Waste Management: Lagos Govt Asks Residents To Change Their Attitude

A file photo of a man pushing a truck containing waste on March 11, 2020. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun / Channels TV.

 

The Lagos State government has called on residents to change their attitude to waste management to curb environmental pollution and protect the ecosystem.

Mrs Folashade Jaji, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), made the call on Saturday during the flag-off ceremony of a seven-day intense cleaning of the waterways.

“With the upsurge in the blockage of drainages and waterways with plastic bottles and water sachets, it is imperative for all and sundry to have a change mindset towards the environment by disposing of our waste properly and to educate our children and wards against indiscriminate disposal at all times,” she said.

According to the SSG, it is a known fact that plastics endure for 450 years with its damaging effects on the ecosystem and constitutes a threat to human and wildlife.

She decried that many seabirds and animals were killed yearly by plastics, stressing that the number of plastics in the sea has outnumbered the marine animals by a ratio of six to one.

Jaji noted that the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, was conscious of the enormous global challenge of plastic waste management, which has been projected to reach 12 billion tonnes in landfills by 2050.

She stated that out of the number, only five per cent has been recycled and the government has committed human and material resources to tackle waste management in all the 57 Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas of the state.

“All the agencies in the environment sub-sector have been directed to ensure compliance by the people, while over 200 recyclers have been registered under the ‘waste to wealth initiative’.

“They have been producing durable and beautiful items from the plastics,” the SSG told the gathering at the event.

She explained that the government, through the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), introduced the Blue Box Programme in 2019 to promote the extraction of plastics and other recyclable waste to conserve the natural environment, through sorting of waste before collection while people were rewarded for picking up plastics.

Jaji disclosed that the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) and Lagos State Waterways Authority often collaborate with a private organisation to clear the seaside to prevent pollution and water transportation accidents regularly.

State Of Play: Fintech Industry Stakeholders To Meet In Lagos On Tuesday

 

Stakeholders in the Financial Technology (Fintech) industry in Nigeria will meet on Tuesday in Lagos.

The event, which will take place virtually, is organised by CT Productions, agent for The Economist in West Africa. It will gather all-important movers and shakers in this nascent industry.

“These times of rapid technological, economic, and social change are exciting both in terms of new opportunities and related challenges.

“Now more than ever, events such as ‘Fintech Nigeria: State of Play’, are vital for moving ahead,”  Ms Camelia Oros, the Chairwoman and MD of CT Productions said in a statement.

Global giants are investing in fintech in Nigeria for good reason.

However, between regulatory changes and the incredible rate of developments in everyday life, from ride-sharing apps to the way farmers monitor loans, Nigeria is showing a deep need to forge ahead, and the event will address this and many more.

REGISTER HERE: africaeventsct.com/index.php/event-registration

The event, which is scheduled to kick-off at 9:45am, will be well attended by various experts and heads of leading companies in the industry.

Ms Oros will give the welcome address, while remarks about the findings of the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Fintech research will be presented by the Senior Editor of Thought Leadership division in EMEA, Ms Melanie Noronha.

Ms Gail Warrander, the Economic Development Team Leader of Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) Nigeria, is also expected to deliver the keynote address.

The event will feature two panels where experts will discuss the progress made so far in Nigeria and the opportunities available in the Fintech sector of the economy.

The first session will focus on the Economic Outlook for Nigeria and growth in the industry, with five experts as panelists.

They include Dr Armstrong Takang who is the Special Adviser on ICT to the Minister of Finance, Mr Deoye Ojuroye – the Chief Financial Officer of Providus Bank, and the President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ms Toki Mabogunje.

Others are Dr Babatunde Obrimah – the Chief Operating Officer of Fintech Association of Nigeria, and Mr Jamelino Akogbeto, a Digital Financial Services Specialist at the Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility of the African Development Bank (AfDB).

During this session, the panelists will discuss the demographic and macro-economic factors driving the growth and competitiveness of the Nigerian economy, among others.

While the discussion is expected to last about 55 minutes, the second session entitled ‘Full Speed Ahead: Opportunities in Fintech in Nigeria’ and ‘Fostering Fintech: Assessing the enabling environment for Fintech in Nigeria.

The four panelists listed include the General Manager of MTN Mobile Financial Services, Mr Usoro Usoro, and Ms Ngosi who is the Senior Vice President of Digital Partnerships at the Middle East and Africa Mastercard.

