Breaking: Lagos Assembly Passes Victim, Witnesses Protection Bill

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday passed a bill to protect witnesses and victims in the state.

The ‘bill for a law to provide for the rights and entitlements of victims and protection of witnesses and for connected purposes’ was passed during plenary presided over by the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Mudashiru Obasa.

The bill stipulates provision of assistance and protection to victims and witnesses who have vital information that could help ensure effective prosecution of cases, but who face intimidation due to their cooperation with the prosecution or law enforcement agencies.

A part of the bill further states: “Every person, including security agents shall render assistance to victims of accidents or crimes and ensure that such persons are taken to the nearest hospital for immediate
care and treatment.

“A public or private hospital shall provide immediate and adequate treatment to an accident victim or any person with gunshot and severe injuries or wounds.”

It stipulates a fine for any medical facility that fails to comply with the related section of the bill.

“A private hospital that receives accident victims with severe injuries or wounds for treatment under this section must inform the agency within Forty-Eight (48) hours of his admission, and forward a request for reimbursement of medical expenses where family members or relations cannot be identified or where the victim is indigent, and subject to the approval of the request by the agency, it shall forward records of the treatment to the agency,” the bill states.

With the bill scaling a third reading during plenary, the Speaker directed the Clerk of the House, Barr. Olalekan Onafeko, to send a clean copy to the Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for his assent.

Obasa to Remi Tinubu At 62: Your Roles In Nigeria’s Democracy Are Indelible

The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, has congratulated Senator Oluremi Tinubu on her 62nd birthday.

Dr. Obasa, in a statement by Eromosele Ebhomele, his Chief Press Secretary, described the former First Lady of Lagos as one whose love for Nigeria and roles in national unity and development are worthy of emulation by every well-meaning citizen.

The Speaker added that Senator Tinubu has continued to etch her name in the history of Nigeria as a politician of repute, a champion of the downtrodden and an advocate for the youth, the aged and good governance.

He noted Senator Tinubu’s passion for a greater Nigeria both as a crusader for a more vibrant democracy and as a serving member of the National Assembly.

“As the loving wife of our dear leader and presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, you have been a major pillar of support and progress.

“That Nigeria practises democracy today is partly as a result of the roles you played while the military held on the the government of the country. History is replete with how you worked tirelessly against the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election result won by Chief MKO Abiola and how you took care of many exiled members of the National Democratic Coalition and citizens of Nigeria who were at the time under the radar.

“As First Lady of Lagos State, your love for the education of the underprivileged in the society and the need to raise standards gave birth to your pet project, The Spelling Bee Competion, which, delightedly, has produced great minds and future leaders.

“Lagos is blessed with you and we are happy that you have remained a major support for the growth and development of our State. You have also remained a mentor to many Nigerians whose lives you have touched with your New Era Foundation and various scholarship programmes.

“On behalf of my family and members of the legislative arm of Lagos government, I congratulate you on your birthday and pray that God continue to bless you with good health, strength and divine capacity ahead of the bigger task before us all, amen,” Obasa prayed.

Queen Elizabeth: Lagos Assembly Wants More For Nigerian Traditional Rulers

The Lagos State House of Assembly has called on the government to improve the honour given first-class and prominent traditional rulers before and after their death.

This motion followed a Matter of Urgent Public Importance raised by the lawmaker representing Mushin Constituency 2, Hon. Olawale Abdulsobur Olayiwola, during on plenary on Monday.

Referring to the celebration that accompanied the burial ceremony of Queen Elizabeth II of England, Hon. Olayiwola observed that traditional rulers in Nigeria are never given adequate honour and recognition before and after their death.

In his comment, the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa emphasised that while it might not be easy to honour all the traditional rulers in the state, first-class royal fathers should be celebrated.

The Speaker said that he shared the idea of celebrating those who make up the traditional institution adding: “We should learn how to elevate our own. If foreigners are coming to celebrate us through their documentaries, we should think deeply about celebrating ourselves too.

“The Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs should fashion out how best our Obas should be celebrated.

“Occupiers of recognised thrones that have been in existence for many years should be celebrated,” he said.

