The Lagos State House of Assembly has passed a protection bill to provide for the rights and entitlement of victims and protect witnesses during court proceedings for effective prosecution of cases The lawmakers passed the bill on Thursday during its plenary session presided over by the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, after it had scaled the third reading The bill is titled:”’Bill for a Law to Provide for the Rights and Entitlements of Victims and Protection of Witnesses and for Connected Purposes.
” Obasa noted that the bill stipulated the provision of assistance and protection for victims and witnesses who had vital information.
The speaker explained that the vital information referred to genuine information that could ensure effective prosecution of cases.
He also explained that such victims and witnesses were those likely to face intimidation due to their cooperation with the prosecution or law enforcement agencies.
“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 gunshots and sustained severe injuries or wounds.
“The bill stipulates a fine for any medical facility that fails to comply with the related section of the bill,” he said.
Obasa said that a private hospital that received accident victims with severe injuries or wounds for treatment under this section must inform security agencies within 48 hours of admission.
He added that the hospital must forward a request for reimbursement of medical expenses where family members or relations cannot be identified or where the victim was indigent.
The speaker said this was also subject to the approval of such a request by the security agency in question.
Obasa, therefore, directed the Clerk of the House, Mr Olalekan Onafeko, to send a clean copy of the bill to Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for his assent.
The Lagos State House of Assembly has given a two-day ultimatum to the Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure, Mr Kabiru Abdullahi to appear before it.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the summon followed the commissioner’s refusal to honour previous invitations extended to him by the assembly.
The house issued the order sequel to a motion moved by the Chairman, House Committee on Waterfront Infrastructure, Mr Wahab Jomoh at plenary on Tuesday.
Wahab described as unacceptable, the commissioner’s incessant refusal to honour the invitations extended to him by his committee.
Jimoh told his colleagues that the commissioner had always made the committee’s oversight functions difficult with his refusal to honour invitations and present needed documents.
He said: ”It will be noted that it is this house that approved his appointment but the commissioner has 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.
“I want to suggest that my committee be made to carry out a comprehensive investigation.
“While the house should also place on hold, the confirmation of his appointment pending when the investigation is concluded.
” Supporting him, another lawmaker, Mr Bisi Yusuff, noted that the legislature was the most important arm of government in a democracy and, as such, must be respected.
Commenting, Mr Adewale Temitope, noted that the primary responsibility of the house, beyond representation, was oversight.
He suggested that the commissioner be made to appear to defend why he did not honour previous invitations.
In his contribution, Mr Abiodun Tobun urged the house to allow a full-scale investigation into the commissioner’s activities in office for treating the house with levity.
His positions were supported by Mr Adedamola Kasunmu, Mr Sa’ad Olumo and Mr Victor Akande.
In his ruling, the Speaker, Mr Mudashiru Obasa directed the Clerk of the House, Mr Olalekan Onafeko, to write to the commissioner to appear with all necessary documents on Thursday.
“I have listened to your submissions and I want to appeal to the chairman and the committee members to sheathe their anger on him.
“We should give him another opportunity to appear before you on Thursday, unfailingly.
“The commissioner should also appear with all necessary documents,” the speaker appealed.
In a related development, the house read the Lagos State Electric Bill and the Office of the Public Defenders Amendment Bill for the first time.
It also took the presentation of a report of the Victim Assistance and Witness Protection Bill.
The Lagos State House of Assembly has directed the Secretary, Mr. Olalekan Onafeko, to transmit the assembly resolution on the Fifth Alteration Bill 2022 (1999 Constitution Amendment) to the National Assembly. The Chairman of the Information Committee of the House of Assembly, Mr. Setonji David, made this known to the Nigerian News Agency in Lagos on Friday. The NAN informs that the Secretary of the National Assembly, Mr. Amos Ojo, on March 31, transmitted the 44 approved projects to reform the Constitution to the 36 state assemblies for their concurrence. David said the House sent input from the Lagos Assembly on the 44 alteration bills, which included reasons for the House's positions on the bills. “The Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday in plenary considered its input on the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) (Fifth Amendment) Bill, 2022. “Pursuant to Section 9 ( 2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, considers the fifth amendment bills to enable us to send our approval by resolution on the 1999 Constitution to the Secretary of the House. “At the end of the consideration, the Lagos State House of Assembly rejected sections (1), (2), (26), (27), (52), (66) of the 44 bills received by the assembly," he said. he said he. The Majority Leader, Mr. Sanai Agunbiade, explained that the segments of the bills that they passed were a product of the fact that legislators had been exposed to workshops and conferences on the amendment. Agunbiade said that the workshops were to strengthen their understanding which made it easier to quickly move on to some of the lesser-cited areas. The NAN reports that on March 1, the National Assembly voted on the 68 amendments recommended by the House-Senate Joint Special Ad Hoc Committee on Revision of the 1999 Constitution.