Others are Mr Musa Jimoh – the Director of Payment System Management at the Central Bank of Nigeria, and Mr Patrick Akinwuntan, the Managing Director of Ecobank.

The event is sponsored by MTN, Mastercard, Providus Bank, and Ecobank, among others, while Channels Television and some other media outfits are partners.

#EndSARS Panel: Police Stall Proceedings, Fail To Produce Accused Officers

File photo of Lagos State Judicial Panel

 

The Lagos State Judicial Panel on Restitution for Victims of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS)  related abuses has frowned at attempts by the police to continue to stall its proceedings.

Speaking on Friday during the continuation of sitting in the Lekki area of the state, the Chairman of the Panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi warned that it will not continue to indulge the police by granting adjournments at their instance if they fail to bring their officers to testify in the petitions filed against them.

Two petitions listed for hearing by the panel today were abruptly terminated owing to the absence of the police officers who allegedly committed the assaults.

At the last proceedings of the panel on the first petition, a 34-year-old trader, Ndukwe Ekekwe, had narrated how he broke his spine sometime in 2018 when some policemen allegedly attached to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad threw him off a two-storey shopping complex at Alaba Market in the Ojo area of Lagos.

As a result of that incident, the petitioner said he ended up in this wheelchair.

READ ALSO: Police Brutality: Lagos Judicial Panel Resumes Sitting

However, today’s proceeding was for the police to cross-examine him and to put in their own side of the story.

Under cross-examination, the petitioner restated his earlier testimony of how the incident occurred, was emphatic that he knew at least one of the officers involved and even went a step further to produce a photograph of the Investigating Police Officer, Hamza Aruba who allegedly led the policemen to his shop in Alaba. He also supplied the officer’s telephone number.

With no objections from the parties before the panel, the picture was admitted in evidence as an exhibit.

The police counsel, Emmanuel Eze, requested a brief break at this point, the expectation was that upon resumption, the police officer mentioned by the petitioner or any of the officers involved in the matter would be called to testify and put in their side of the story.

But this did not happen as the counsel instead asked for a short adjournment.

Following objections raised by the counsel to the Lagos State Government, Olukayode Enitan, SAN on the propriety of granting the adjournment, the police counsel explained that with the disbandment of SARS, it had become difficult to get the police officers accused of committing the alleged human rights abuses against the petitioner.

He also said that the number supplied by the petitioner could not be reached.

This was the exact same situation which played out in the second petition listed for hearing by the panel.

In that petition, a building contractor, Olajide Fowotade had claimed that a policeman, simply identified as Ayo, had beaten him up and knocked out two of his teeth.

He said the officer accused him of attempting to knock him down with his vehicle.

Mr Olajide mentioned DPO Akpan of Ketu Police Station, former police spokesperson, Dolapo Badmus, and the AIG Zone 2 Command, Kayode Aderanti as other officers who were aware of the case.

Again, the police counsel claimed that he could not reach any of these officers, neither could he find any case file for the petitioner on the statements he claimed to have made at the Zone 2 Police Command.

Eze, therefore, asked for an adjournment to enable him to conduct more search and produce the policemen.

Justice Okwuobi did not like this development especially as she noted that the second petitioner had mentioned more than one police officer.

“It does not augur well that the respondent has not contacted the concerned Police officers. The panel will no longer entertain any more excuses from the police,” Justice Okwuobi warned.

She, however, said in the interests of justice and fair hearing, the cases will be adjourned.

Further proceedings have been fixed for Dec 1st and 9th.

Violence: Sanwo-Olu Urges NASS To Set Aside Funds For Lagos, Others In 2021 Budget

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, speaks at the Consultative Forum on Rebuilding Lagos held on November 16, 2020.

 

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has asked the National Assembly to make provision for funds in the 2021 budget, to support Lagos and other states where violence was recorded recently.

He made the appeal on Monday at the Consultative Forum on Rebuilding Lagos held in Alausa, Ikeja.

“I would like to appeal to the National Assembly to take steps to set aside funds for this task of Rebuilding and Restoring Lagos in the 2021 Appropriation Bill being deliberated upon currently by the Assembly.

“This Fund does not necessarily have to be for Lagos alone, it can and should also take into consideration other states also impacted by the recent spate of violence,” Governor Sanwo-Olu pleaded.

He explained that following the violence recorded in the state, the government constituted, by executive order, the Lagos State Rebuild Trust Fund.