Earlier in his argument, Olayiwola had said: “Queen Elizabeth II left after over 70 years on the throne and the burial was attended by a delegation from Nigeria led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

“But here in Nigeria, we don’t celebrate our traditional rulers in death. An example was when the former Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, joined his ancestors recently. He was not celebrated as he should,” he lamented.

Olayiwola, Chairman of the House Committee on Local Government and Community Affairs, called on the Lagos State Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs to celebrate the traditional rulers in the state while they are alive and during their demise.

This was accepted by all the lawmakers at plenary.

Obasa Celebrates Deputy Governor Hamzat At 58

– Praises Hamzat for his dedication to service of Lagos

The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, says the State remains proud to have Dr. Obafemi Hamzat as its Deputy Governor.

Dr. Obasa said this on Sunday in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Eromosele Ebhomele, celebrating Dr. Hamzat, who clocks 58 on Monday, September 19.

According to the Speaker, the Deputy Governor has shown, consistently, his commitment, dedication and passion to the goal of making Lagos an enviable State in Nigeria and one admired by the world.

He added that Hamzat at 58, remains a perfect example of a technocrat who is not only effective in the discharge of his duties, but uses all within his powers to ensure the good of the majority.

The Speaker further noted the seamless running of the Lagos government made up of the Executive, legislative and judicial arms, attributing this to the knowledge, wisdom and zeal of leaders including Hamzat to make the State constantly habitable for the residents.

“I congratulate Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, my brother and friend in the service of Lagos and the nation as he marks his 58th birthday.

“To say Lagos is not tired of him is just saying the obvious. He has helped, over time, to lift the civil service of our dear State to an enviable height.

“We are happy to have him serve Lagos as Deputy Governor at this time, especially with his knowledge of how our dear State works.

“Again, it is noteworthy that our Deputy Governor has consistently shown beyond every reasonable doubt what a dependable ally in the scheme of progress he is.

“He has always been a loyal team player with fantastic knowledge and managerial skills. His records of service and achievements cannot be under-emphasised and have been sources of encouragement for many.

“We remain proud of him as we wish him more divine knowledge, wisdom and vitality to carry on in the service of Allah and the people.

“Happy birthday from me and my colleagues at the Lagos State House of Assembly,” the statement read.

Breaking: Lagos Assembly Summons Commissioner For Failure To Honour Previous Invitations

The Lagos State Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure, Arc. Kabiru Abdullahi, was on Tuesday saved by the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. (Dr) Mudashiru Obasa, from being sanctioned by lawmakers during plenary.

The lawmakers had expressed anger that Arc. Abdullahi disrespected the House of Assembly by refusing to honour an invitation of a committee of the House which has oversight functions over the Ministry of Waterfront Infrastructure Development.

They also prayed that the Committee on Waterfront Infrastructure of the House be mandated to carry out a holistic investigation of the Ministry since Abdullahi’s appointment while the House places the confirmation of commissioner’s appointment on hold.

However, Obasa appealed to the committee and members of the House to reconsider their prayer just as he urged them to give the commissioner another opportunity to appear before the House.

In this regard, the Speaker directed the Clerk of the House, Barrister Olalekan Onafeko, to write to the commissioner to appear with all necessary documents on Thursday, September 15, 2022.

“I have listened to your submissions and I want to appeal to the chairman and the committee and members to sheathe their swords while we give the commissioner another opportunity to appear before you on Thursday unfailingly. He should also appear with all necessary documents,” the Speaker appealed.

In his complaint, Hon. Muyiwa Jimoh, who chairs the committee, told his colleagues that the commissioner had always made the committee’s oversight functions difficult with his refusal to honour invitations or present needed documents.

“It would be noted that it is this House that approved his appointment,” Jimoh said adding that the commissioner had refused to submit the mid-year budget report for review and appraisal.

“Currently, the Ministry has been invited but as I am talking, the commissioner has refused to honour the invitation.

“The House Committee on Waterfront Infrastructure be made to carry out a comprehensive investigation. The House should also place on hold the confirmation of his appointment pending when the investigation is concluded,” he moved.

Supporting him, another lawmaker, Hon. Bisi Yusuff, noted that the legislature is the most important arm of government in a democracy and, as such, must be respected.