To amend a clause in the Constitution, a two-thirds or four-fifths majority of each of the Senate and the House must approve the amendment, after which it will be transmitted to the state Houses of Assembly, where two-thirds or 24 of the 36 of them have to agree. NAN reports that the Abia House of Assembly became the first state Assembly in Nigeria on June 8 to approve amending the 1999 Constitution Amendment Bill, leading to full financial and administrative autonomy for the state legislature, the judiciary, and local government.
The dismissed Chairman of the Lagos State House of Representatives Services Commission (LAHASCOM), Mr. Olawale Mogaji, has said he will go to court to challenge his dismissal.
The Nigerian News Agency reports that the Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday, in a voice vote in plenary session, removed Mogaji as chairman of the commission.
Mogaji, in a statement issued in Lagos on Thursday, argued that the House failed to follow due process in rescinding his appointment.
“I heard through the news that the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly dismissed my appointment as Chairman of the Services Commission of the Lagos State House of Assembly in plenary today.
“It is very sad that our Democracy has been bastardized with the conduct of those who are supposed to ensure the rule of law and the sanctity of justice.
“The speaker without resorting to the rules of the Service has been operating the commission as a unit of the Assembly.
“Recently, he appointed Mr. Olalekan Onafeko in GL-15 as Clerk of the House whereas, to be appointed as Clerk of the House, he must be a Senior Director in GL-17.
“Furthermore, today you appointed another woman, Mrs. Raulat Latona in GL-15 to be Secretary of the Commission, you must also be the Principal Director in GL-17”, she said.
Mogaji said he would stand his ground and allow the law to take its course to protect his integrity.
The Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday, in a unanimous vote sacked Mr Wale Mogaji, the Chairman of the state House of Assembly Service Commission (LAHASCOM).
The House made this known after a voice vote conducted by the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, at the plenary session.
The House also approved the appointment of Mrs Folashade Latona as the new Secretary of the Commission.
The speaker said Latona would replace Mrs Esther Lambo, who retired from service recently.
The House also confirmed Mr Olalekan Onafeko as the substantive Clerk of the House and elevated three other senior staff to the position of deputy clerks.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that those elevated were Mr Babs Animashaun, Mr Taiwo Otun and Mrs Adenike Oshinowo.
The House had earlier raised concerns over the June 8 boat mishap that led to the death of about 15 people.
The House urged Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu to take urgent steps toward tackling flooding in some parts of the state.
By Adekunle Williams
The Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday suspended three local government council chairmen over alleged disregard for the rules governing their activities.
The affected chairmen are: Ogidan Olaitan of Lekki Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Suleiman Jelili of Alimosho Local Government and Tajudeen Ajide of Surulere Local Government.
The House announced their suspension through a voice vote during the plenary shortly after Bisi Yusuff (Alimosho 1) raised a complaint against one of the suspended chairman.
The House said it could no longer continue to watch the council chairmen flouting the state’s local government guidelines governing their activities.
Yusuff, who is the chairman of the House Committee on Commerce and Industry, told the House how Olaitan had been allegedly unruly and had disregard for the assembly members.
He complained that Olaitan accused the lawmakers of carrying out an oversight function on a memorandum of understanding in relation to an issue that arose from a resettlement programme in Lekki.
The lawmaker further said that the council chairman had total disregard for those in his domain whom he was elected to govern.
Commenting, Mr Fatai Mojeed (Ibeju-Lekki 1), accused Jelili and Ajide of questioning the House for investigating the councils based on the petitions raised by their counsellors.
Mojeed then urged his colleagues to suspend the chairmen pending the outcome of the investigations on the allegations made against them to serve as deterrent to others.
The Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, while speaking on the issue, noted that the House had received petitions from many councillors in the state against some serving chairmen.
Obasa said the House could not continue to watch while council chairmen flout the laws that they were supposed to uphold.
“Total disregard for local government guidelines is something that should not be tolerated.
“We cannot continue like this. We can’t be breeding monsters in our local government councils,” Obasa said.