The governor noted that as a follow-up, a bill will be sent to the State House of Assembly, to enshrine the Fund in the laws of the land, and give it the necessary backing to accomplish its mandate.

According to him, the state government organised the event to operationalise the fund, by mobilising resources from far and wide for the singular purpose of rebuilding and restoring the state.

“We seek to restore the infrastructure that was destroyed, to revive the energy and confidence of everyone who has been affected by these losses, to help restore the confidence of the people of Lagos in the infinite potentials of Lagos.

“But the state government cannot do this alone. We need all the help that we can get, which is why we have invited you all here, and are grateful that you have honoured our invitation,” Governor Sanwo-Olu told the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, and lawmakers present at the event.

He added, “We require the assistance of the Federal Government, from both the Executive and Legislative branches.”

Read the full text of the governor’s speech at the event below:

SPEECH BY THE GOVERNOR OF LAGOS, MR. BABAJIDE SANWO-OLU, AT THE CONSULTATIVE FORUM ON REBUILDING LAGOS, HELD AT THE ADEYEMI BERO AUDITORIUM, ALAUSA, IKEJA ON MONDAY NOVEMBER 16, 2020.

Protocol.

It is my pleasure to welcome you all to this Consultative Forum on Rebuilding Lagos.

Thank you for honouring my invitation, thank you for your willingness to contribute to the restoration of the glory of Lagos State, thank you for your dedication to the ideals and values of the Centre of Excellence; thank you for being socially responsible, we appreciate your contributions to the socio-economic growth of Lagos State, your exemplary attitude towards the sustainability and viability of Lagos State makes the task of governance easier.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the violence we saw at the end of October 2020 is the most widespread carnage the State has seen in decades; not since the SAP riots of 1989 have, we experienced such levels of destruction.

Every aspect of life and livelihood in Lagos was affected – government buildings offices, public monuments and historical archives, public infrastructure like our BRT buses, and, very sadly too, private property and investments – malls, shops, small businesses, residences and many more.

Beyond the physical and economic impact, there has also been the psychological damage: the fear, the terror, the helplessness that all of the victims have felt, the questions about how or where do we start from?

The violence has no doubt set our economy back by tens of billions of Naira and impacted our confidence.

We, have, however, found hope and great strength in the offers of assistance from far and wide, which culminated in the constitution of the Lagos Rebuild Committee to coordinate our efforts to rebuild and upgrade our state.

Let me assure you all that we will bounce back. We do not have a choice, really. Because this is who we are, this is what Lagos is, a resilient people, an irrepressible city. This is our history, and our DNA.

Here is a City that emerged from the most unpromising beginnings, out of the gloom of a sprawling lagoon and malarial swamps. By dint of hard work, entrepreneurial energy, and creative excellence, everything we see and hold dear today was built, over the centuries.

In that time there have been setbacks and challenges of various kinds. The most prominent ones include the Royal Navy bombardment of 1851, The Influenza epidemic of 1918, the Bubonic Plague of the 1920s, even the loss of Federal capital status that many assumed would severely downgrade the State.

Most recently we also faced and defeated Ebola in 2014, and the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020 – in both cases Lagos was the Nigerian epicentre.

In the face of all these, Lagos has always survived. And not just survived, it has thrived. We are a continental center of creativity and innovation, and will continue to be.

Every one of these threats and challenges I listed above ended up opening up, in its aftermath, an opportunity for a new kind of progress, one step backwards in the short-term that paved the way for four steps forward in the longer term.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, following the violent aftermath of the ENDSARS protests – we constituted, by Executive Order, a Lagos State Rebuild Trust Fund, to be run by an 8-member Committee.

As a follow-up, a Bill will be sent to the State House of Assembly, to enshrine the Fund in the laws of the land, and give it the necessary backing to accomplish its mandate.

This is the very reason why we are gathered here today: To operationalise this Fund, by mobilizing resources from far and wide, for the singular purpose of rebuilding and restoring our dear City and State.

We seek to restore the infrastructure that was destroyed, to revive the energy and confidence of everyone who has been affected by these losses, to help restore the confidence of the people of Lagos in the infinite potentials of Lagos.

But the State Government cannot do this alone. We need all the help that we can get, which is why we have invited you all here, and are grateful that you have honoured our invitation.

We require the assistance of the Federal Government, from both the Executive and Legislative branches. I am delighted that the Vice President, Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives are here with us today.

