Lagos State Executive Council will be fully inaugurated on Tuesday, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said.
The Governor said he would not delay the swearing-in of Commissioner- and Special Adviser-designates already cleared by the State House of Assembly. He spoke at the weekend while receiving a body of retired top civil servants under the aegis of the Association of Lagos State Retired Heads of Service and Permanent Secretaries (ALARHOSPS).
Sanwo-Olu said that the wheel of governance would be in full gear before the end of the coming week, in fulfillment of his campaign promise to inaugurate his cabinet within 90 days. He added that new Permanent Secretaries would also be sworn in on Monday to complement the activities of Commissioners and Special Advisers.
He said: “Next week, by God’s grace, we are swearing in all other complements of cabinet and also Permanent Secretaries to have the engine of governance on full swing. At that point, we believe that all the campaign promises we made can come to reality and Lagosians can benefit more from the choice they made at the last election.”
The cabinet members are expected to be allocated their individual ministries during the inauguration ceremony, scheduled to start at 9am.
The Governor described the body of retired civil servants as “valuable assets” to the state, noting that their actions while in service contributed to the “enviable height” Lagos attained among states in the nation.
The Federal High Court Sitting in Lagos has ordered the freezing of three bank accounts which have been linked to the Lagos State Government.
Justice Chuka Obiozor made the order following an exparte application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over an alleged N9.9bn fraud.
The EFCC had urged the judge to freeze the account ‘pending the conclusion of investigation and possible prosecution of Adewale Adesanya, the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Chief of Staff to former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’.
In an affidavit filed in support of the ex parte application, a member of the EFCC investigating team, Kungmi Daniel, said the commission discovered “a huge inflow of N9,927,714,443.29” from the state accounts into an FCMB bank account opened on September 17, 2018 during the administration of former governor Akinwunmi Ambode and operated by Adesanya.
Daniel said the schedule of the FCMB account showed how Adesanya and the other signatories to the account made fraudulent transfer from the accounts of the Lagos State Government and dissipated the funds housed in the said accounts.
“The trend in the account is that the account always witnessed huge inflow from Lagos State Government in the above scheduled accounts managed by the respondent (Adesanya),” the investigator said.
He said upon the receipt of intelligence, the EFCC analysed it and found it worthy of investigation.
The EFCC also asked the court to grant it an order to temporarily attach and take over the accounts to enable it to conclude its investigations. “There have been concerted efforts and attempts to dissipate the contents of the accounts listed in the schedule to this application. “Without freezing the nominated accounts and temporarily forfeiting the money to the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, there is no way the fraud being perpetrated using the scheduled accounts can be stopped,” the EFCC said.
After listening to the submissions of the EFCC lawyer, Mohammed Abbas, Justice Obiozor granted the application and adjourned to Sept 9.
The Federal Government and Lagos State have signed an agreement of cooperation to end the decade-long row over the control of waterways surrounding the state.
According to a statement by the Deputy Chief Press Secretary of Lagos State, Gboyega Akosile, the agreement which concerns both the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), will guarantee a better working relationship between both government agencies.
After signing of the treaty, Managing Director of NIWA, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, said the agreement was signed in good faith and in the best interest of the people, noting that the previous administration in the State prepared the groundwork for collaboration between NIWA and LASWA.
“We don’t need the court to intervene in ensuring safety on waterways and protecting the rights of our people and avoiding multiple-taxation, which discourages investors; these are the areas we are partnering on. This agreement shows that we care for our people, particularly the users of the waterways.
“This agreement means a better life for our people. What we have signed today will promote a better working relationship and collaboration for the good of our people. Our desire is to see the possibility of settling out of court because this disagreement has been on for over 10 years. The most important thing is that, once we have this understanding, we won’t have issues. Investors, too, would be free to come in, since they know there is no friction and restrictions again.”
Meanwhile, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu received the officials from NIWA, described the treaty as “right choice” to end the long-drawn-out rift.
“I congratulate these two agencies of government that have found it right to collaborate. This is one of the signs of progress we have made to promote ease of doing business and as regulators; we must always find a way to close our differences in order to convince investors and private sector.
We have said we have plans to introduce a comprehensive intermodal transportation system, which will cover rail, roads and waterways. A critical component of this objective is what this agreement just enabled for us. It means we are prepared for investors and partners who have shown interest in the partnership on waterway transportation to move our people from one part of the state to another.”
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has forwarded a list of 25 names, to the House of Assembly for ratification as Commissioners and Special Advisers.
