Documentary: One killed in battle to save Makoko

The Residents of the Makoko/Iwaya waterfront in Yaba Local Council Development Areas (LCDA), on Monday stormed the office of the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola to protest the demolition of their shanties.

The protesters, who were conveyed to the secretariat by commercial buses, brandished placards, with inscriptions such as: ‘Shelter is our right’, ‘Lagos State Government, respect our privacy and right’, ‘Leave Makoko residents alone’, ‘respect us as citizens of Lagos’, and ‘We are not foreigners’, among others.

Watch video below for full report:

New penalties for traffic offenders in Lagos

The Lagos State House of Assembly have passed a bill to regulate road usage in the state.

The bill which is aimed at regulating vehicle movement and placing strict sanctions on any vehicle that disobeys the law.

1.Riding a motor-cycle against traffic

2. Riding on the kerb, median or road setbacks

(Penalty) 1st time offender – N20,000.00 subsequent offender N30,000.00 or the riders motor-cycle will be impounded
3.One way driving.

(Penalty) 3year jail term after psychiatric examination
4. Smoking while driving

(Penalty) N20,000.00 fine

5. Failure to give way to traffic on the left at a roundabout
(Penalty) N20,000.00 fine

6. Disobeying traffic control
(Penalty) N20,000.00

7.Violation of route by commercial vehicles
(Penalty) N20, 000.00 fine.

8. Riding motor-cycle without crash helmet for rider and passenger
(Penalty) N20, 000: 00 or 3years imprisonment or both.

9. Under aged person, under 18yrs old riding a motorcycle
(Penalty) N20,000.00.

10. Driving without valid driver’s license.

(Penalty) Vehicle to be impounded.

11. Learner driver without permit
(Penalty) N20,000.00.

12. Driving with fake number plate
(Penalty) 1st offender N20,000.00 and 6 month imprisonment or both.

Third Mainland Bridge will not be closed during repairs – Fashola

The Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola on Monday said that contrary to what has been reported, the Third Mainland Bridge will not be shut down from July but that diversions will take place depending on what sections of the road will be worked upon.

He urged residents of the State not to entertain any needless fear about the impending repair works on the Third Mainland Bridge, saying it is all about proper management of the situation.

Mr Fashola who spoke in an interview with State House Correspondents at Lagos House, Ikeja said that it is a process which has taken place before and when it took place the people went through it and it was managed successfully even though there were some traffic.

“Let us remember that we have done this before. Two years ago four joints were fixed and I think we managed the traffic by communicating with our people. So, contrary to what has been reported, it is not a total closure but a partial closure.

“But let us contextualize it; we are better off today than we were when we did it, at that time we diverted traffic mainly to Funsho Williams, Western Avenue, Ikorodu Road and also Murtala Mohammed Way and through Carter Bridge into Lagos Island and out. Remember that at the time this happened we were constructing those two roads. Now they have been finished.

“So in terms of roads infrastructure, we are better off now than when we first undertook the repairs and managed it successfully, so it should be less painful. We have also agreed with the Federal Ministry of Works and chosen this period so that we will utilize the time the students are on vacation”.

The governor reiterated that the repair works will start hopefully on July 1st but that much of the work will deepen during the period when the school pupils are expected to be on holidays and that the traffic impact is expected to reduce.

He added that the work will continue till after the school children resume but that government is targeting “that before the end of year rush and traffic starts mounting by October to November, we would have finished so that people will have a pleasurable and comfortable drive on that bridge in and out of Lagos”.

Mr Fashola said the road will also save the residents the wear and tear on their suspension and shock absorber, adding that it is in their own interest for it to be repaired and that they should not panic.

He said that State has a Radio station dedicated to traffic issues. He said that when the Third Mainland Bridge first underwent repairs, there was no Traffic Radio in the state which is now available to enable information and movement to be communicated regularly.

The Governor also reiterated the need for efficient management of roads as a resource noting that part of the question which the people should be asking themselves now is if they have to be on the road, stating that such pertinent question should be asked especially during rush hours in the morning when people are heading to Lagos Island, is it necessary to be on the road at that time?

He stressed that if there is no compelling reason to be on the road, one can make a telephone call, send an SMS, or use a Blackberry to chat as these constitute some of the traffic management strategies that can be utilized within the few weeks that the repairs would last.

The Governor who also spoke on media reports about the announcement of the closure of the Third Mainland Bridge for repairs by an agency of the Federal Government like the Federal Road Safety Corps said the Constitution clearly spells out what responsibilities each tier of government handles, adding: “We cannot continue this desperate encroachment of territories”.

He said whilst the responsibility for managing the Third Mainland Bridge and maintenance is that of the Federal Government, that of managing traffic on it belongs to the State.

