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Lagos Assembly to Constitution Review Panel: Criminalise executive interference on legislature

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The Lagos State House of Assembly has called on the National Assembly to ensure the criminalisation of undue interference on state legislatures and its activities by the executive.

The Assembly, which made its position known at the ongoing review of the 1999 constitution, said, though Lagos is free of such interference by the executive, such cannot be said of other states.

Speaking at the South-West Zonal Public Hearing on the Review of the 1999 Constitution organised the Senate in Lagos on Wednesday, the Speaker of the Lagos Assembly, Rt. Hon. (Dr) Mudashiru Obasa, who was represented by his deputy, Hon. Wasiu Eshinokun-Sanni, argued that the legislature should be free like other arms of government.

Obasa commended the National Assembly for responding to the concerns of Nigerians on the need to carry out a review the 1999 Constitution to reflect the current realities and challenges.

“We want criminalisation of undue interference on the activities of the legislature, though, this does not happen in Lagos but we cannot close our eyes to the happenings in the nation, whereby a chief executive can just order the House of Assembly to be closed down.

“This should be criminalised, the police officers who also participate in such act should also be punished to serve as deterrent,” the Speaker said.

Obasa also called for removal of railway from the exclusive list to the concurrent list to allow for economic development and integration, among states.

He said that such liberalisation of the railways in the country would further allow economic growth and development.

“If Lagos, Ogun, Oyo and other South-West states want the rail to cut through their states for economic integration, either vertically or horizontally, they should be able to do so because it is best for the states.

“We cannot forever wait on the federal government to take the initiative where we feel we can cooperate and ensure economic integration. We should be allowed to do so.

“So, we want railways matters to be removed from the exclusive and brought back to concurrent which allows economic integration,” he said.

The speaker, who reiterated the need for Lagos to be granted a special status by the Constitution, decried that the state was not benefitting from the 13 per cent derivation despite huge income being generated from the state by federal government.

“The most fundamental flaw we see, from Lagos point of view, is that the provision of the Constitution which gives 13 per cent derivation on natural resource. It is highly discriminatory.

“What should be done is natural and economic resources, which will give Lagos desired leverage because we will be able to get derivation from money collected by NIMASA, (Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency), NPA (Nigerian Port Authority) and Customs here in Lagos.

“What they take away from Lagos is huge. If we get 13 per cent of this we should be able to do more in the state.

“The current Constitution does not take into consideration the economic nerves centre which bear the brunch of these activities. Giving Lagos State one per cent is highly unjustifiable,” he said.

The the two-day public hearing had in attendance senators from Ogun, Oyo and Lagos, various groups and workers’ unions, religious leaders, traditional leaders, civil society organisations among others.

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Yoruba Nation: Nobody Can Stop Us From Coming To Lagos- Sunday Ighoho 

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Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly called Sunday Igboho, has declared that nothing would stop Oduduwa agitators from storming Lagos on July 3 for a mega rally.

Recall that the agitators have staged rallies in some parts of the Southwest recently calling for the separation of Oduduwa Republic from Nigeria.

Some of the states in the region that have witnessed the rally include Osun, Ogun, Ekiti, and Ondo States.

The spokesman to the activist, Olayomi Koiki, who spoke in a live video, said the rally is slated to take off from Ojota Park, Lagos.

He said: “We are sending a peaceful message to Governor Sanwo-Olu. We do not mind any other person who is saying we should not come to Lagos.

“Sanwo-Olu is the chief security officer of the land and we are coming to Lagos.

“July 3rd is the most important date; nobody can say we should not come to Lagos. It is a peaceful rally.

“We have gone to Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Ekiti and we had peaceful rallies, so nobody can stop us from not coming to Lagos.”

 

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Breaking: APC Fixes Date For National Party Convention

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The date for APC National Party Convention has reportedly been fixed, even as the state crisis worsens.

JomogNews Nigeria reports that there were strong indications on Sunday that the All Progressives Congress would hold its national convention in October.

A member of the national caucus of the party, who spoke to The Punch, said with the myriad problems arising from membership registration, there was no way the national convention would be held earlier than October.

