Lagos Assembly Calls For Ban of “Sokundaye,” Others

The Lagos State House of Assembly has called for the ban and sales of consumption of “Sokundaye” and other hazardous liquid substance in the state.

The Speaker of the House, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa said that generally, even in the United States of America, they had not stopped the use of drugs.

“But the law has to be stronger when it comes to selling to children.

“We should not allow children and teenagers to have access to it. What the products are being used for is different from what the producers intend them for.

“We have to stop primary school children from abusing the drugs.

“We should reach out to the necessary departments in the state Ministry of Health.

“The Ministries of Information, Health and Education should embark on awareness campaign on these products.

“We also call on market women and men as well as transport workers to embark on campaign against these products,” he said.

Hon. Akeem Shokunle, who moved the Motion during plenary on Tuesday, said that ‘Sokundaye was not a product, and that it is chemical.

Shokunle stated that they took the product to the laboratory, and that the instruction on the bottle stated that it should not be inhaled.

“The chemical is used for embalment. They would mix it with water, it would not make you high, they only say that it would clear your chest.

“It is not a regulated product and it is not being approved. It should be banned from the system,” he said.

The House then called on Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the state, Director General of Lagos State Safety Commission, Ministry of Health and Education and NURTW to campaign against the use of the drugs.

“We also call on the Ministry of Education to embark on sensitization of the people of the state,” Shokunle said.

Shokunle explained that ‘Sokundaye’ affects the central nervous system when consumed.

According to him, the sales of harmful substance that weakens the body and poses threat to the health of consumers is increasing in the state.

He added that many consumers of the substance do not know the content of the substance.

“Sokundaye is from chlorophyll. It has the capacity to destroy the central nervous system that destroys the kidney.

“It might be the cause of constant kidney problem in the state. The product should be banned”, he added.

The lawmakers who contributed to the matter, said that they were aware of the continous sales of the product and others.

“We should call on Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to call on the Lagos State Safety Commission to stop the production of Sokundaye and other dangerous substances”, the House resolved.

Hon. Tunde Braimoh representing Kosofe 2 in his submission said that 65% of the Nigerian population is made up of active youths and that the nation neededto protect them.

He continued, “When the youth consume this kind of product we will have an unhealthy workforce. We should just ban the product if it destroys the nervous system. The state Ministry of Health should empirically analyse the product.

Hon. Desmond Elliot, in his comments, said that Sokundaye was just one of the many substances being abused in Lagos State.

He posited that banning the product was not the solution, and that if it was banned others would come up and that this would not solve the problem.

“We should orientate the masses on the danger in these products”, said Desmond.

Hon. Rotimi Olowo representing Somolu 1, in his comments, stressed that the future of Nigeria was at risk.

He opined that youth are hooked on tramadol on a daily basis, saying that there was need to look at the convergence of the youths that consume these products.

“We need to get the necessary agencies to see how this could be stopped.

Also speaking, Hon. Rasheed Makinde stated that the country was going through recession and that this had affected her economy, and social background.

“We see our youths engaging in illicit activities such as 419 and others.

“When they make money they spend on these products. The family should do more for their children.

“The communal responsibilities of those days are no longer there.

“The National Agency For Food And Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and National Standard Organization (NSO) should investigate these products. Even our law enforcement agents take these drinks,” he said.

Also speaking, on. Mojisola Alli-Macaulay said that the state needed to address the orientation of the people.

He stated that the state should look at the orientation of the young people in the state, which she said was bad.

“The way they behave encourages Immorality.

“The law enforcement agents are also culpable. We need an agency that can re-orientate these young people.

“The issue of banning may not work, we should just change the orientation of the people,” she said.

Lagos Assembly Begins Probe Of Ambode Over Purchase Of Buses Worth N45 Billion

The Lagos State House Assembly on Tuesday during plenary set-up a committee to investigate the purchase of 820 buses by the administration of former governor Akinwunmi Ambode of the state.

The House stated that it was important to investigate the purchase of the 820 buses out of the 5,000 buses proposed by former governor Akinwunmi Ambode for mass transit in the state, but which was purchased despite objection by the House of Assembly.

In a motion titled; Lagos State House of Assembly Motion Number 2, Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu (Eti Osa 2), explained that the House noted that at the Executive/ Legislative parley held at Golden Tulip in FESTAC in September 2017, Ambode informed the lawmakers that 5,000 buses would be bought by the state government.