I would like to appeal to the National Assembly to take steps to set aside funds for this task of Rebuilding and Restoring Lagos in the 2021 Appropriation Bill being deliberated upon currently by the Assembly.

This Fund does not necessarily have to be for Lagos alone, it can and should also take into consideration other states also impacted by the recent spate of violence.

Why are we seeking this privilege? Let me take us back to the text of nationwide broadcast delivered by the then Head of State, General Murtala Muhammed, on the 3rd of February, 1976, here in Lagos.

It was the Speech in which he announced that the Supreme Military Council had accepted a recommendation to relocate the Federal Capital from Lagos to a new site in a more central area in the country.

The late Head of State said, and I quote:

“Lagos will, in the foreseeable future, remain the nation’s commercial capital and one of its nerve centres. But in terms of servicing the present infrastructure alone the committed amount of money and effort required will be such that Lagos State will not be ready to cope. It will even be unfair to expect the State to bear this heavy burden on its own.”

“It is therefore necessary for the Federal Government to continue to sustain the substantial investment in the area. The port facilities and other economic activities in the Lagos area have to be expanded. There is need in the circumstances for the Federal Government to maintain a special defence and security arrangement in Lagos which will henceforth be designated a special area. These arrangements will be carefully worked out and written into the new constitution.”

Even as far back as half a century ago it was clear that Lagos required a special status, considering its importance to the economy and the reputation of Nigeria.

Today, with a population that is several times also, with approval from the State House of Assembly, be making available a huge amount of money in the 2021 Budget to immediately begin the rebuilding efforts.

This, for us, represents that credible and very important step in the rehabilitation and restoration process; and shows that we are willing, as a Government, to put our money where our mouth is, so to speak.

But let me reiterate this, that our contribution though very substantial, is still quite very far away from what we require to make a dent on the burden that confronts us. Which is why we have invited you here to join hands and support us. With the public sector taking the rightful lead in demonstrating commitment, we have no doubt that the private sector will strive to match that enthusiasm.

I strongly believe that the cohesive efforts and contributions of the private and public sectors will make it easier for us to rebuild Lagos State. These may be challenging times but with responsive and responsible leadership, we will overcome. We can make a greater impact through our collaborative efforts in the shortest possible time.

An African proverb says, “if you want to go fast, go alone if you want to go far, go together”.

Ladies and gentlemen, today’s consultative forum is meant to set the stage for all the necessary Public-Private partnerships and collaborations required for this task of rebuilding and restoration.

Let us work in the commonality of purpose to restore the glory of our state. You are important stakeholders, and I know I can count on you as the Lagos Rebuild Committee reaches out to you for your support in rebuilding Lagos.

Whatever investments we make towards this task will be for the good of all of us. These investments will go into rebuilding and re-tooling security infrastructure, strengthening public transportation systems, restoring judicial and local government operations, rebuilding damaged public monuments.

All of these will positively impact security, tourism, employment generation, and ultimately the social contract between government and the governed. For every Naira of investment mobilised and expended under this Rebuilding Project, there will be a significant multiplier effect, that will benefit the public and private sector alike. These funds will go into the local economy, into the hands of artisans, traders, suppliers, start-ups, and so on.

Let me at this juncture emphasize that transparency and accountability will be foundational elements in the implementation of the mandate of this Committee. For this reason, the fund-raising and disbursement will have oversight from FBN Trustees Limited. Along with the Board, they will ensure that there is maximum accountability and value recorded for every Naira raised.

In this rebuilding process, we will be asking ourselves some necessary questions. For example, we will seriously be exploring the use of technology to improve urban security and better safeguard all that we hold dear and to digitally preserve historical archives that until now have existed only in physical forms. We have a duty, in rebuilding, to ensure that the new which will be replacing the old is fitting for the 21st century.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, the time is now, to start pledging and collaborating. I look forward to our deliberations this morning, and even more important to the action that will follow the talk and make all the needed difference.

Let me once again thank you for honouring our invitation to this Forum. God bless Lagos State, and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Babajide Sanwo-Olu

Governor of Lagos State.

November 16, 2020.

Recent Violence Has Set Lagos Economy Back By Tens Of Billions Of Naira – Sanwo-Olu

A file photo of Lagos state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
A file photo of Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

 

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, is concerned about the impact of the destruction of government and private properties on the people and the state’s economy.

In his remarks at the Consultative Forum on Rebuilding Lagos held on Monday, Governor Sanwo-Olu stated that the October violence has led to the loss of billions of naira.

