Obasa Re-Elected Unopposed As Lagos Assembly Speaker

Mudashiru Obasa

 

The immediate past Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly Mudashiru Obasa has been re-elected.

Obasa, who represents Agege constituency 1 was elected unopposed at the inauguration of the ninth assembly on Friday.

READ: Gov Fintiri Dissolves Political Appointments In Adamawa State

He was elected alongside Wasiu Sanni as Deputy Speaker respectively.

After taking the oath of office, Obasa announced the other principal officers who would lead the legislative business of the state.

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwoolu who was represented by his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat at the inauguration promised to work closely with the new lawmakers to deliver their promises to the people of the state.

Lagos To Issue 60 Bln Naira From Bond Programme

Nigeria-NairaThe Lagos State government has concluded plans to issue 60 billion naira this year out of a 500 billion naira bond programme to be issued over the next three to five years.

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, on Friday said the bond was approved by the Lagos State House of Assembly.

Lagos state had in April agreed to pay off holders of an outstanding 167.5 billion naira bond before maturity to cut its interest payments after a plunge in oil prices slashed government revenues.

The new bond, which the state plans to issue will be channelled to infrastructure projects, Governor Ambode said.

“The 60 billion naira bond approved for the current year would be used to accelerate the aggressive infrastructure development ongoing in the state,” he said in a statement.

Lagos is the first state to announce a bond issue since the country slipped into recession in the second quarter. It is also rare among Nigeria’s 36 states in generating around 70 percent of its revenue internally from taxes.

Most other states depend on their share of federal oil revenues.

“The financial arrangement of the state is such that bond programmes embarked upon are easily repayable through internally generated revenue,” Ambode said.

Court Dismisses Synagogue Engineers’ Bid To Evade Prosecution

Court Dismisses Synagogue Engineers’ Bid To Evade ProsecutionThe Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has dismissed the fundamental human rights enforcement suits filed by the engineers who constructed the collapsed six-story building at the Synagogue Church Of All Nations.

The collapse of the building, which occurred on September 12, 2014 in Ikotun area of Lagos State, Nigeria’s commercial city, led to the death of 116 persons in which most of them were foreigners.

Criminal Negligence

The Lagos State Government had promptly set up a Coroner’s Inquest to unravel what went wrong.

The Coroner Magistrate, Oyetade Komolafe, through a verdict delivered on August 7, 2015, indicted the engineers and the church and recommended them for investigation and prosecution for criminal negligence.

The engineers, Mr Oladele Ogundeji and Mr Akinbela Fatiregun, swiftly filed two separate suits before Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, seeking an order restraining the police from inviting, arresting or prosecuting them over the victims’ death.

In his ruling on the defendants’ preliminary objection, Justice Buba held that the engineers “had not made out a case of infringement of their fundamental rights even on the merit of the application”.

He also held that the Coroner Law was an enactment of the Lagos State House of Assembly which was constitutionally empowered to make laws in the state, adding that “the Federal High Court cannot dabble into the affairs of the state to start dishing out injunctive orders”.

The judge then maintained that the prayers by the engineers, asking for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Lagos State Attorney General or any officer under his authority from initiating or commencing criminal proceedings against them, cannot be granted in the circumstance of the case under review.

The Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adeniji Kazeem, subsequently hailed Justice Buba on his verdict.

He said that the State government would immediately seek the arraignment and prosecution of the suspects at the Lagos High Court, where charges were already pending before Justice Lawal Akapo.

APC Holds One Million Man March In Lagos

APCMembers and supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Saturday took to the streets in what they termed a one million man march.

From Maryland area to the Surulere area of Lagos mainland and stopping at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, party leaders sought more support at the polls.

Supporters of the party’s presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari and members of the APC chanted and gyrated to political songs in praise of the APC candidates.

As the marchers made a final stop at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, the leaders seized the opportunity to address the crowd on the forthcoming elections.