He stated that the executive proposed to spend N17 billion to purchase the buses in the 2017 budget, but that this was not approved by the Assembly.

“In the 2018 and 2019 budgets, the state government proposed N24 Billion and N7 Billion respectively, but these were not approved.

“The state government still went ahead to import 820 buses at N7 Billion, and out of them 520 are still awaiting clearance at the ports,” he said.

He added that the House was worried that 520 buses were still awaiting clearance from the bonded warehouse and the Port, waiting to be cleared, and that they were purchased with taxpayers’ money without approval.

Hon. Yishawu then submitted that the House should set up an adhoc committee to investigate all the issues relating to the purchase of the buses.

He also stated that the House should investigate the cost of the purchase of the buses and other issues surrounding the purchase to prevent a re-occurence.

“The state government requested waivers for the importation of the buses and it was not granted.

‘The value of the buses were overrated. Some of the buses are still in the ports and they are attracting demurrage.

“N45 Billion would be spent on the total purchase of the buses and we need to prevent such an occurrence in the future,” he added.

Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa said in his submission that the House needed to prevent waste because the expenditure had been done.

According to him, “the vehicles are in the ports and they have been there for almost a year.

“The state will continue to suffer if we allow the buses to stay in the ports.

“We should be the regulators of transporters, the state should not operate the buses.

“How much are we giving the buses out should be addressed. We should get the buses to the roads and safe the state from further wastes,” he said.

The House subsequently set up a committee headed by Hon. Fatal Mojeed (Ibeju Lekki 1) to look into the matter and report to the House in due course.

Members of the committee, according to the Speaker included Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu, Hon. Bisi Yusuff (Alimosho 1), Hon. Olanrewaju Afinni (Lagos Island 2), Hon. Rasheed Makinde (Ifako Ijaiye 2), Hon. Yinka Ogundimu (Agege 2), Hon. Mojisola Miranda (Apapa 1) and others.

The Speaker directed the committee to invite the Accountant General of the state, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transport, and others that were involved in the purchase to state what they knew about the purchase.

He also told them to invite the current Commissioner for Finance, the Managing Director of LAMATA and others.

In his contribution, Hon. Yinka Ogundimu (Agege 2) stated that the House needed to investigate every transaction that had to do with the procurement of the buses.

He added that It would become a bad precedent if the House didn’t do anything about the matter.

“A huge amount of money still needed to be paid on the purchase of these buses. Whoever has erred should be brought to book,” he said.

Also speaking, Hon. Rasheed Makinde stated that it was obvious that the last administration did a lot of misdeed in awarding contracts.

Makinde stressed that some of these included Vision Scape and the proposed fourth mainland bridge.

“The House rejected the proposal on the buses, yet they went on to spend N45 Billion on the project.

“Since we did not approve the contract expenditure is null and void, so the money should be refunded.

“The Account General of the State, Procurement Officer and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transportation must be called to speak on the matter,” he said.

In his view, Hon. Rotimi Olowo (Shomolu 1) stressed that the provision of the 1999 Constitution in Section 120 has been flouted with the purchase.

“They told us that they wanted to start a pilot project, yet they went ahead with the project.

“Can we still wait for the vehicles to be in the port and attract demur-rage.

“The incumbent Governor of the state should ask for waivers from the Federal Government so that we could retrieve the vehicles from the ports,” he said.

The House subsequently went on a break until further notice as the members would be embarking on a lot of programmes such as training programmes outside the country, while it would town Hall meetings across the 40 constituencies on September 10, 2019 amongst others.

Lagos Assembly Confirms Alogba As Chief Judge

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday confirmed Hon. (Justice) Kazeem Olanrewaju Alogba as the Chief Judge of the state.

Speaker of the House, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, stated that the Chief Judge had proven to be capable of the office and that it was a mere formality for him to appear before the lawmakers for confirmation.

It will be recalled that Alogba had been serving as the Acting Chief Judge of the state for some months.

Speaker Obasa subsequently asked Justice Alogba to explain why the Executive always defeat the legislature whenever there was any court case between them.

Justice Alogba however replied that it should not be the norm for a particular party to always win in the court, but that it depended on the facts being presented and who is marshalling the case.

The House subsequently confirmed Alogba as the Chief Judge of the state through a voice vote supervised by the Speaker.