On the list include Tunji Bello, a former Secretary to the State Government of the immediate past governor, and Commissioner for Environment to former Governor, Babatunde Fashola.
According to a statement by the Governor’s Deputy Chief Press Secretary, Mr Gboyega Akosile, Sanwo-Olu carefully picked the nominees based on their cognate experience in their respective professions.
The statement said: “We took our time to pick the best hands for the tough job Lagosians have elected us to do. The nominees for the twenty-five Commissioner and Special Adviser positions include women and men who have made their mark and at the zenith of their professional callings.’’
He further disclosed that the new cabinet would be unique, because of its diversity. Quoting Governor Sanwo-Olu, he said Lagos would continue to take the lead in innovation, gender-balance and youth inclusion in the administration of the State.
“We have a blend of youth who are under 40 among nominees for Commissioners and Special Advisers. Women too are well represented in the list. We believe Lagos deserves the best and we cannot give the people anything less than that,” the statement said.
The Lagos State Government has flagged off the construction of the ten-lane Lagos-Badagry Expressway, 10 years after it was conceptualised by former governor, Babatunde Fashola.
Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Obafemi Hamzat, in a statement by his Director, Public Affairs, Biola Fagunwa, stated that the return to the road will bring life to the axis and relief to commuters who daily experience hardship on the road.
The project handled by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), covers specifically the Agboju to Trade Fair segment as well as the rehabilitation of the Eric Moore – Mile 2 stretch.
He explained that Lagos State is handling Eric Moore to Agboju while FERMA will do four-lane maintenance to Agbara and the Federal Government has awarded Agbara to Seme as a six-lane Highway.
Mr Hamzat further commended the co-operation of the Federal Government and assured that both State and Federal Agencies will be present along the road up to Seme border.
The Lagos-Badagry project which is approximated to 60km long from Eric Moore to Badagry consists of two major intermodal transport schemes namely Lagos-Badagry Expressway project and Lagos Light Rail Mass Transit project.
According to the General Manager, Lagos Office of CCECC, Mr Bill Bian the Corporation’s will ensure that the project is completed on schedule.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Governor, who stopped to address Lagos residents, apprehended at least five errant drivers who drove against traffic.
“We must obey the law, citizens co-operation is critical to what successes we will be able to record during this tenure. We must also monitor the project and report progress and observations to us.”
He said the State Government will deploy Taskforce to clean up the area and ensure a free flow of traffic.
Wife of the Lagos State Governor, Mrs Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, has urged parents and guardians to pay serious attention to the welfare and mental health of their children and wards.
She made the appeal on Monday at a symposium on substance abuse, explaining that it has become necessary in order to build a sanitized society.
She also stressed the importance of parents giving quality attention to their children adding that they sometimes need to go as far as intruding into their privacy to truly be abreast with them.
“As individual family units, we must focus on the home front, by paying due attention to the welfare and mental health of our children,” the governor’s wife was quoted as saying in a statement signed by the Asst. Director, Public Affairs, Office of the Wife of the Lagos State Governor, Olubukonla Nwonah.
“The type of adults that children grow to become, has a lot to do with the level of decency of their upbringing.
“We must make it our business to sometimes intrude into their business, by knowing who their friends are, where they go, how they relax, what they drink and so on and so forth.
“By so doing, we will be their friend and earn their confidence. It is the way to go, to positively influence our children and reduce peer pressure on them. This will help remarkably, to evolve a decent youth population, for a sanitized society.”
Speaking further, Mrs Sanwo-olu noted that the state had recently updated its Mental Health Law to meet with current realities.
She also assured Lagosians that there will be renewed efforts on the part of the government to improve the overall welfare of youths.
“In the current dispensation, we will see a renewed effort of government to scale up the welfare of youths, through gainful employment, modern education infrastructure, health interventions, sports and recreational activities, among others,” she said.
At a separate event, the governor’s wife also said it was important for all residents to register for the recently unveiled Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme.
According to her, the scheme was a strategic policy of the government designed to achieve affordable, comprehensive and unhindered quality healthcare services for all residents, and as such, it was imperative for it to be embraced by all.
According to a statement issued by the State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Bala Elkana, the suspect stated that he saw the victim around his fish pond and attacked him because he assumed that he came to steal his fish.
The Police say investigation is ongoing and the suspect will be charged to court soon.
The victims, one Justina Emmanuel and her one-year-old daughter, Munachisom Agugom were rescued, while the two suspects, Joseph Agugom and Paul Agugom were rescued from the mobs for allegedly kidnapping the victims for ritual purposes.
