, under the motion for adjournment and he started reeling out the names of the chairmen of the standing committees of the Assembly.
He had barely finished reading the names, when Hon. Adefunmilayo Tejuosho, the most ranking female member (she has been a member of the Assembly since 2003) switched on her microphone light to speak. As she uttered the first word, ‘Mr. Speaker, sir,’ the Speaker struck the gavel and said this House stand adjourned till Monday, November 16, 2015.
The Speaker stood up and came down from the podium to leave. As he was leaving, Hon. Tejuosho kept on protesting the chairmanship of the committee that she was allocated. She said something to the effect that she was not being respected as one of the ranking members of the Assembly.
While she was making her protest speech, the Speaker kept on moving out of the chamber and shaking hands with other members sitting along the aisle.
ENCOMIUM Weekly observed that except for Hon. Funmi Tejuosho, other members were in a happy mood and were exchanging congratulatory handshakes with each other. We later gathered that Hon. Tejuosho, would have loved to retain the chairmanship of the House Committee on Finance, that she held in the 7th Assembly (2011-2015).
The thinking in her camp is that if, Hon. Bayo Osinowo, another ranking member like her could retain the chairmanship of Lands Committee, she too should be allowed to retain that of Finance too.
When we asked Hon. Olumuyiwa Jimoh, the Deputy Majority Leader and a member of the Selection Committee why they did not consider her ranking status and retain her in her former Committee on Finance as chairman, he told us that she did not get in touch with the Selection Committee to indicate her interest.
He said it was out of the large heart of the Speaker that she was made the chairman of Judiciary, Human Rights, Public Petitions, LASIEC.
“That is the biggest committee of all the standing committees in the House. She is in charge of a whole arm of government (judiciary) and LASIEC (Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission).”
“This is also based on her area of competence and profession as the most senior lawyer in the Assembly,” he said.
We asked if it is not possible for the Selection Committee to listen to her complaints and give her what she wants. He said that will create another crisis. “By the time we collect the chairman from one person and give it to her, we will be creating another crisis in the House.
“She should just accept the one given to her and make the best out of it.
“I think, as a lawyer, who is very familiar with the human rights groups, that is the best terrain she can operate.”
When we called Hon. Tejuosho to get her comment, she did not respond to our call. She, however, responded to our text message and this is what she said.
“Greetings Hon. Ma. We will appreciate your comment on your rejection of the Chairman, House Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, Public Petitions, LASIEC.
Hon. Ma, we think you should say something because Hon. Olumuyiwa Jimoh has commented on behalf of the Selection Committee.
Not aware of his comment.
We interviewed him on the issue. We asked him whether as a ranking member you should not be given priority in any committee of your choice. He said you did not get in touch with the Selection Committee to indicate your interest.
He is not speaking the truth.
What then is the truth?
She did not respond to our last question before we went to press.
ENCOMIUM Weekly also gathered that Hon. Dayo Fafunmi, did not like the chairmanship of House Committee on Environment given to him. That he would prefer to retain the chairmanship of House Committee on Public Accounts (Local Governments), that he held in the 7th Assembly, which is now being held by Hon. Bisi Yusuf.
But our phone calls and text messages to him (Hon. Fafunmi) were not responded to.
Lagos House of Assembly Committees and Chairmen
1 Selection Committee
– Rt. Hon. Obasa Mudashiru
2 Business Rules and Standing Orders
– Majority Leader, Sanai Agunbiade
3 Ethics, Protocol and Privileges
– Hon. Rotimi Abiru
4 House Service
– Hon. Rasheed Makinde
5 Public Accounts (Local)
– Hon. Bisi Yusuf
6 Public Accounts (State)
– Hon. Moshood Oshun
– Hon. Kazeem Raheem
8 Economic Planning and Budget
– Hon. Rotimi Olowo
– Hon. Lanre Ogunyemi
10 Science and Technology
– Hon. Nurudeen Solaja
11 Establishment, Training and Pension
– Hon. Adedayo Famakinwa (PDP)
12 Energy and Mineral Resources
– Hon. Folajimi Mohammed
13 Waterfront Infrastructure Development
– Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu
14 Physical Planning and Urban Development
– Hon. Setonji David
– Hon Fatai Mojeed
16 Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives
– Hon. Oladele Adekanye
17 Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation
– Hon. Moji Lawal
18 Works and Infrastructure
– Hon. Tobun Abiodun
19 Wealth Creation and Employment
– Hon. Sola Giwa
– Hon. Yinka Ogundimu
– Hon. Segun Olulade
22 Home Affairs
– Hon. Olayiwola Olawale
23 Tourism, Arts and Culture
– Hon. Desmond Elliot
24 Youths and Social Development
– Hon. Kasunmu Adedamola
– Hon. Ibrahim Layode
26 Information and Strategy
– Hon. Tunde Buraimoh
27 Central Business District
– Hon. Victor Akande (PDP)
28 Special Duties and Inter-governmental Relations
– Hon. Sokunle Hakeem
29 Local Government and Community Affairs – Hon. Kazeem Alimi