In their contributions, Hons. Abiodun Tobun and Gbolahan Yishawu urged the House to allow a full-scale investigation into the commissioner’s activities in office for treating the House with levity. Their positions were supported by Hon. Adedamola Kasunmu, Sa’ad Olumo and Victor Akande.

Another lawmaker, Hon. Adewale Temitope, noted that the primary responsibility of the House, beyond representation, is oversight. He suggested that the commissioner be made to appear to defend why he would not honour previous invitations.

In a related development, the lawmakers read the Lagos State Electric Bill and the Office of the Public Defenders Amendment Bill for the first time. They also took the presentation of a report of the Victim Assistance and Witness Protection Bill.

Breaking: Lagos Assembly Passes Bill On DNA, Forensic Centre

A bill for a law establishing the Lagos State Deoxyribo-Nucleic Acid (DNA) and Forensic centre to support criminal investigations, law enforcement, preservation of evidence for the judicial system and for other connected purposes has been passed by the Lagos State House of Assembly.

The bill was passed by the House after it scaled the third reading at plenary on Monday with all lawmakers in attendance giving their approvals.

The report on the bill had been adopted at an earlier sitting presided over by Speaker Mudashiru Obasa.

A part of the objectives of the centre includes to provide for the use and regulation of DNA based technology in the Lagos State in order to carry out profiling or analysis.

The centre is to also “carry out other forensic disciplines including, toxicology, drug chemistry, finger print examination, firearms examination, tool mark examination, ballistics, trace evidence analysis, questioned document examination and digital forensics to obtain evidence relevant to the investigation of criminal offences.

“Provide for the use of DNA profiles in the investigation of crime and the use of such profiles in proving the innocence or guilt of persons.

“Provide for the conditions under which the samples for DNA profiles may be retained or destroyed.

“Establish a DNA database and a DNA Index System in the State as well as establish a DNA bank for storage of reference DNA samples.”

The bill gives powers to the centre to take specified bodily samples from certain categories of persons for the purposes of DNA analysis;
collect, examine, document and preserve evidence which can later be used in the identification of offenders amongst others.

The bill also allows the centre decode family ties and relationships of individuals in order to establish identity as well as the identification of abandoned or disputed children and other related issues.

The centre is expected to recommend methods for optimum use of DNA techniques and technologies for administration of justice.

Muslim/Muslim ticket: Focus Should Be On Need For Good Governance – Obasa, Others

With the 2023 general election drawing close, the focus should be more on the need for better governance, not religious sentiments that include Muslim-Muslim or Christian-Christian tickets, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, has tasked Nigerians.

Obasa gave the charge on Wednesday at the 14th Annual Hijrah Lecture organised by Lagos State House of Assembly.

His position was supported by guest speakers at the event including popular Islamic cleric and Chief Imam of Offa, Kwara State, Sheik Muyideen Salman Husayn; Hon. Justice Abdurraheem Ahmad Sayi, a Kadi of Sharia Court of Appeal, Kwara State; and Sheikh Ishaq Mustapha Zuglool Sunuusi, head of academics, Daru Dawah Wal Irshad Arabic Centre, Isolo.

According the Speaker, even though it has been argued that religion and politics are intertwined, it has been noted that religion has never been a determinant in the development of many countries that are currently doing great.

“All over the world where democracy is being practised, it has been established that good governance is not really determined by their religions. In countries like India, Singapore, China and most of the democratic states in Asia and some other parts of the world where neither Islam nor Christianity is being practised, it is gratifying to note that good governance is seen all around them.

“Even here in Africa before the advent of both Islam and Christianity, we had good and steady democratic setting with our traditional beliefs. It is now worrisome, however, that we allow religion to dictate to us how democracy should be practised,” Obasa said.

He argued that the spiritual core of democratic governance is the obligation to serve the people with godly principles and noble objectives.

“People should understand that whoever will be fair, just and is visionary, who can look back and identify good people to form a team with, in order to achieve success is someone who should be of concern to us in a democratic state to lead, not religion.

“There is no doubt that Nigeria is at a most precarious phase in its existence as a nation. These are indeed trying times for Nigeria and Nigerians. We should focus more on how the failure of politics and faith has compromised the unravelling of the Nigerian project.

