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Stakeholders state positions as Lagos Assembly plans institute of legislative studies

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When passed into law, the proposed Institute of Legislative Studies being considered by the Lagos State House of Assembly will be the first in Nigeria to be backed by law.

This was made known the Director of the National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies, Abuja, Dr. Shuaib Danwaka, at a stakeholders’ meeting in Lagos on Friday in consideration of the bill for the state’s version of the Institute of Legislative Studies.

Danwaka, who was the guest speaker at the event, said that the institute is predicated on the need to provide training for lawmakers and legislative staff.

He commended the Assembly for following the footsteps of the federal government while arguing that democracy is sustained through capacity development.

“The bill is to establish the institute that would provide capacity so that the Assembly would be able to discharged its duties of law making and oversight.

“The duties of the legislature cannot be discharged without capacity. With the institute the capacity of the legislature and staff is guaranteed and it will go beyond Lagos and Nigeria,” he said while noting some parts of the bill that should be considered.

Like Danwaka, Prof. Sylvester Odion Akhaine, a Nigerian activist and academic, supported the bill, but noted areas that could be reviewed.

The bill sponsored by the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon.(Dr) Mudashiru Obasa, shows that the proposed institute is to be charged with the responsibility of conducting quality academic and professional research, training and advocacy on democratic governance, legislative practices, procedures and for connected purposes.

According to the bill, the institute would act as a centre of excellence for research and publication on democratic governance as well as be a centre for continuing education on democracy and legislation.

Among other functions, the institute is to “conduct courses for all categories of legislative officers and the support staff with a view to expanding their overall knowledge and performance in different sections of service;

“Provide continuing education for all categories of legislative officers by undertaking, organising, conducting and facilitating studies, courses, lectures, seminars, workshops, conference and other programmes related to Legislative education;

“Promote and disseminate among legislative Assemblies and Local Governments in the State the practice of science-based methodologies of lawmaking.”

The institute is to also disseminate information through the publication of books, journals, records, reports and other means regarding its activities subject to the approval of its Board.

“The institute would also promote and protect constitutional due process in legislative practices and encourage private sector participation and collaborate with national and international organisations on research and training on issues relevant to its mandate,” the bill stated.

The institute will also have the power to conduct periodic short and refresher courses for National and State legislators, staff, committee secretaries and political aides on democracy and good governance.

It will provide research reports to aide legislation for the House of Assembly, its committees as well as the Legislative Drafting and Legal Services of the House.

The institute will have a council which would comprises the Speaker as Chairman, or at his instance, the Deputy Speaker and five serving members from the five Divisions of the State, who would b nominated.

Others members of the council will include the Chairman, House of Assembly Service Commission, the Clerk of the House of Assembly; and the Director-General of the Institute who would be the Secretary.

The bill states that members of the council other than the ex-officio members will hold office for a term of four years and may be eligible for reappointment for another term of four years only.

A member of the council may resign from the appointment by giving one month notice in writing.

In his keynote address, the Speaker Obasa, represented by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Wasiu Eshilokun-Sanni, said that it was the tradition of the House to organise stakeholders meeting before any bill is passed into law.

Obasa recalled the establishment of the Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies by former President Good luck Jonathan in 2011 adding that the proposed institute in Lagos would enhance governance.

Earlier, the Chairman of the House Committee on Education, Hon. Ganiu Okanlawon, said that the meeting was aimed at involving relevant stakeholders and members of the public in the process of passing the bill.

He said that the institute would provide education for lawmakers and all kinds of legislative officers through seminars, workshops, conferences and other forms of training.

This was corroborated by the Chairman of the House Committee on Tertiary Education, Hon. Owolabi Ajani, who said that the Assembly would do what was expected of it before the bill is passed to the Governor for his assent.

The overview of the bill was done by the Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, who said that the legislature is the major arm that differentiates a democratic from a military government.

Eromosele Ebhomele

Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly.

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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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