Lagos Open Parliament 3: ‘The Change We See’ -Review

The Book “Lagos Open Parliament 3” is a product of one year of painstaking research and investigation incorporating the application of scientific research instruments and the analysis of research outcomes.

This commendable mission undertaken by the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) is the focus of our review.  CACOL is a coalition of human rights advocacy/civil society organisations whose main agenda is the Campaign Against Corruption and Corrupt Leaders in Nigeria.

The project tagged “Lagos Open Parliament” is a strategic component of its anti-corruption crusade aimed at monitoring government policies, projects and programmes with a view to assessing government performance in Lagos State as its own contribution to the promotion of accountability and good governance.  It is also targeted at strengthening the interface between government and civil society.  This is the third in the series of such efforts by CACOL since the idea was midwived in 2013.

The book “Lagos Open Parliament 3” is a compendium of the records of CACOL’s findings on the performance of the Lagos State government under the leadership of Governor Akinwumi Ambode in all sectors of governance since May 29, 2015; the reports by the nation’s major newspapers on the activities and programmes of the government as well as the graphic and pictorial illustrations of such findings.  These illustrations lend credence to the depth of its investigations and the credibility of its research outcomes.  CACOL by its own admission focussed its attention on education, security, health, road construction/rehabilitation and the administration of law and order.

The book divided into eight chapters chronicles the performance of the Akinwumi Ambode-led administration in Lagos State from inception on May 29, 2015 up till May 28, 2016.

It highlights the positive changes that the administration has introduced into the different sectors of governance within a period of 12 months.  CACOL in the book’s preface explained that its report often goes through three stages of exploration, validation and public presentation.  This further underscores the rigorous investigative procedure adopted by Coalition.


Chapter One of the book highlights the positive impacts that the Ambode administration has made in the areas of road construction/rehabilitation, infrastructure upgrade, guarantee of public safety and security, improvement in transportation, health care delivery, education, agriculture, housing delivery, etc.

The Chapter outlines in detail the specific roads that have been rehabilitated especially through its “Operation 114” where each of the 57 Local governments and  LCDAs in Lagos rehabilitated two roads within its own jurisdiction.

This “Operation”, coupled with another “Operation fix all roads”, has given a remarkable face-lift to the state of road networks in Lagos metropolis.  Although, it cannot be said that all Lagos roads have been satisfactorily fixed, a sustenance of current efforts will bring about noticeable transformation to the condition of roads in the state.

Roads such as the one from Mile 12 to Ikorodu, Ijegun-Isheri Osun-Isolo, Ipakodo to Ijede, Lagos-Badagry and roads within Apapa Business district, etc have all experienced a major facelift.

This added to the planned construction of a 4th Mainland bridge as well as several pedestrian bridges gave the Ambode administration high marks in the area of road construction/rehabilitation.  Other projects like slip roads, lay-bys and pedestrian bridges now adorn the metropolis as part of what may soon become the Ambodean legacy.

CACOL further highlighted the infrastructural upgrade that Lagos State-owned health facilities such as Ayinke house have experienced resulting in a marked improvement in the health care delivery system of the State.  More mobile intensive care unit ambulances were bought for State-owned hospitals and more medical and paramedical staff were recruited for those hospitals.

The government purchased more BRT buses to ease transportation problems in Lagos while adopting well thought out strategies to address traffic grid-lock in many parts of the State.

In Education, CACOL documents the infrastructural changes that have been recorded in many State-owned higher institutions as well as the rehabilitation of schools, construction of new classrooms, provision of furniture and employment of over 1,300 teachers.  All of these measures have brought a new lease of life to educational institutions across Lagos State.  Governing Boards of Higher Institutions were promptly constituted and peace seemed to have returned to these institutions that were hitherto perennially turbulent.

The achievements in the area of agriculture and housing are no less significant.  Security is one area in which the Ambode-led administration is believed by CACOL to have scored high marks with the purchase of more up-to-date equipment for the security agencies to enhance their mobility and efficiency.  In the opinion of CACOL, Lagosians under the current administration appear a lot safer than they have ever been.