“Therefore, at this time when Nigeria stands at its most critical juncture in history regarding next year general elections, there is a crucial call for religious bodies to deploy their collective spiritual energies in not only undermining the negative forces of nepotism and dysfunctionality, but in positively enhancing the development of Nigeria.

“Whether the political party contesting is running on Muslim-Muslim ticket or Christian-Christian ticket and otherwise, our focus should be the good intentions of the contestants. Let us not allow any politician to bamboozle us with religion as a determining factor for who we will choose as our leaders.

“In fact, as enshrined in the Constitution of Nigeria being a secular state, there is no provision for the elevation of a particular form of religion over another, let alone which one should be in charge of the government. Instead, what we have is freedom of religion,” he added.

On his part, Justice Sayi said Islam all humanity is one.

“The primary roles and responsibilities of religious leaders is to teach, guide, educate and emancipate the minds of premodial sentiments like tribalism, nepotism and the rest that affect the minds.

“Message of unity and humanity should take the lead of what should come out of religious houses, whether churches or mosques. Religious leaders should know that God has created us equally and they should also know that nobody has been created superior. The first most important responsibility of pastors and Imams is to lead the people to virtue,” he said.

In his own lecture, Sheikh Sunuusi, noted that Islam urges co-habitation and co-operation with others for the benefit of the society.

“Islam says we should not cheat any other person,” he said as he punctured the arguments of those against Muslim/Muslim ticket with how situations had sprung up Christian-Christian governments in the past.

Explaining the idea behind the topic, the chairman of 14th Hijrah lecture, Hon. Adams Noheem Babatunde, said it had become imperative for religious leaders to tread softly and preach unity.

“This is not the time for teachings that would polarise us. We expect people of influence to always emphasise peace and unity at all times,” he said.

Insecurity: Lagos Speaker Advocates True Federalism, Implementation of Panel Reports

* Says Lagos Government Proactive On Issues Of Security
* Suggests State, Community Policing Systems

The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. (Dr) Mudashiru Obasa, has described Nigeria as a country that desires true federalism as part of the solutions to the nation’s security crisis.

Dr. Obasa stated this on Wednesday at the 2022 National Congress and Scientific Conference of the Nigerian Psychological Association held at the Lagos State University.

The Speaker, who was awarded Honourary Fellow of the academic body, lamented that insecurity had continued despite the federal government’s deployment of financial and other resources to its fight.

He also urged the federal government muster the political will to implement the recommendations of different panels and committees that have investigated immediate and remote causes of insecurity in the country.

Represented by Hon. Victor Akande, chairman of the House Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, Public Petitions and LASIEC, Obasa further advocated for sincere national mediation, negotiation, arbitration, reconciliation, and broad amnesty as modern conflict resolution strategies where necessary.

Speaking on the topic, ‘Security and National Sustainability’, Obasa described Lagos as one of the safest states in the country owing to the proactive efforts of all the tiers of government in the state.

“Here in Lagos State, we’ve taken preventive steps to ensure that law and order do not collapse for no good reason. We established the Neighbourhood Safety Corps because we are aware of the critical need for quick response from local security officers at the grassroots level.

“The state government’s efforts, led by the Neighbourhood Safety Corps and aided by the other security officers on the ground, have made Lagos a secure place to live for everyone.

“There is, however, reason to believe that the federal government would support the same objective by establishing a state police force. Community preventative policing, as opposed to curative policing, is crucial for maintaining national security in light of the current state of affairs. Constant contact between the security agencies and community people is necessary to get the country out of its current situation.

“At the same time, all three tiers of government should work to significantly cut spending on administration, which includes things like defence and domestic security. As one might expect, this is crucial if we want to see progress in the real sectors of the economy,” Obasa said.

The Speaker, while noting that military action and confrontational approach tend to increase violence rather than decrease tension, added: “to rehabilitate all militants who embrace reconciliation, however, we need to place a greater emphasis on the concepts of mediation, negotiation, arbitration, reconciliation, and broad amnesty as modern conflict resolution strategies.

“The principle of true federalism advocated by militants in the Niger Delta and other groups should be adopted because it guarantees genuine political autonomy and the right to control resources.