The march may be a form of exercise, nevertheless, it was largely a political statement; especially in a strategic state like Lagos where, not only number matters, but the commerce makes the decision of voters and leaders significant.

Among notable members who led the march were the APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu; the APC governorship candidate in the state, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode; and Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State, Lagos State House of Assembly Speaker, Mr. Adeyemi Ikuforiji and others.

2015 Lagos Governorship: Speaker Ikuforiji Declares

IkuforijiThe Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, has officially made public, his intention to run for 2015 Lagos governorship election.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant said that if elected, job creation and poverty alleviation would form part of his ten-point cardinal agenda.

He was speaking at De Blue Roof, Alausa Ikeja, venue of his official declaration of his intention to run for the state governorship.

“I offer myself as a candidate with a clear vision of a greater Lagos and a commitment to leading the state on a new journey which will consolidate the gains of the past.”

He also promised to make Lagos a global city and Africa’s economic hub if elected.

“I have used my time and energy in helping not only to build democracy in Lagos State but to also expand the frontiers of Government, transparency and accountability.

“I have also struggled to ensure that Lagos State maintains its place in the nation and indeed becomes Africa’s pre-eminent city,” he said.

Several party members thronged the venue of the declaration to support Ikuforiji’s ambition, and some of them expressed belief that Lagos State would experience the desired progress under his leadership.

Mr Ikuforiji was born in Epe in Lagos State on August 24, 1958. He attended Epe Grammar School and later the University of Lagos.

He served as a member of the State Technical Committee of Eko Transport Service Limited. He is the longest serving Speaker of a House of Assembly in Nigeria.

Lagos Must Heighten Enforcement Of Okada Restriction Law- Opeifa

Kayode_OpeifaThe Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Kayode Opeifa, on Saturday, warned that the state needs to do more to enforce the law restricting motorcyclists from plying a total of 475 roads.

“We hav not changed anything about the restriction law, it is still in force”he said, adding that “Lagos State is not the only state with such restriction in place.

“What we seem to notice that there are violations and outright disregard for the law and this is a sign that we need to do more to enforce the law”, he said.

He however said despite the restrictions, “you can ride any bike above 200cc on all roads” but warned that “it must not be for passenger carrying purposes”.

The commissioner, who noted that about 20 states in the country also have such restrictions in the country, noted that “Lagos has the most friendly regulations on motor cycles in this country”.

He further noted that it is the responsibility of all security agencies in the state to enforce the restriction law but noted that only the Nigeria Police has been doing so “since we started in November 2012 and they have been doing their best”.

He however maintained that people who don’t want the best for the State “started making media publications describing the operations of the police as harassment and extortion” and that “naturally set in some issues and it got to a point it became difficult”.

A youth activist, Lukman Lawal, said most of the youths that have chosen to ride motor-cycles for commercial purposes are doing so because of the “failure of the government” to provide adequate jobs.

He however noted that “any law that will better your health, welfare and make your security improve is a good law” adding that “to that extent you (okada riders) do not have any business with those roads.

“It is a fantastic law” he adds.

A former Trade Unionist, Mr Linus Okoroji, who has been carrying an Okada accident inflicted wound for eight months, on his part said he supported the Okada Restriction Law at the first instance.

He said no “Nigerian will be proud to join Okada as a means of transport, even in the rural areas let alone the urban areas about 25 years ago”, wondering how the country “managed to come to this level.

“As far as I am concerned, I am one of those who supported the law at the first instance”, revealing that “my colleagues in the civil society fought against me and walked me out of a meeting.

“But I am strong in my conviction that the law should remain”, he added.

The state government had on August, 2012 signed the Lagos State Traffic Law in to law. The objective of the legislation was to provide for road traffic administration.

It also seeks, among others, to restore sanity in the state transportation system of the state.

Some of the roads include Lagos Ibadan Expressway, Apapa Oshodi, Oworonshoki, Lagos Ikorodu, Lagos-Abeokuta, Agege motor road, Egbeda, Ikotun, Ikeja, Funsho Williams Avenue, Eti-Osa Lekki Coastal Road among others.