Obasa said it would not be ideal to gloss over the issues as it would be creating a precedence of disobedience to the law by council chairmen especially at a time the state was planning elections into the councils.
According to him, we have received too many petitions from their councillors against many chairmen, this is the time to take action.
The speaker directed the Clerk of the House, Mr Olalekan Onafeko, to write Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and other stakeholders on the decision of the House. (NAN)(NAN)
The Lagos 2021 Appropriation Bill of N1.16 trillion has scaled second reading on the floor of Lagos State House of Assembly.
The 2021 appropriation bill scaled the second reading after the Acting Clerk of the House, Mr Olalekan Onafeko, read it during plenary session in Lagos on Tuesday.
Mr Gbolahan Yishawu, Chairman House Committee on Budget and Economic Planning, said his committee would ensure an analytical scanning of the budget before its passage.
Yishawu who was quick to review the past appropriations and level of implementations, said this was owing to how realistic and attainable the 2021 budget seemed.
He said: “All seem not to be right with the projection of the 2021 estimate as the expected revenues is most likely unattainable.
“This is because of the recent developments of COVID-19 pandemic and the EndSARS protest which have left behind sad tales of economic woes for the state and the country at large.
Yishawu noted also that the counterpart funding arrangement on ground was next to zero, adding that it was a development which inhibits access to likely grants.
He also reviewed the sectoral allotments, stating his worries over the vote heads allotted to a number of sectors vis a vis the external and internal loans of the state as the state debt profile hits a trillion naira.
The Assemblyman said revenue generating agencies needed more vote heads and the House needed to look at the budget critically to ensure revenues were used conscientiously.
According to him, we may also have to look at outsourcing our collections and increase coverage.
Also, Mr Rotimi Olowo, Chairman House Committee on Finance, hailed Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu for the focus of the budget on youths empowerment through internship schemes, vocational training and grants to grow entrepreneurs.
Olowo, however, berated the budget for being over ambitious in terms of revenue projections as a larger percentage of likely tax payers, especially the major companies, might default owing to current realities.
He also noted that attention might be required on Oko Baba resettlement, Mile 12 Market relocation to Imota and Computer Village relocation to Katangowa soon.
He cautioned the house to use empirical facts to substantiate the budget provisions to avert reordering later in the year, adding that the state needed a budget size that was implementable.
Commenting, Tobun Abiodun, Chairman House Committee on Works and Infrastructure, noted that revenue drives the budget and as such adequate provisions had not been made in the revenue projections.
Abiodun added that prioritised projects of the government might likely get the larger chunk leaving other sectors in limbo.
According to him, we should look at a more realistic budget, where revenues will carry the vote heads.
Also, Oluyinka Ogundimu, the Chairman House Committee on Education, registered his worries on the finance gaps and revenue expectations.
Ogundimu noted that the COVID-19 effect was still with the state and to break even would be very difficult given the arson done on public assets across the state.
Speaking, Mr Jimoh Wahab noted that budgetary provisions were basically fiscal proposals and projections for the year.
Wahab, however, said that looking at the omnibus, the vote heads for works was really not sufficient for some abandoned projects in the state.
He noted that since the World Bank was not coming back to help on some important projects, government needed to do more to salvage the situation.
The Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, however, submitted that budgets being a fiscal proposal should not be frivolous.
“Rather it should be couched in such a realistic manner.
“I want to caution the committee not to jump to conclusions on the revenue projection until their engagement with the MDAs.
“The state recently grapples with attendant effects of inflation, unemployment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and EndSARS protest
“Therefore, the budget must have a human face to put smiles on the faces of victims whose means of livelihood were grossly affected,” he said.
The speaker said the committee should look at the areas where the House could be of help considering the exchange rate that was not friendly.
Obasa then committed the 2021 budget to the Joint Committees of the House on Appropriation and Finance for thorough review to report back in six weeks.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that Gov. Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday presented a budget of N1.16 trillion to the state House of Assembly for approval for the 2021 fiscal year.
The 2021 budget estimates titled: “Budget of Rekindled Hope,” is higher than the 2020 budget after it was reduced to N920.5 billion due to challenges of COVID-19 pandemic.
Sanwo-Olu said the 2021 budget has a total revenue of N962.53 billion and a total Internally Generated Revenue of N795.74 billion.
He explained that the budget has a Capital Expenditure of N703.27 billion and a Recurrent Expenditure of N451.75 billion.
The governor assured that the 2021 budget would focus on youth employment, security, youth engagement, and social work, among others.
Edited By: Donald Ugwu