However, it is not yet uhuru for security in Lagos as the State still experiences cases of kidnap and occasional robberies.  The Badoo’ phenomenon in Ibeshe where women and children are serially raped or murdered remains a malignant tumour that needs excision.  More will still need to be done for Lagosians to be able to sleep with their two eyes closed.


Chapter Two reproduces the press Conference addressed by Comrade Debo Adeniran, Executive Chairman of CACOL at the Exploratory Conference of the Lagos Open Parliament – 3 Project.

The address reiterates the objectives of the LOP project and summaries some of the achievement of the Ambode administration in Lagos while expressing objection to some other policies of the government that it believes will make life more difficult for the already pauperised citizenry of the State.  Such policies believed to be counterproductive include “the illogical move to enforce a ban on street trading” and the move to tax the poor and under-employed.

The Executive Chairman further condemned the appointment of Sole Administrators for Lagos Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs).  He concluded that the action is not only undemocratic but unconstitutional.

The Chapter also contains the presentations made at the exploratory conference by Dr. Niran Malaolu and Mr. Awosika (representing the Lagos State Information Commissioner)  Dr. Malaolu identified the lack of understanding of the concept of change by the nation’s leaders as one of the factors responsible for Nigerian’s underdevelopment.  In his view, there is a pervasive mistaken notion that change is an event rather than a process.  He called for a restructuring of the country in order to make the desired change possible since the present structure of the nation is antithetical to either change or transformation.

He commended Governor Akinwumi Ambode for doing reasonably well since he mounted the saddle in Lagos State.

Mr. Awosika in his comments restated the positive contributions that the Ambode-led administration has made in the areas of healthcare, rule of law, transportation, infrastructural development, employment and job creation, education, security, food security, tourism and environment.

He catalogued the creation of new Ministries, the streamlining in the cost of governance, Operation Light-up Lagos, Lagos rail project, Lekki Free Trade Zone, adoption of e-governance, establishment of an employment trust fund (with a target of N25billion), the proposed fourth mainland bridge and skill acquisition projects as revolutionary policies/projects that will in no time transform Lagos to a true mega city.


Chapters 3 & 4 contain newspaper reports on the innovative projects and programmes that the Lagos State government has implemented within the 12 months that the research covered.  These reports further affirm the veracity and credibility of CACOL’s findings.

It is noteworthy that the reports showed clearly that the administration in Lagos State is a thinking one, no wonder it is in today’s Nigeria, the numero uno among all the States of the federation.

It promulgated a “Property Protection Law” to save property owners from harassment and intimidation by “Omo-oniles” and backed this up with the establishment of a task force.

The “Operation Clean-up Lagos” is another important step taken to rid Lagos of abandoned property, unapproved mechanic workshops, illegal kiosks and roadside beer parlours and other unwholesome environmental practices that are hazardous to living.  The Ambode administration has also taken steps to intensify the campaign against domestic and sexual violence in Lagos State.


Chapter Five gives a comprehensive and graphic analysis of the data gathered by CACOL’s researchers and gives us an insight into the content and nature of the research survey it carried out in each of the 20 Local government Areas in Lagos State.

The Chapter also presents numerous pictorial evidences of the projects initiated and completed by the Ambode-led administration during the period under review.


Chapter Six contains more newspaper cuttings where reports about the activities of the Lagos State government were published.  These reports contained in the clips are not significantly different from those that appeared in Chapters Three and Four.  It is my humble opinion that this repetition is unnecessary and apart from increasing the volume of the publication, it adds very little value to the content.  If that chapter is deleted, the book would not have lost anything.

The inclusion of the Chapter practically created printing problems as the press clips within the same chapter got reproduced in numerous pages for example the contents of pages 210 – 215 were reproduced after page 222 and re-numbered pages 210 – 215 all over again.


Chapter Seven presents the Press Conference on the “State of the nation” addressed by CACOL’s executive Chairman, Comrade Debo Adeniran on June 29, 2016.  In the address, he lamented the failure of the APC-led Federal Government to live up to the promises it made during the electioneering period in 2015.  He criticised the administration for its tardiness, seeming ineptitude and obvious lack of answers to the nation’s numerous problems.