“The violence has no doubt set our economy back by tens of billions of Naira and impacted our confidence,” he told the meeting.

The governor added, “Beyond the physical and economic impact, there has also been the psychological damage; the fear, the terror, the helplessness that all of the victims have felt, the questions about how or where do we start from?”

According to him, the violence is the most widespread carnage Lagos has seen in decades and the level of destruction was worrisome.

“Every aspect of life and livelihood in Lagos was affected – government buildings offices, public monuments, and historical archives, public infrastructure like our BRT buses, and, very sadly too, private property and investments – malls, shops, small businesses, residences and many more,” Governor Sanwo-Olu told the forum.

He, however, noted that the state has found hope and great strength in the offers of assistance from various individuals and groups, which culminated in the constitution of the Lagos Rebuild Committee to coordinate the government’s efforts to rebuild and upgrade the state.

The governor stressed that following the violence, the state would bounce back and emerge stronger.

He said, “Here is a city that emerged from the most unpromising beginnings, out of the gloom of a sprawling lagoon and malarial swamps.

“By dint of hard work, entrepreneurial energy, and creative excellence, everything we see and hold dear today was built, over the centuries. In that time there have been setbacks and challenges of various kinds.”

“The most prominent ones include the Royal Navy bombardment of 1851, the Influenza epidemic of 1918, the Bubonic Plague of the 1920s, even the loss of Federal Capital status that many assumed would severely downgrade the state.

“Most recently, we also faced and defeated Ebola in 2014, and the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 – in both cases, Lagos was the Nigerian epicentre,” Governor Sanwo-Olu stated.

Those at the event include the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, and Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, among others.

RRS Assures Lagos Residents Of Adequate Security

A file photo of a police officer displaying the crest of the Nigeria Police Force. PHOTO: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV.

 

The Lagos State Rapid Response Squad (RRS) has reiterated its commitment to improved security across the Lagos metropolis by curbing the nefarious activities of armed robbers, miscreants and other criminal-minded individuals, who constitute a threat to the peace in the state.

RRS Commander, Olatunji Disu, stated this in the October 2020 report issued by Agency.

He noted that several robberies were thwarted by the quick response and intervention of the squad, apart from its regular activities of responding to emergencies and motorised patrol of all nooks and crannies in Lagos.

Disu also disclosed that the RRS, in collaboration with other security outfits, ensured that several attacks by hoodlums on the State Secretariat, the Lands Bureau, the Ikeja City Mall, among others, were repelled and the damage curtailed.

He insisted that the RRS personnel would continue to ensure public peace through continuous motorised patrols, especially around hotspots notorious for criminal activities, to forestall any insecurity or violence in all parts of the state.

The RRS Commander cautioned residents against making false distress calls, saying that the time and resources spent by the security team in responding to fake emergency calls could be better utilised in areas where the services of the RRS were urgently needed.

He, however, assured them of the total commitment of his team to responding promptly to all emergency situations.

Disu sought the support and cooperation of the people to enhance the performance of security operatives within the state.

Lagos Secures Release Of At Least 107 Arrested #EndSARS Protesters

A file photo of a youth waving the Nigerian national flag during the protest against police brutality in Lagos on October 13, 2020.

 

The Lagos State government says it has secured the release of scores of #EndSARS protesters arrested in parts of the state.

The young Nigerians were detained in some police facilities and correctional centres in the state, an agency of the government – Lagos State Office of the Public Defender (OPD) said in a statement on Saturday.

While 253 protesters have been exonerated, the government noted that it has secured the release of 107 people.

A breakdown of the figure reveals that eight were released from the Panti Police Station in Yaba, 59 were freed from the Kirikiri Medium Correctional Centre and 40 from the Kirikiri Maximum Correctional Centre in the Apapa area of the state.

The government agency explained that the decision to secure the release of the youths followed the legal advice issued by the Office of the Lagos State Attorney-General, exonerating the protesters.

It confirmed that the release warrants have been obtained by the Office of the Public Defender from Ogba Magistrate and Yaba Magistrate Courts respectively, based on the order of the Office of the Attorney-General clearing the suspects.

“The Lagos State Office of the Public Defender would ensure that all suspects detained and exonerated by the Office of the State Attorney-General regain their freedom as OPD will visit all the police detention centres and correctional centres in the state to effect their release accordingly,” the statement said.