Also recovered were one Honda CRV car with Registration No. LAGOS FST 587 BU, one LG Phone, one iPhone, one bag containing two flasks, three pieces of rope, one black para military belt and one green beret.
The Lagos State Police have arrested the leader of a notorious cult group in the Ikorodu area of the state along with 20 others.
The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Bala Elkana, confirmed this in a statement issued on Friday.
According to him, the arrest was made after the Force received a distress call that some cultists from two rival groups engaged themselves in a supremacy battle along Isikalu Palace and Solomade area of Ikorodu.
Subsequently, the Command’s Anti Cultism Unit and patrol teams were promptly deployed to the scene where the leader of the gang, Yusuf Omidele, popularly known as General, who according to them had been on the wanted list, was arrested.
He was arrested alongside 20 other suspects, while four locally made pistols, eight machetes and three daggers were recovered.
According to the Police, General had been charged to court on several occasions and sentenced to prison.
He completed his last sentence in 2014 and has become an Elder-in- Council, in Eiye Confraternity, the statement said.
He led his gang in a reprisal attack on the members of Aye confratanity, whom they alleged to have killed the wife of one of their leaders some weeks ago.
The suspects arrested belong to both Aye and Eiye confraternity and have all confessed to belong to secret societies.
Elkana, however, noted that the suspects will be charged to court as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, the state Commissioner of Police, Zubairu Muazu (mni), later on met with traditional rulers, religious leaders, elder statesmen, parents, youths and other stakeholders in the area.
The meeting according to the police, was aimed at discussing lasting solutions to the cultism and other criminal activities by the youths, as the menace has been on the rise especially in the area.
The president inaugurated an ultra-modern 170-bed Obstetrics and Gynaecology specialist hospital located within the premises of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), The Eko Theatre, Oshodi International Airport Road, Oshodi Transport Interchange and 820 mass transit buses.
The President after the ceremonies headed back to Abuja.
A notorious cultist, Ibrahim Abdullahi, popularly known as Tiny, who operates around the Satellite-Town area of Lagos, has been arrested.
He was arrested along with one of his accomplices, Obinna Kelvin Okey, 23, on Friday, March 23, at his hideout in the Ijegun-Egba area of the town during an operation led by the Divisional Police Officer of Satellite-Town Division, CSP Chike Oti.
During preliminary interrogation, the suspects confessed to being members of a cult group called the Aro-Bagger a.k.a. Vickings.
Subsequently, their arrest led to the arrest of three other cultists: Ismaila Adebayo, 21, Bode Akodo, 21 and Adefesun Abdulwahab, 25.
This was confirmed in a statement issued on Sunday by the Lagos Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Bala Elkana.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, CP Zubairu Muazu (mni), had earlier in the week charged Area Commanders DPOs and Tactical Unit Commanders in the state to clamp down on the activities of members of unlawful societies and raid all identified criminal enclaves.
Based on the directive and credible intelligence received about the suspect, who had been on the run since he was linked to the murder of three residents of the community, Satelite division swung into action.
Following the arrest, CP Zubairu Muazu directed the Homicide Section of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Panti, Yaba, to take over the case involving the key suspect.
The other suspects, on the other hand, were transferred to the Command’s Anti Cultism Squad for further investigation.
In a related development, one Stephen Egbe, a notorious traffic robber who specialises in robbing commuters along the Mile 12/Badagry Expressway, was caught in the act also on Friday.
He was caught around Mosalachi Bus Stop near maza- maza, by detectives of the Satellite Town Police Division.
The Command Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) was, thereafter, directed to take over the investigation.
According to the Police spokesperson, all the suspects arrested will be charged to court.
The Lagos State Government says rescue operations following the building collapse in the Ita Faji area of the state, have been concluded.
The government said this via its Twitter handle on Thursday, after emergency officials said they had reached ‘ground zero’ on the site, meaning that all the rubbles had been excavated and there was no evidence that anyone was still trapped.
This was disclosed after the state Head of Service, Mr Hakeem-Muri Okunola, visited the scene of the incident in the early hours of Thursday for an on the spot assessment.
He also visited the hospitals where the rescued persons are receiving treatment.
According to the government, the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) and other relevant stakeholders including the Ministry of Health are now intensifying efforts to save the lives of the rescued victims.
At least 24 victims, mostly children, have so far been rescued from the rubbles of the three-story building which caved in on Wednesday.
The children were mostly pupils of a primary school located on the top floor of the building.
Although nine persons had been confirmed dead as at Wedenesday, the government says it is yet to have any authentic figures of the number of casualties.