Alogba, who was born in 1960, attended Holy Trinity Primary School and spent four years in the school before proceeding to Ikorodu High School.

He later proceeded to Baptist Academy for HSC and then went to the University of Lagos, where he read law and graduated in 1981.

He started working at the Federal Ministry of Justice in 1982 before he left for private service and worked in law firms as a lawyer before joining the service of the Lagos State Government as a judge.

The House later adjourned sitting to Monday 26th August, 2019 at 12 noon.

Lagos Cabinet: Assembly Rejects Three Sanwo-Olu’s Nominees, Confirms 35 Others

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday rejected three of the 38 Commissioner and Special Adviser nominees of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu after the completion of screening by the ad-hoc committee of the House last week.

The gallery of the Assembly was filled to the brim with well wishers of the nominees on Monday during the confirmation exercise that held at the hallowed chamber of the Assembly.

Those rejected by the Assembly included Ms. Adekemi Ajayi-Bembe, Mr. Obafemi George and Prince Lanre Sanusi.

The Speaker of the Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa had said shortly after the final screening of the nominees that the report of the committee set up for the screening would be based on the decision taken at the parliamentary of the assembly.

He added that the confirmation was not about educational qualification, and that the House would continue to monitor the commissioners and special advisers and oversight their responsibilities when they assume office.

He said further that where they discover that the actions of the incoming Commissioners and Special Advisers were inappropriate the House might declare a vote of no confidence on them.

Those cleared for nominations as commissioners and special advisers were Mr Oladele Ajayi, Mr Oluwatoyin Fayinka, Mrs Yetunde Arobieke, Mr Kabiru Abdullahi and Mr Joe Igbokwe.

Others are Mr Bonu Solomon Saanu, Mrs Lola Akande, Prince Anofi Elegushi, Mrs Solape Hammond, Mr Moruf Akinderu-Fatai, Mrs Shulamite Adebolu, Mr Tokunbo Wahab, Mr. Rabiu Olowo Onaolapo, Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo, Professor Akin Abayomi, Dr. Idris Salako, Mr. Tunji Bello, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka and Mrs. Bolaji Dada

Others included Mr. Lere Odusote, Dr. Frederick Oladeinde, Mr. Gbolahan Lawal, Dr. Wale Ahmed, Mr. Moyo Onigbanjo (SAN), Mr. Hakeem Fahm and Mrs. Ajibola Ponle.

Also confirmed were Engr. Aramide Adeyoye, Mr. Segun Dawodu, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, Mr. Sam Egube, Ms Ruth Bisola Olusanya, Princess Aderemi Adebowale, Mr. Tunbosun Alake and Mr. Afolabi Ayantayo.

The rejection and confirmation were done through a voice vote supervised by the Speaker.

However, the swearing-in and inauguration of the cleared nominees has been fixed for Tuesday 20th August, 2019 at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium in Alausa, Ikeja by 10 am.

Lagos Assembly Committee Completes Screening of Sanwo-Olu’s Commissioner, SA Nominees

The Lagos State House of Assembly Ad-hoc Committee for Screening of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s Commissioners and Special Advisers on Friday completed screening of the second batch of the nominees.

The 16-man committee, headed by Hon. Rotimi Abiru, the Chief Whip of the House, commenced the exercise for the second batch of the 13 nominees on Thursday.

The committee screened six of the 13 nominees on Thursday and the remaining seven on Friday at the Lateef Jakande Auditorium of the Assembly Complex in Ikeja.

The nominees screened in the second batch are Mr Oladele Ajayi, Mr Oluwatoyin Fayinka, Mrs Yetunde Arobieke, Mr Olanrewaju Sanusi, Mr Kabiru Ahmed and Mr Joe Igbokwe.

Others are Mr Bonu Solomon Saanu, Mrs Lola Akande, Prince Anofi Elegushi, Mrs Solape Hammond, Mr Moruf Akinderu-Fatai, Mrs Shulamite Adebolu and Mr Tokunbo Wahab.

It featured intensive screening of each nominee’s resume and what innovative idea such nominee would bring on board.

At the end of the screening, Abiru told them that the House of Assembly would get back to them through the governor.

Speaking with newsmen at the conclusion of the exercise, Abiru expressed satisfaction with the competence of the nominees, saying the state would be better with their wealth of experience.

He said that the committee would present its report to the Assembly of 40 members before final decision on their confirmation or otherwise would be taken.