The traffic management responsibility belongs to the state, a bridge that crosses a Lagoon within the territory of a state lies within its municipal control for traffic.

“A trunk road by definition is a road that connects two states like Lagos Ibadan Expressway. That is where the Federal Roads Safety Corps (FRSC) should be, not within the territory of the municipality of a State. It is this desperate encroachment of territories that might be responsible for the inaccurate information”.

He said it is the expansion joints which are eight in number that is about to be fixed on the Third Mainland Bridge.

“Contrary to what has been reported, it is not a total closure but a partial closure where diversions will take place depending on what sections of the road will be worked upon. The Honourable Commissioner for Works, Transportation and Special Adviser on Works will brief you in details most probably by Wednesday about where the diversions will be and what to expect”, Mr Fashola said.

Justice Akande retires as Chief Judge of Lagos State

Justice Inumidun Enitan Akande has officially bowed out as Chief Judge of Lagos state having attained the statutory retirement age of 65.

At a ceremony to mark her 1004 days in office, and retirement from the judiciary, Justice Akande reiterated the need to move the judiciary forward through the strengthening and sustenance of the independence of the judiciary.

She would be succeeded by Justice Ayotunde Phillips as the lawmakers nodded to the selection of Justice Ayotunde Phillips as a good choice, promising her of their support.

They urged her to fast track the dispensation of justice and also address the congestion of prisons in the state. Justice Phillips had worked with the state Development and Property Corporation as the Company Secretary before she was transferred to the Ministry of Justice in 1989.

She had worked in the Judiciary Service Commission for 18 years.

The Lagos State Chief Judge, Akande said that she made positive strides to improve the judiciary during her tenure.

She said: “Bowing out of office, I am no doubt convinced that we have, within the period, creditably discharged our functions and laid solid foundations for succeeding administrations”.

Akande said that restoring the glory and dignity of the judiciary was one of her major achievements in office.

Fashola says he has no power to recall sacked doctors

The Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola on Wednesday said that he does not possess the powers under the law to overturn the dismissal of the 788 medical doctors recently sacked for allegedly embarking on illegal strike action.

Mr Fashola, who spoke on a live state-wide televised panel discussion with the editors of THISDAY Newspapers, the SUN Newspapers, and the Producer of InsideOut Talk Show, Aderoju Adepoju, said the dismissal of the doctors was not his making and that he lacked the power and right as the state governor to either sack or employ doctors.

“I cannot reverse the sack. It is not in my powers to do so. I will not be able to do just as I cannot affect their promotion. It is the Health Service Commission (HSC) that will promote them. I will not be here after three years,” he said.

The panel’s discussion, which was aired on Lagos Television, was organised to mark Mr Fashola’s fifth anniversary.

The governor confirmed that 34 of the 788 dismissed medical personnel had been reabsorbed having appealed to the HSC and Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), both of which he described as their employers.

“So, it is not about me. It is about institutions. I have made efforts to ensure a final resolution to the prolonged strike hence the recall of the 34 doctors. But the affected doctors have to appeal.

“Anyone who appeals should be recalled, but they have to take the step. Let them go to their employers and resolve the issue. Any doctor who still wants to remain can have their jobs back and engage with their employers,” he said.

Mr Fashola said that the Health Commission is the body responsible for determining the fate of the doctors in the state.
He urged the sacked doctors to appeal to the commission over their dismissal.

Responding to questions on whether the state government breached the agreement with the doctors, Mr Fashola said the state government had overstressed beyond its capacity to ensure the doctors were comfortable due to the important service they provide.

Newly-employed Lagos doctors must reject their appointments – NMA

 The new doctors employed by the state government, have been ordered, by the Lagos State Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association, Dr. Edamisan Temiye,  to reject their appointments.

In a statement  on Wednesday, the Chairman accused the new doctors of undercutting their colleagues in dispute with the state government, an offence which he said was punishable under the Medical and Dental Council Act of Nigeria.

According to him,  the association would be presenting the matter before the investigation panel of the council for appropriate sanctions against the doctors.

NMA stated,  “We wish to warn all doctors that no one should doubt the association’s resolve to pursue this matter to a logical conclusion.”

Also, the Chairman of the Medical Guild, Dr. Olumuyiwa Odusote, in a statement accused the state government of stalling ongoing mediation by the Nigerian Bar Association committee aimed at brokering peace between both parties.  According to him, the doctors have written a letter of appeal to the Health Service Commission and also answered the queries which preceeded their dismissal…”Embarking on indefinite strike is a selfish act, but sacking 788 doctors is also not the solution, it is sad when the government system is shut down, especially when the hope of many people is in government hospitals.”