It was also learnt the panel was still battling with crisis in state chapters of the party.
Recall that when the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee was dissolved in on June 25, 2020, and the Mala Buni-led Caretaker/Extraordinary National Committee was constituted, the caretaker committee was given six months to conduct the party’s national convention.

But on December 8, 2020 the tenure of the caretaker committee was extended to allow for membership registration.

On Sunday, The PUNCH learnt there was a plan to extend the tenure of the Buni-led caretaker committee again.

Our correspondent gathered that those who were pushing for additional time for the Buni-led committee were hinging their advocacy on the fact that the panel had yet to conclude the data capturing required to finalise the membership registration and revalidation.

It was also learnt that the committee would seek additional time to conclude the reconciliation of aggrieved party members to prepare ground for congresses before the national convention.

It was also gathered that the issue of logistics would also be a huddle as the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), had insisted that public funds should not be used to fund party activities.

The PUNCH learnt that those who were against the tenure extension had stepped up efforts to thwart the plan of the committee on the grounds that giving the panel additional time would dent the image of the party.

It was learnt that although consultations were still ongoing about the zoning formula, multiple sources within the party hierarchy confirmed the party’s plan to commence the sale of forms for the various party offices “by the end of June.”

A member of the party’s national caucus, who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media on the issue, said, “To be realistic, if we want to do a thorough job like I’m sure we want to, we cannot hold this convention before October.

“As we speak, we are still processing the raw data collected from the states after the just concluded membership registration and revalidation. We need to have the database which is required for the national membership register.

“If you recall, that was what our party was doing in Lagos in 2014 or thereabouts when the DSS (Department of State Services) under the Jonathan administration disrupted it. This whole exercise is designed to rebuild and update the database.

“You also have the issue of the ongoing reconciliation of party leaders and members across board. No party member would want us to enter into the convention with a divided house. To the best of my knowledge, members of the Buni-led committee are eager to conclude their assignment and move on but they cannot leave their job half done. That is where we are.”

An Enugu State chieftain of the party, Osita Okechukwu, who before now spoke about the possibility of the convention holding in June, said fresh evidence available to him indicated that the issue of logistics had yet to be fully sorted out.

He said, “Logistics is still a major factor. I am aware that Mr President has made it clear to all party members that under his watch, public funds would not be used to fund party activities. President Muhammadu Buhari is a stickler for respect for the rule of law and adherence to financial regulations.

“The party must look within to generate funds to fund its activities; this is a major factor. I am however confident that the caretaker committee under the leadership of Governor Mai Mala Buni remains committed to delivering its mandate.”

However, Spokesman for party supporters, under the aegis of Concerned APC Members, Abdullahi Dauda, said, “We have known from the very beginning that this delay tactics will stretch to this time. The committee was initially given six months to reconcile aggrieved members and convene a national convention but the committee added another function to its original mandate.

“The registration of members was not part of their mandate; they included it and got another six months. We can only wait to see what they want to do this time after the second six months expires.”

Recall, the pioneer Interim National Chairman of the APC, Chief Bisi Akande, had warned the committee against yielding to the temptation of sitting tight.

While speaking during his membership revalidation in his country home, Akande said, “Please, permit me to make two observations. The first is that in normal circumstances, a caretaker executive committee for a political party is an abnormality. If not carefully controlled and expeditiously managed, most aberrant authorities end up in contempt and disgrace.”

Attempts to get a response from the party’s National Secretary, Senator John Akpanudoedehe were unsuccessful as of the time of filing this report. A response to a text message sent to him on the subject was still being awaited at 9:42pm.

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Deposed Emir Sanusi Opens Up On ‘Joining  Politics’

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Former Emir of Kano and new caliph of the Tijaniyya sect in Nigeria, Muhammadu Sanusi II has reiterated that he has no intention of joining politics.

Speaking on Thursday June 17 in Kaduna, the former monarch said he will continue to educate the public on the right candidates to vote for during elections.

He also maintained that priority should be given to education, especially for children before the country’s problems could be addressed.

Sanusi said;

“If we have those we trust who promised they will work for the betterment of the nation, then we can come together and help them – this is not politics.

“If we did not educate our children to become successful, while other people send their children to schools, they will end up working for those ones that attend school and that’s the end.”

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