Justice Atilade Sworn-In As New Chief Judge Of Lagos

New_CJLagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, Wednesday swore in Justice Oluwafunmilayo Olajumoke Atilade as the new Chief Judge of Lagos State.

Atilade was a former High Court Judge. She became CJ following the retirement of her elder sister, Justice Ayotunde Philips from the bench of the state judiciary as Chief Judge.

This is the first time in the history of the state judiciary that siblings will succeed each other as Chief Judge of the state.

Presenting the Chief Judge designate, for the oath of office, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye said that due to the exit of Justice Ayotunde Phillips, it had become necessary for Lagos State to have a new Chief Judge.

 “In that regard, section 271(1) of the Constitution provides that ‘the appointment of a person to the office of the Chief Judge of a State shall be made by the Governor of the State on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council, subject to the confirmation of the appointment by the House of Assembly of the State,’” .

Ipaye, however, added that the Chief Judge designate has indeed been recommended by the National Judicial Council and appointed by the State Governor, her appointment has also been reviewed, found worthy and confirmed by the Lagos State House of Assembly.

In her response, the newly sworn in Justice Atilade praised her predecessor’s immense contributions to the growth and development of the judicial arm of the state while promising to continue from there.

She promised to complete the computerisation process of the judiciary and make a case for the appointment of more judges to speed up hearing of cases at the court.

Atilade further said she would continue with the decongestion of prisons started by her predecessor, especially with those awaiting trial.

Atilade was born on  24 September, 1952.

Fayemi Can Still Make Executive Decisions – Ogala

Babatunde OgalaA former member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Babatunde Ogala, on Wednesday, stated that the plan of the outgoing governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, to create more local governments before handing over to governor-elect, Ayo Fayose is not out of place.

“The fact that elections have been held does not mean governance has stopped,” he said, insisting that “Fayemi remains the governor until sometime in October and that he can still take executive actions, even a day before his tenure expires”.

He maintained that Fayemi’s plan was not wrong “if the creation or proposed creation of local government is going through due process of the law”.

He expressed these views while on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.

While commenting on the outcome of the Ekiti elections, Ogala expressed surprise, because “one wasn’t expecting the election to go the way it went,” especially when the reported performance of the incumbent governor was considered.

He noted that the circumstance in which the governor-elect had left office when he was governor made it “most unlikely” that he would win.

Mr Ogala who said he could not tell if the APC had prepared well enough and not underrated their strongest opponent, noted that “in warfare, you never underrate any opponent”.

He further emphasised that the most important thing to note would be that “Ekiti has spoken”, saying “it is a lesson for all of us”.

He described Fayemi’s concession of defeat and willingness to work with Fayose, as the “act of statesmanship” which is a lesson for the country in the electoral process.

However, Ogala said that there was no doubt that Fayemi had his misgivings about the elections but had shown that “the State should be more important than our personal, individual interests”.

He further commended Fayose’s reaction to the situation, praising his decision to work with all the governorship candidates in the best interest of the people.

On Fayemi’s bid to create more local governments before leaving office, Ogala said he doubts that Fayose would “frown at any process that brings development to the State”.

 

Witness Alleges Shady Cash Withdrawals As Lagos Speaker’s Trial Resumes

Lagos Speaker IkuforijiThe trial of  the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, continued on Tuesday with the first prosecution witness detailing how the defendants allegedly laundered millions of Naira.

Mr. Ikuforiji and his aide, Mr Oyebode Atoyebi, are facing a 54 count amended charge of money laundering amounting to over N600 million.

The witness, who is a Principal Detective Superintendent (PDS) with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr Adebayo Adeniyi, told the court how the defendants collected N13.5 million for honorarium, N4.5 million for renovation of the Speaker’s residence, and N1.5 million for the Speaker’s Guest House for six consecutive months.