Sacked doctors: Court to rule on its power to hear case on Thursday

The National Industrial Court, sitting in Lagos will on Thursday decide whether it has jurisdiction to hear the case instituted against the Lagos State Government by the 788 medical doctors whose appointment were recently terminated.

Presiding justice Benedict Kanyip fixed the date after counsel to the two parties argued a preliminary objection filed by the State Government challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter.

The doctors in the suit instituted by both the Chairman of the Medical Guild, Olumuyiwa Odusote and the General Secretary, Idris Durojaiye, for themselves and on behalf of other members of the Guild had asked the court to void the identical dismissal letters issued to them by the government.

While arguing the objection, the Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Ade Ipaye, formulated two issues for the determination of the court.

He wants the court to strike out the suit on the ground that it was brought on behalf of the Medical Guild, an entity which is not a legal entity.

Mr Ipaye had also argued that the suit cannot be sustained by the Chairman and Secretary of the Medical Guild suing for themselves and on behalf of the Guild which is not a registered trade union.

He said for the doctors to sustain the action, it is essential that they show the contract that they are relying on to the court.

The Justice Commissioner also argued that the statement of claims of the claimants disclose no reasonable cause of action as it is predicated on an agreement purportedly reached between the defendants and the claimants on the full implementation of the Consolidated Medical Salary Scale(CONMESS).

He further declared that the claimants are not employees of the Federal Civil Service and as such cannot benefit from the CONMESS as approved by the Federal Government and that the state government had no agreement with the medical doctors to implement CONMESS upon which the reliefs sought by the claimants can be based.

In his response, counsel to the sacked doctors, Bamidele Aturu, alleged that that the application to challenge the jurisdiction of the court on these grounds is a technical move.

While admitting that the Medical Guild is not an incorporated association, he observed that it was allowed by the law to sue in a representative capacity.

Mr Aturu also stressed that, “where there has been a cause of dealings between an un-incorporated association and a party on employment issues and wage related matters, the party cannot resign from recognising such an un-incorporated body for the purposes of claims before a court of competent jurisdiction”.

Sacked doctors in Lagos ask court to void dismissal letters

Protesters for and against the sack of some Lagos state doctors on Tuesday stormed the National Industrial Court sitting in Lagos.

Recent protest by doctors.

While they were demonstrating outside the court gates, the 788 sacked doctors were asking Justice Benedict Kanyip to void the dismissal letters issued to them.

The suit was instituted by both the Chairman of the Medical Guild, Olumuyiwa Odusote and the General Secretary, Idris Durojaiye, for themselves and on behalf of other members of the Guild.

Joined as defendants in the suit, were the Lagos State Government, the Lagos state Commissioner for Health, the Lagos State Health Service Commission and the State University Teaching Hospital Management Board.

In an application filed by their counsel, Bamidele Aturu, the doctors are equally seeking for “an order of injunction restraining the defendants from ejecting or continuing with the ejection from staff quarters of members of the medical guild and doctors who took part in the 3-day warning strike declared by the medical guild between the 11th and the 13th of April, 2012, as a result of the failure of the defendants to fully implement the agreement reached by the medical guild and the defendants”.

According to the doctors, the decision of the defendants on the issue is in violent violation and sabotage of the rule of law and utter disrespect for the dignity of the court.

The application could however not be argued by the applicants’ lawyer, Mr Aturu, as the state government is yet to file its counter-affidavit.

The Attorney-General of Lagos State, Ade Ipaye, told the court that he got the application on Tuesday. He however said that the government will be opposing the motion.

Responding to the issue raised by Mr Aturu concerning the forceful eviction of the sacked doctors by the Lagos State Government, Mr Ipaye said he is ready to give an undertaking that no one will be ejected until the matter is disposed of.

Justice Kanyip while adjourning the matter to the 22nd of May, for the hearing of the application further urged parties to seek for an amicable resolution of the matter in line with the provision of Section 20 of the National Industrial Court Act, 2006.

He declared that the court will accept the undertaking by the Attorney General as to the eviction of the doctors & grant an accelerated hearing of the matter.

Falana says Lagos govt sack of doctors cannot stand

Human Right lawyer, Femi Falana on Friday said that the sacking of 788 medical doctors by the Lagos State government is illegal and cannot stand.

The renowned lawyer disclosed this while speaking as a guest in Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.

“That can’t stand, it wouldn’t stand,” Mr Falana said.

He said the Lagos State governor, as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) knows that the sacking of the doctors cannot stand.

Mr Falana said since the Lagos state government has always taken the Federal government to court for violating the rule of law with matter pertaining to Local government fund, creation of local government, town planning law in the state and the extension of tenure of Local government, it will be mindful of violating the rule of law with regards to sacking the doctors.