I fail to see why the editor included the Press Conference in a book that is designed to assess the performance of the Lagos State Government under Mr. Akinwumi Ambode.

The inclusion created its own problems even though the Chapter included other press releases targeted at policies of the Lagos State government earlier criticised by CACOL.  For instance, portions of the releases were repeated in some pages within the same chapter.  Some of the contents of pages 252 – 253 were reproduced verbatim on pages 255 – 256.


Chapter Eight details the conclusions and recommendations that emerged from the LOP3 process.  It re-emphasized CACOL’s earlier findings such as the ban on street trading and imposition of taxes on the under-employed.

It further recommends a process led budgeting system that should be more participatory and inclusive, rather than the incremental envelope system that we are used to.


It called on the State government to allow full democratisation of governance at the Local government level as any other option will remain unconstitutional and illegal.  CACOL urges government to address the problem of multiple taxation in the State while also stressing the need for the State to fully embrace the TSA policy to curb corruption and raise the State’s revenue profile.


It advised that, Lagos can only became a mega city if it expedites action on its rail project and improve on its water transportation system.  The book also advocates for a stronger and more robust interface between the State government and civil society organisations.


The book “Lagos Open Parliament – 3” is a good book which throws a big challenge to other State governments to subject their activities to critical scrutiny in conformity with the principles of transparency and accountability.

I commend CACOL for this bold effort which has definitely sealed its position as the leading non-governmental anti-corruption organisation in Nigeria.  It takes courage, determination, commitment and intellectual clarity to be able to painstakingly document and critique a state government’s performance within the first year of the administration’s tenure, the way it has done.  The book is lucid, readable and aesthetically appealing.


There are a few errors in the work which I hope will be corrected in subsequent editions.  The pagination is highly inaccurate and confusing.  For example P. 91 comes immediately after P. 82. P. 87 comes after P. 94 while P.95 comes after P. 90.  P. 83 comes immediately after page 78.


This has led to some omissions resulting in merging together of unrelated information which unless care is taken will lead the readers confused.  The report titled “FCMB, Lagos to boost job Creation” which started on P. 86 was completed after P. 94.


I thank you for your attention.


Reviewed By:Prof. Tunde Babawale

Department of Political Science

University of Lagos



The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL, has lauded the Federal Government for sending a bill for the establishment of special crimes courts to focus on cases of corruption, narcotics, terrorism, human trafficking, kidnapping etc. The bill was previously sent by Prof. Itse Sagay, led Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC to the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami for onward transmission to the National Assembly.
The Executive Chairman of CACOL, Mr. Debo Adeniran, in reacting to the development said, “the country really need special anti-corruption courts to the speed-up judicial processes in corruption cases and other related offences.”
“CACOL have consistently advocated for reforms in the judicial system including the creation of Special courts for corruption cases to facilitate the enabling environment for the successful prosecution of the anti-corruption war. Several cogent reasons abound for the inevitable need for Special courts for corruption cases and some reforms in our laws.”
“As a matter of fact, since the kitchen became hotter for corruption criminals based on the ongoing war against corruption, corrupt elements are fighting back using every means available including lapses in our laws to evade justice. The plethora of corruption cases that the ongoing anti-corruption drive has thrown up calls for reforms in the existing judicial system to ensure that the efforts to rid Nigeria of sharp practices bears fruits.” Mr. Adeniran continued.
 “It is a good thing that the AGF have now submitted the bill to NASS for consideration and passage; it is the way forward in the fight against corruption. We call on the NASS to expeditiously pass the bills in the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians. The National Assembly should not hesitate in taking actions that will translate the bill into Act of Law if they are really sincere and on the same page with majority of Nigerians on the need to expunge corruption from our system holistically.”
“As corruption fights backs viciously, the logical response is to; lawfully remove all the encumbrances on the path of the anti-corruption drive which corruption criminals cleverly use to wriggle through the labyrinths of the existing judicial system to escape justice.
 “We therefore welcome and commend the Federal government on its initiatives and the proactive steps being taken to achieve the establishment of Special Courts, just as we call on all the Arms of the Federal Government to work in unison to fight corruption, a scourge that have encroached our country for too long and threatening to obliterate it.” Mr. Adeniran concluded.
Wale Salami
Media Coordinator, CACOL
December 7, 2016
For more press releases and statements, please visit our website at