The chairman said: “This has been a very tough exercise; we have now taking the entire 38 nominees of the governor (25 in the first batch and 13 in the second batch).

“From what we have seen, we have knowledgeable and intelligent people that actually understand how government will work to succeed.

“It is a mix-we have technocrats, politicians and people who believe that it does not matter the divide they belong to, that what is mostly important is the urge and zeal to deliver service.

“They have seen this as a call to service and have actually pledged before us that they will put all that God has endowed them to ensure that good governance is witnessed with the present administration and that the people of Lagos will enjoy the dividends of democracy.”

He commended the committee members for asking the nominees intelligent questions, saying that none of the nominees was treated as a sacred cow in the best interest of the state.

Abiru said that only three nominees in all, who were former lawmakers, were allowed to “take a bow” without serious scrutiny.

According to him, the committee will work on its report over the weekend and forward same to the House as soon as it was ready.

“I want to assure Lagosians that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has a very good team, a team that will deliver dividends of democracy to the people of Lagos,” he added.

Lagos Assembly Resumes Screening of Sanwo-Olu’s Commissioner, SA Nominees

The Lagos State House of Assembly ad-hoc committee screening Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s cabinet nominees resumed the exercise on Thursday with the final batch of 13 nominees it received over the weekend.

The 16-man committee chaired by the Chief Whip, Hon. Rotimi Abiru, screened seven out of the 13 nominees sent to the House while the remaining six will take their turn today (Friday).

Among those screened were the Lagos State All Progressives Congress (APC) Publicity Secretary, Mr. Joe Igbokwe.

Igbokwe was subjected to series of questions by the committee members.

He confessed that as a loyal party member he had expected that he would just be told to take a bow and go by the committee members but that to his surprise he was drilled even more than the nominees who appeared before him.

Answering questions from journalists after his screening, Igbokwe said: “The screening was quite excruciating, I was asked about 15 questions which I answered.

“I thought they would just ask me to take a bow and go having served the party for a number of years, because all of them are party members but I met a different thing; I thought it was just to go and take a bow and go but ended up spending more time”.

Igbokwe said it is difficult for him to disengage from the image making job which he has been doing for the party over the years.

“I have been doing the job for too long, it is almost a part of me, but you know we must move on, I am happy about my nomination, it is a call to service and I know I will add value to where ever I find myself, that is my goal, my motive,” he said.

Though a trained mechanical engineer, the APC image maker in Lagos state said he can fit in anywhere because “I had an all round training in my undergraduate days at the university and I can fit in anywhere.

“My idea about life is that you must add value where ever you find yourself; I will have to continue to work and to continue to render service to the people”.

He also explained that why his kinsmen had issues with APC in Lagos in the last election was because the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) fielded Peter Obi, an Igbo man as its vice presidential candidate, saying the people felt naturally drawn to their kinsman.

He ascribed low Igbo votes in the state for President Muhammad Buhari at the 2019 general elections to ethnicity, saying that the Igbos had sentiment for the PDP because its running mate was an Igbo man.

The Lagos APC Publicity Secretary added that before the general elections, the Igbos in Lagos had made it known publicly that they would not vote for the APC at the presidential election but that they would for Sanwo-Olu at the governorship election.

“The Igbos in Lagos State were moved by Peter Obi to have voted enmasse for the PDP at the presidential election in the last general elections.

“They made it known publicly that they won’t vote for President Buhari because of tribalism. They assured Lagos APC of their votes and which they fulfilled by voting for APC in the governorship election.

” Ethnicity and tribalism will not take us anywhere in this country. If I should have my way and become a President of this country, I will ensure that State of Origin is totally removed from our curriculum vitae and we will consider competence rather than where one comes from,” Igbokwe said.

As at the time of filling this report five out of the seven nominees slated for screening had been attended to and they are: Mrs. Yetunde Arobieke, Mr. Joe Ignokwe, Mr. Oluwatoyin Fayinka, Mr. Oladele Ajay, Arc. Kabir Ahmed.

The remaining are: Mr. Olanrewaju Sanusi, Mr. Bonu Solomon Saanu, Mrs. Lola Akande, Prince Anofi Olanrewaju Elegushi, Mrs. Solape Hammond, Mr. Moruf Akinderu Fatai, Mrs. Shulamite Olufunke Adebolu and Mr. Tokunbo Wahab.