The Lagos state government had on Monday dismissed 788 medicals doctors in the Lagos State public service over their persistence with an ‘illegal strike’, and refusal to answer a query over a warning strike.

The state government also announced the employment of 373 doctors for immediate deployment in the public hospitals while recruitment continues.
The doctors’ dismissal was authorised by the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) Board and the State’s Health Service Commission (HSC), following an illegal strike embarked upon by the doctors since April 16, 2012.

Lagos state government issues quit notice to sacked doctors

The Lagos State Government on Thursday issued eviction notice to the recently sacked doctors who are still living in official quarters.

Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola

The eviction notices directed the doctors to vacate the quarters by Friday (Today).

The notices dated May 8, 2012, were signed by the Secretary of the Staff Housing Board for the Head of Service, I.A Shoyemi.

Each of the notices read: “Consequent upon your dismissal from the service of the Lagos State Government with effect from 4th May, 2012, and in accordance with the civil service rule, no officer shall continue to occupy the state government quarters after the date of his or her resignation/dismissal.

“I wish to request you to vacate the state government staff quarters.

The notices also directed the doctors to submit the keys to their quarters to Mr Shoyemi to “forestall forceful eviction.”

Reacting to the development, the first Vice Chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Lagos state chapter, Johnson Emene said that the association have told its members “not to panic.”

Speaking at the association’s congress at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Mr Emene said “You know Lagos State passed the Tenancy Law and with that it is in favour of the tenant, in this case our colleagues are tenants and Lagos State is the landlord.”

“As we said during the first meeting, we said members should not panic. Information will come out that seems as if the world would end.

“So they have given us till tomorrow. We are meeting. 10 a.m. tomorrow. The (NMA) president is meeting with the governor. Within the next 13 hours, we are going to know the outcome, so don’t let us rush.”

Section 12 of the Lagos Tenancy Law signed into law in August last year by the state governor, Babatunde Fashola, stipulates the period of notice to be given by either party to determine the tenancy.

One week notice for a tenant at will; one month notice for a monthly tenant; three months’ notice to a quarterly tenant; and six months’ notice for a yearly tenant.

However, the law states that in the case of a tenancy for a fixed term, no notice to quit shall be required once the tenancy has been determined by effluxion time.

And where the landlord intends to proceed to court to recover possession, he shall serve a seven-day written notice of his intention to apply to recover possession, according to the law.

Fashola issues quit notice to squatters under bridges

The Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola on Monday issued a quit notice to all squatters under bridges and fly-overs in Lagos state.

A similar warning was also given to drivers of tankers and other articulated vehicles parked on roads in the state.

The special adviser to the state government, Hakeem Bello, in a signed statement disclosed that the measure was being put in place to restore Law and order in Lagos.

“Spaces under and around the bridges are reserved to service the bridges…They are not residence for miscreants and those who have no place to live” the governor warned.

Describing the fresh drive as a joint effort between the government and all the security agencies to enforce Law and Order, Governor Fashola stated that “You have seen from Ijora, right through to Apapa to Mile 2 and Amuwo Odofin. You see the impact of the activities of tank farm owners, Port concessionaires, tanker drivers and trailer drivers, all in the name of doing business. But in doing business, they have hurt order businesses…You now see them berthing on the roads, parking their trailers there, defecating on the roads that cannot work. That is a violation of our environmental laws; that is a violation of our traffic laws and we will not lie down and let this happen”.

According to him, “we can do business, but if we do it within the precincts of Law and Order, it will prosper more, many more people will benefit. It is of no use if I have a tank farm and all the trucks which service my tank farm block the roads and then shut down the productive energy of a whole State. That is not good business because you, as a tank farmer may employ one or two thousand people but you deprive two million people from getting to work; or because your container overturns, it kills a whole family, have we really gained?

Area boys get training school in Lagos

A vocational center, Lagos State School Leavers Modern Apprenticeship, has been inaugurated by the Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola for street urchins, popularly known as Area boys in a bid to get them off the streets.

The center which was inaugurated on Tuesday is expected to not only provide a base for young school leavers to acquire vocational skills but also provide a base for the urchins to be trained without fee.

At the inauguration of the center, Mr Fashola noted that most of the urchins dropped out of school and did not have good parental care.

According to him,  the situation the urchins found themselves forced them into taking drugs and other vices, adding that “these youth if trained could be very useful members of the society. That is why we feel it is imperative to train these miscreants.”

He explained that this scheme and amongst many others are responsible for the fall in crime in the state. “This is what we have been doing to secure the state from crime. Before 2001, you could not walk on the streets of Lagos without being molested by these miscreants. We have about 17 other skill acquisition centers to arrest the situation and prevent crimes.” he said