Read the tweets from the government below:

Lekki Shooting: Soldiers Did Not Report Any Fatality, Army General Tells Judicial Panel

 

The Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry continued its sitting on Saturday with new information about the shooting at the Lekki tollgate uncovered.

While the session was ongoing, lawyers took turns to question the representative of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Ahmed Taiwo, on the role of the Force at the tollgate where peaceful #EndSARS protesters had gathered on October 20.

General Taiwo, who is the Commander of the 81 Military Intelligence Brigade, confirmed that soldiers were at the venue of the protest.

He added that the soldiers were briefed before they were deployed to the scene and debriefed after the operation.


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When asked by a lawyer if there was any report of fatality when the soldiers were debriefed, the army representative said, “None”.

He told the panel that the soldiers did not just find their way to the protest ground, insisting that they acted on instruction allegedly prompted by the request of the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, whom he said sought the intervention of the military.

Brigadier General Ahmed Taiwo gives his testimony before the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on November 14, 2020.

 

According to General Taiwo, there are four phases to be followed in the case of managing an internal security situation.

He explained that phases one, two, and three comprised observation, monitoring, training, and readiness for deployment of troops.

“Phase four is the actual deployment to hotspots, places that have problems, patrol, and things like that. We are currently in phase four,” the brigade commander said.

He added, “Before phase four is activated, the governor would have sought permission or made a few calls, or transmitted a letter to the President, or in this case, even to the Chief of Army Staff.

“The governor, indeed, called the Chief of Staff to the President.”

 

Who Gave The Order?

General Taiwo acknowledged that Governor Sanwo-Olu requested the military’s intervention, but did not instruct the soldiers to move to the scene of the protest.

He affirmed that the governor spoke with the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, and the General Officer Commanding 81 Division of the Army.

The brigade commander stated that the governor had initially reached out to the Commander of 9 Brigade, but the military officer does not have the power to deploy troops in such a situation.

“The governor is involved in that decision,” he insisted.

 

General Taiwo also insisted that the soldiers fired only blank bullets containing gunpowder into the air and not directly at the #EndSARS protesters.

He claimed the army arrived at the scene some minutes after 4pm when the curfew was initially meant to take effect and they were at the plaza for about one hour 20 minutes.

“By the time the troops had reached where the cubicles are, I doubt if anybody (the plaza officials) would have been there,” the army representative told the judicial panel.

However, the lawyers could not conclude their questioning before the end of Saturday’s sitting.

The panel, thereafter, adjourned until Tuesday next week.

Lagos Judicial Panel Resumes Sitting After One Week Break  

Members of the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry arrive for the resumption of the sitting in Lekki on November 14, 2020. Credit: @EditiEffiong

 

The Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry investigating the Lekki tollgate incident and other SARS related issues has resumed sitting after a week’s break following the absence of youth representatives.

Panel chairman and a retired Chief Judge of Lagos, Justice Doris Okuwobi had adjourned on November 7 when its proceedings were disrupted over the inability to form a quorum due to absence of two youth members protesting against the freezing of the bank account of #EndSARS promoters by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The Nigerian Army representative, who was scheduled to testify before the panel then, was unable to do so.

But on Saturday, the youth representatives returned to the panel and proceedings resumed with the panel in a closed-door session.

However, before it went into a closed-door session, the lead counsel to some of the Lekki incident victims, Olumide Fusika raised an issue that the legal document binding the setting up of the panel has not been released to them as the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu only announced it via a press conference and tweets.

Reacting, the lead counsel to the Nigerian Army, Akinlolu Kehinde prayed the court not to allow this to affect today’s proceedings.

Lagos To Close Ilupeju, Jibowu, Yaba, Other Level Crossings For Railway Project

Two Die As Train, Truck Collide In Fagba
A file photo of a rail track.

 

The Lagos State government has announced plans to close the rail level crossing in Ilupeju, Jibowu, Yaba, and some areas.

It explained that the closure was in accordance with the ongoing Nigerian Railway Modernisation Project (Lagos-Ibadan section) with an extension to Lagos Port, Apapa.

Mrs Bolanle Ogunlola, the Assistant Director of Public Affairs Unit at the State Ministry of Transportation, made the announcement in a statement on Friday.

She listed the dates for the closure of the level crossings to include Ilupeju (November 15), Ogunmokun (November 16), as well as Jibowu and Yaba (November 18), from 8pm to 7am on each day.