“In a similar vein, the federal government and other stakeholders in Nigeria’s violent sociopolitical and ethnically based crisis need to muster the political will to carry out the recommendations of the numerous panels and committees set up to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the crisis.”

He attributed insecurity to a number of factors including the country’s inheritance of a faulty security structure and the failure of successive governments to effectively restructure the system.

Beyond impacting knowledge, the Speaker tasked tertiary institutions to be interested in the affairs of the nation as part of their contributions to the sustenance of national progress.

He commended the NPA and LASU for honouring him as he promised to continue to play roles for the advancement of Nigeria.

Earlier in his address, Prof. Olukayode Afolabi, President of NPA, lamented the security situation of the country saying it now affects every facet of Nigeria’s development and forcing investors away.

Among other suggestions, he said there was an urgent need to bring psychologists into the recruitment and development processes of security personnel.

On her part, Prof Adenike Boyo, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics) of LASU who represented the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello, expressed hope that the 5-day conference would add value to Nigeria’s development.

LAGOS ASSEMBLY TRAINS STAFF ON PUBLIC POLICY, CHANGE MANAGEMENT, OTHERS

The leadership of the Lagos State House of Assembly, led by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Mudashiru Obasa, has kicked-off a three-day capacity training for staff of the State’s legislative arm.

The training, in four batches, is aimed to prepare staff for public policy, change management and its sustainability among others.

In an address by the Clerk of the House, Barr. Olalekan Onafeko, read by Mrs. Kafayat Adesanya, Head, Learning and Development, the theme of the training ‘Public Policy, Change Management, Sustainability of Reforms, and Building Resilient Management and Staff for Impact’ will help staff meet the goals and objectives of the Assembly.

“Human capital development in the Lagos State House of Assembly is a continuous drive that has assisted it in achieving its set goals and objectives. Training and retraining of legislators and members of staff are sacrosanct as evidenced by productivity.

“The essence of the training includes: deepening participants’ understanding of essentials of public policy analysis and management rudiments; acknowledging and understanding the need for sustainability of reform of the Lagos State House of Assembly; enumerating the need for communication, relationship trust and team work in building resilient staff for impact; equipping participants with relevant skills that will improve their performances and efficiency,” the Clerk said.

Mr. Onafeko said he was confident of the consultant, Messers Hybitel Limited, adding that the firm would perform better than expected as it is reputable and has established itself with the Assembly.

He, however, implored staff to make use of the opportunity offered through the workshop and ensure full participation which should reflect positively in their work and relationship with other members of the organisation just as he wished them a successful and fulfilling workshop.

On her part, the Secretary to the Lagos State House of Assembly Service Commission (LAHASCOM), Mrs. Folashade Latona, laid emphasis on the theme which she said was carefully selected considering the situation of public policies in the polity.

 

Kemi Nelson: We Have Lost A Very Bright Light, Obasa Mourns

With the passing of Chief Kemi Nelson, a member of the Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC), Lagos State has lost a very bright light, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, has said.

Chief Nelson, a former South-West Women Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), died on Sunday at the age of 66 after a brief illness.

Dr. Obasa, in a statement on Monday by his Chief Press Secretary, Eromosele Ebhomele, described the death of the politician as a huge loss to Lagos state, the party she served with so much passion and enthusiasm, members of the party and Nigeria.

“The shock is indescribable. It is so huge and painful, one that will be difficult to heal for a long time. Indeed, we lost a very bright light that had always brought the desired radiance to our party.

“Chief Kemi Nelson was a coordinator of women and she carried out her tasks with so much ease, enthusiasm and effectiveness to the admiration of everyone of us.

“She never hid her passion for a better Lagos and Nigeria through democratic governance. She was dilligent and excelled in every position or committee she found herself.

“While I, like many others she held in high esteem, will personally miss her, I pray that God would strengthen every member of her family, her friends, associates, those she mentored, the GAC and our party,” Obasa prayed.

Chief Kemi Nelson, former Executive Director of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) and influential politician, was a senatorial candidate in 1992. She lost the election to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, now presidential candidate of the APC ahead of the 2023 election.

In 1999, she pitched tents with the Alliance for Democracy (AD) and served in the administration of Asiwaju Tinubu as Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.