The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL, has called for fresh trial of former Governor of Delta State, Chief James Ononefe Ibori, by the Federal Government as soon as he returns to Nigeria after serving out his jail term in the United Kingdom. It would be recalled that Ibori was charged with 171-count charges, including that of attempt to bribe the former Chairman of EFCC with $15million which he was not made to plead to before he was discharged by Justice Marcel Awokhulehin at the Asaba Division of the Federal High Court shortly after he left office as Delta State Governor in 2011. He was later imprisoned for money laundering in the United Kingdom.

Reacting, the Executive Chairman of CACOL, Mr. Debo Adeniran, said, “ Convict James Ibori was accused of several sharp practices during his tenure as the Governor of Delta State several of which are yet to be leveled against him. The prison term he served at the United Kingdom that he is about completing was for different offence he committed against the law over there, which is of different jurisdiction to that of Nigeria. His alleged crimes in Nigeria have to do with looting, stealing, misappropriation, misapplication and illegal transfer of money and other state properties to himself and cronies. These are different from the several money laundering charges he faced in the UK.
Our argument is hinged on the fact that if Ibori didn’t steal in Nigeria where else could he have secured the humongous amount of money he transferred in foreign currency to the UK by himself, his wife, his concubine, his consultants etc? The mere fact that the Central Bank of Nigeria confirmed that the attempted bribe of $15million was with it confirms that James Ibori has a case to answer! It is noteworthy that all of the aforementioned close associates were convicted for money laundering on behalf of their principal. This happened even before Ibori was extradited to the UK from Dubai the United Arab Emirates where he ran to when the long arm of the Nigerian law was catching in on him for fresh charges, even after the former Justice Awokhulehin had discharged (but not acquitted) him for the 171-count charge at the Asaba FHC.
His Uk conviction was for the money laundering offences after Ibori voluntarily pleaded guilty to the crimes after reaching the end of his mischievous wits and the UK legal officers confronted him with the implications on them and him of being stubborn on lies! He therefore must be brought back to Nigeria to face charges on some fresh crimes he has been found to have committed in Nigeria which he is required to be tried for.”
“The Nigerian Government has the right to prosecute any suspected corruption criminal, so, Ibori case cannot be exceptional; a lot of allegations have been raised against him that cannot just be over looked just because he was earlier convicted for offending the laws of the United Kingdom. Nigeria Judiciary is quite different from the UK Judiciary, and the allegations are also different. Convict Ibori should therefore be tried for all the corruption crimes that has been laid against him here in Nigeria as soon has he returns from the UK prison.” said Mr. Adeniran.
“We also call on the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and every other anti-corruption agencies to do their jobs diligently and provide the evidence, witness and proof to all the charges that are to be leveled against Ibori so that he can serve as deterrent to those who consider themselves ‘sacred cows’ that are still in the Government who believed that they can get away with the state resources under their watch and nothing will happen to them.” Adeniran concluded.
Rabiu Abiodun
Media Assistant, CACOL
December 6, 2016
For more press releases and statements, please visit our website at