The EFCC had accused the Speaker and his aide of receiving the money from the Lagos State House of Assembly without passing through a financial institution.

Mr. Adeniyi, in his testimony also stated how the Lagos State House of Assembly paid millions of Naira to Mr. Ikuforiji; his wife, Mayowa; his orderly; his personal assistant; as well as the state’s Deputy Speaker.

All the monies were collected by the Speaker’s aide, Mr. Atoyebi and paid in cash.

Mr. Adeniyi also testified that the Permanent Secretary, who along with the Director of Finance are signatories to the account, withdrew the money from the Lagos State House of Assembly’s account.

Under cross examination, the witness, however, admitted that he was not aware of what the Speaker used the monies for, neither was he aware that they were used for any illegal activity.

The trial continues on April 28.

Money Laundering Charges: Judges’ Seminar Stalls Trial Of Lagos Speaker

Lagos Speaker IkuforijiThe trial of the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, was on Monday stalled as the presiding judge had to rise to attend a judges’ seminar.

Ikuforiji, had been standing trial before the Federal High Court, Lagos, for allegedly laundering over 339million Naira, charges brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The EFCC alleged that Ikuforiji and one of his aides, one Oyebode Atoyebi, accepted various cash sums on behalf of the State House of Assembly without going through a financial institution.

The suit, which was fixed for continuation of trial, could not go on as earlier scheduled, due to a judges’ seminar organised by the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).

When the case was called, the Prosecutor, Godwin Obla, and the Defence Counsel, Wole Olanipekun, consented to an adjournment.

The defence counsel, however, urged the prosecutor to produce his remaining witnesses in court on the next date, to ensure speedy trial.

Justice Ibrahim Buba then adjourned the case till Tuesday, March 18, for continuation of trial before leaving for his seminar.

The EFCC had re-arraigned the accused persons on June 24, 2013, on an amended 54 count charge.

The offences are said to contravene the provisions of Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (prohibition) Act 2011.

Both men had, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge, and were granted bail in the sum of 1 billion Naira each, with two sureties, each in the sum of N500 million.

Earthfile: Is Smoking Really Bad For One’s Health?

On this edition of Earthfile, focus is on smoking, your health and the environment.

In 2011, the National Assembly in Nigeria passed the National Tobacco Control Bill and in 2014 the Lagos State House of Assembly passed the bill to prohibit smoking in public places. The two bills are awaiting ratification by the executive.

Many young people grew up hearing the “Federal Government warns that smokers are liable to die young” but some smokers do not believe this.

In this video, we ask the question; is smoking really bad for one’s health? The scientists say yes.

 

Ejigbo 2: 12 Year Old Victim Advocates Death Penalty For Perpetrators

Nike, a 12 year old girl who was one of the three victims of suspected OPC members who tortured 3 pepper sellers in Ejigbo, Lagos state, for allegedly stealing pepper worth 50 naira, has advocated death penalty for the suspects for causing her step-sister’s death.

Nike, who was the third and youngest of the victims, appeared at the public hearing ordered by the Lagos State House of Assembly to investigate the incident which occurred in February 2012.

At the hearing, she identified three men as the ones who tortured herself and her step sister for stealing pepper worth 50 Naira.

She further revealed that one of the suspects (who was without a shirt in the viral video) had promised to set a trap for her because she rejected his advances.

She identified the man who wore jeans as ‘Tirin,’ the man who wore native attire called ‘ankara’ as Jibola, the third man, ‘Abolore’ and ‘Baba Oja.’

She also said that she witnessed the murder of a certain individual by the said men at the same location where they tortured her family members.

Nike, who was unaware of her sister’s death as a result of the severe injuries sustained, was asked what penalty she wanted for the criminals and she said “the people that kill somebody, they use to kill them.”

At the hearing, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly,  Adeyemi Kuforiji, redeemed the 1 million Naira promise made by the ad-hoc Chairman to the family who helped in locating the victims. Part of the money was given to the victims.

The case has been handed over to the Office of the Public Defender.