The ministry’s spokesperson stated that the phase of construction works on the designated routes would focus on track stress dispersion and locking at various level crossing joints of the Standard Gauge Railway.

“Motorists are therefore advised to utilise alternative routes that have been provided during the daily closure to enhance free flow of traffic on the stated dates.

“Accordingly, motorists plying Ilupeju level crossing will be diverted to Ogunmokun, Yaba and Jibowu crossing to access their desired destinations, so also, those who are to access Ogunmokun Road or access other areas from Ogunmokun are advised to use Ilupeju crossing to Mushin, Oshodi and Surulere for their desired destinations,” the statement said.

According to Ogunola, the identified alternative routes will be used interchangeably to ease movement while traffic management personnel will be on the ground to ensure the free flow of traffic during the construction period.

She noted that the closure was slated for the night to minimise inconvenience in movement and asked motorists to comply with the traffic directions put in place to aid the smooth and uninterrupted flow of the construction schedule.

The state government also appealed to residents to bear the pains, saying the rail project was aimed at achieving a seamless multi-modal transport system that would be beneficial to the larger population.

31 Vehicles Forfeited To Lagos Govt, 43 Motorists Fined For Traffic Offences

The Lagos State Mobile Court has ordered the forfeiture of 31 vehicles to the state government.

 

Thirty-one vehicles have been forfeited to the Lagos State government for moving against the traffic on one-way roads.

The Lagos State Mobile Court which ordered the forfeiture ruled that the vehicles contravened the State Traffic Law.

Mr Adebayo Taofiq, who is the Head of Public Affairs Unit at the Lagos State Task Force, disclosed this in a statement obtained by Channels Television on Thursday.

The order of forfeiture was pronounced after the 31 defendants (drivers) pleaded ‘guilty’ to the ‘one-way’ traffic offence charged against them.

“These arraigned 31 drivers were charged for driving in the direction prohibited by law (one-way) punishable under Part (III) item 27 of the ‘Lagos State Transport Sector Reformed Law of 2018 and have been penalised accordingly,” the court held.

However, 43 other drivers arraigned for plying the BRT corridors and causing road obstructions were ordered to pay fines to the government, in accordance with the law and severity of their offence.

Reacting to the ruling, the Chairman of the Lagos State Environment and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit (Task Force), Olayinka Egbeyemi, confirmed 160 traffic offenders were billed to be arraigned before the court.

He noted that only 74 had so far appeared before the court and urged the remaining 86 offenders to do the same immediately.

Egbeyemi explained that the agency acted in response to a series of complaints from residents, particularly motorists that activities of one-way drivers were causing serious traffic on daily basis since the #EndSARS protest.

“It is painful that with a high level of enlightenment campaigns and several warnings by the government, motorists including private car owners are still driving against traffic, knowing fully well that the penalty for such offence is outright forfeiture of the said vehicle to the government,” he said.

Move To Scrap Ex-Governors, Deputies’ Pension Is ‘Bold And Courageous’ – Tinubu

A file photo of APC National Leader, Mr Bola Tinubu.

 

The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has commended the move by the Lagos State government to repeal the Public Office Holder (Payment of Pension Law 2007) in the state.

The law provides for the payment of pension and other entitlements to former governors and their deputies in Lagos.

Tinubu, who was governor of Lagos between 1999 and 2007, commended Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for taking such a step which he described as “bold and courageous”.

He stated that he was wholeheartedly in support of the move and called on APC supporters in the state to do the same.

The former governor also congratulated Governor Sanwo-Olu on the presentation of the 2021 budget proposal to members of the Lagos State House of Assembly.

He noted that the proposal, tagged ‘Budget of Rekindled Hope’, was appropriately christened and would empower the people in the quest to rebuild the state following the recent destruction of government and private properties in the state.

Read the tweets by Tinubu below:

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, presents the 2021 budget proposal to lawmakers at the legislative chamber of the Lagos State House of Assembly on November 10, 2020.

 

On Tuesday, Governor Sanwo-Olu presented a budget of N1,155,022,413,005.82 to the lawmakers present at the legislative chamber of the Assembly complex in Alausa, Ikeja.

He also informed them that the government would be sending a draft executive bill to the House imminently for the repeal of the Public Office Holder (Payment of Pension Law 2007.

The governor explained that the move was necessary to keep the costs of governance low and to signal selflessness in public service.

Amid dwindling revenues and inflationary growth rates, he said it was important for the government to come up with innovative ways of keeping the costs of governance at a minimum.