The Federal Government of Nigeria has declared that it is set to prosecute officials of revenue generating agencies indicted in an audit report disclosing that N450bn was not remitted to the Consolidated Revenue Fund Account.
Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, revealed that the report of the special audit carried out on 33 revenue generating agencies showed serious infractions in some of the agencies. The Minister, according to media reports, also claimed that N450bn was recoverable from the agencies as unremitted funds for 2010 to 2015 fiscal period.
Stemming from this development, the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL, has called for judicial actions to be taken against those found culpable whilst urging that the case should not be taken with levity. The Executive Chairman of CACOL, Mr. Debo Adeniran stated that it’s a manifestation of the state of decadence in the public institutions and agencies, while also calling for the law to run its full-course.”
He said, “It is a heart-rending reality that corruption has set its roots in every institution in the country. It is even more worrisome that the virus called ‘corruption’ has been allowed to fester for too long and now seems to overwhelm the country as a whole.”
Some of the agencies are the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Shippers’ Council, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, National Health Insurance Scheme, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and Nigerian Communication Commission.
Adeniran called on the President to show commitment to the people especially in the fight against corruption, he said, “this development goes further to show how deeply seated the cankerworm has eaten into the fabric of every facet of our body polity. It’s so deep seated that no arm of government or institution is extricable from the corrupt practices. The revelation of the 450bn naira buttresses CACOL’s position that civil service is soaked in institutionalized corruption.”
“It is public knowledge that corruption is almost institutionalized in the Civil Service to the extent that Civil Servants are euphemistically described as ‘Evil Servants’, emanating from the experience of most Nigerians or foreigners that have had one thing or the other to do with the Civil servants and the Civil Service. Nigerians have quietly endured this situation for too long. And we know the 33 agencies involved in this case is just ‘a tip of the iceberg’, if the investigations, probes, prosecution are continued with the necessary vigour, many more ‘cans of worms’ will be opened.”
Adeniran averred that, “It is not enough to announce to the public that N450bn was not remitted to the Federal Government from 2010 to 2015, we expect actions to be taken against those who failed to stick to operational guidelines and convictions against those found to be culpable. The scope of the auditing should be widened in spread; the FG must immediately involve the EFCC, ICPC and other relevant agencies and sustain the ongoing effort with a view of fishing out the culprits to face justice.”
Wale Salami
Media Coordinator, CACOL
December 2, 2016
For more press releases and statements, please visit our website at


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has begun the arraignment of electoral officials who received bribes from the $115m allegedly disbursed by Diezani-Madueke, a former Minister of Petroleum Resources.
According to news reports, the commission is set to charge over 100 electoral officials for purportedly receiving monies under investigation from the former minister during the countdown to the 2015 general elections. The acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu and the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu would be meeting in Abuja to finalize the charges that would be filed against the suspects.
In reacting to the trial, the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL have asserted that electoral crimes serve as precursors for corruption in the governance. The Executive Chairman of the Coalition, Mr. Debo Adeniran commented on the happenings saying, “from these reports, it can be easily deduced that Nigeria’s democracy is regularly put up for auction to the highest bidder.”
He added that, “any electoral official that perpetrates political corruption, which usually leads to the throwing up corrupt government are culpable in the helping looters to the corridors of power. They easily put up the mandate of the people up for sale. For years, Nigerians have remained victims of bad leadership which has a strong linkage to failures and corrupt practices perpetrated by electoral officials mostly during elections.”
”We commend the EFCC for not leaving any stone unturned in their investigations while also calling for the prosecution of Diezani-Madueke, and every other electoral official that took the bribe. In the same vein, we are urging the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to begin a review of the electoral commission in order to come up with ingenious protocols to forestall or eradicate any corrupt tendencies in subsequent elections. If we do not cleanse our government and electoral process from corrupt elements then our government would inevitably become a den for thieves.”
He concluded stating that, “the anti-graft agency and the electoral commission should continue to publish the names of all officials who received bribes so that Nigerians can continue to identify them as the dishonest lots who sold the peoples’ mandate to the highest bidder. We call on the government to cleanse the electoral system to forestall corruption in governance.”
Wale Salami
Media Coordinator, CACOL
December 1, 2016
For more press releases and statements, please visit our website at


The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL, has said that the Senate has no good reason for delaying Mr. Ibrahim Magu’s confirmation as the substantive Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The Executive Chairman of CACOL, Mr. Debo Adeniran, said, “in his role as Acting Chairman of EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu has been bold in confronting economic and financial crimes regardless of whose ox is gored. The only logical reason the Senate is delaying the confirmation, is perhaps, the reality that many members have one corruption case or the other to contend with, including the Senate President himself. They know that he will not give in to their antics of bribery and corruption.”
“Magu has been appointed as acting the Chairman of the EFCC since November 11, 2015, and he has been working ardently to expose much of the sleaze and noxious acts associated with the law makers. All the sharp practices that had been perpetrated in the past by the past administration, Senate and other members are being uncovered on a daily bases, and they assume he is over stepping his boundary. As such, the law makers see Magu as a threat, because there are lots of skeletons in their cupboard.” Mr. Adeniran averred.
“Majority of those in the National Assembly are afraid of the EFCC boss, they went there to steal from the system. They have seen what Magu is doing. Left for them, they would have removed him and put someone they can control, who will not question their wrongdoings as the EFCC Chairman.”
“We know if the acting Chairman had been open to enticement and ready to ‘play ball’, he would have been confirmed by now, unfortunately for the corrupt-minded, he is a man of integrity, thus they resort all sorts of flimsy excuses while placing unnecessary obstacles on the path of Magu’s confirmation.” He added.
 “They may not confirm Magu because he is a no-nonsense man. Whether or not they do it, Magu will not relent in carrying out his duties, in as much as they don’t succeed in intimidating him, and they cannot successfully attack him even if they try, they will not be able to concretise their plan. They know that Magu is not someone that will fall for intimidation and he is ready to die for what he believes in. The Senate is just presenting itself as a bunch of people that only wants things that favour them.” Mr. Adeniran concluded.
Wale Salami
Media Coordinator, CACOL
November 30, 2016

CACOL calls on President Buhari to establish a precedent in anti-corruption fight as Obanikoro prepares to testify

According to news reports, Musiliu Obanikoro, a former Minister of State for Defence, has agreed to testify against Ayodele Fayose, the governor of Ekiti state and his aide, Mr. Abiodun Agbele.
This is following the ongoing investigations by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC on the Dasuki Gate totaling $2.1bn. From the investigations, Obanikoro admitted to receiving N4.7bn from Dasuki which he later distributed to Ayodele Fayose and Omisore, a former governor aspirant in Osun state.
The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL has been ardent with the development of this case and expects that this would lead to convictions of those involved in the corruption act. The Executive Chairman of CACOL, Mr. Debo Adeniran has described this heinous crime as unpardonable and challenges the Buhari administration to establish widely expected precedent in the fight against corruption.
He said, “The embattled governor should surely have his day in court in the light of these revelations. But what has become more glaring by the day is that monies were illegally disbursed and misappropriated. These monies ought to have been used to combat the insurgency in Northern Nigeria but were diverted into the coffers of unscrupulous politicians. This selfish act has caused so much loss of lives taken by violence that could have been managed or averted.”
“We expect an inimitable precedent to be established with these cases; whereby the long hands of the law will be seen to catch up with those who think themselves to be untouchable. It is quite unfortunate that there is still a section of the public who still perceive the anti-corruption fight of the current administration as ‘witch-hunt’ despite the numerous revelations made in the media by suspected corrupt persons.” Adeniran added.
The reports also suggest that Omisore and Obanikoro have been cooperative with the EFCC by giving them information and also returning stolen funds back to the government. However, the allegations made against Fayose’s aide are believed to be sufficient to convict both of them.
Adeniran continuing his statement averred that, “The revelations have also debunked statements made by former President Goodluck Jonathan claiming that no ‘arms deal’ money was missing. We are watching and anticipating with high expectations on how these stories would be concluding.”
Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti state is under immunity, but this does not prevent his investigation as a serving governor, and at the end of his tenure in 2018 it is expected that he would be called to defend himself against these set of allegations.
The anti-corruption crusader concluded by positing that “Nigerians have been taken for a ride for far too long. This is why we are urging the current Buhari administration to set a new precedent for things to be done differently by clamping down on all known corrupt persons who have plundered our commonwealth shamelessly and with impunity no matter how powerful, how influential or how crafty such persons may be.”
“We are following these reports, we are not ignorant and we would not relent in our efforts to keep demanding that the anti-graft agencies present to the public convictions from the numerous allegations and petitions that have made the news in the past year.” 
Chisnum Yenum
Acting Media Officer, CACOL
November 29, 2016
For more press releases and statements, please visit our website at