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Lagos Assembly: Bill to assist victims, protect witnesses scales second reading

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A bill for a law to provide for the rights to entitlements by victims as well as the protection of witnesses in Lagos has scaled second reading at the state House of Assembly.

Members of the House said on Monday the bill would further endear the government to the governed and give residents confidence to speak out where victimisation has occurred.

The Speaker of the House, Rt (Hon) Mudashiru Obasa, said the bill will strengthen the administration of criminal justice.

He added that the bill would help build confidence in witnesses that would want to testify before the court.

Aside this, the Speaker said the bill would help motorists because most of them only have third party insurance which hardly work.

“This bill is for the society. It will give an assurance to witnesses that they are protected while testifying before the court. The bill will also protect victims of trafficking,” the Speaker said before committing the bill to the House Committee on Judiciary to report back in two weeks.

Earlier, the Chairman House Committee On Judiciary, Petitions, Human Rights and LASIEC, Hon. Victor Akande, told his colleagues that the bill would help to protect victims and as well provide assistance to them in the face of challenges.

Akande added the bill would provide for right to entitlement by victims, adding that there was need by the government to come to the aid of victims when such is needed.

In his contribution, Hon. Rotimi Olowo (Somolu 1) said that there are people who suffer from different forms of victimisation in the state.

He added that it is relatively difficult for victims to seek compensation, thus, there was need to protect them.

Olowo stated that the bill would provide for the establishment of an agency that would address the rights and protect victims and witnesses.

According to him, that the bill is for every resident of the state.

“If we look at what is happening in Nigeria and Lagos in particular, it shows that there is need to protect victims of disaster. The bill is to protect the rights of those that suffers injustice.

“The bill is for every strata of the society. A lot of people have suffered from different victimations, some people’s properties are taken over unjustly and so it is certain this bill will address all the issues. I will urge my colleagues to support it,” Olowo said.

Adding to the debate, Hon. Abiodun Tobun (Epe 2), said the bill takes care of the protection of witnesses that would testify in the court of law, adding that most witnesses are scared of testifying because of the fear of being victimised.

Tobun called the attention of the House to the provision of the bill that creates for the appointment of a board. He argued that the membership of the board should be subject to the ratification of the House.

The Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, said the bill is responsive to the yearnings of the people and that overtime there had been clamour by lawyers that justices should not be for society alone but also for victims.

Agunbiade said: “This bill is to recognise the right of the victims. The bill is to close the gap of waiting for police report before attending to victim of accident. The bill will allow witnesses to freely go to court without fear of testifying. This bill will attend to several lapses in the administration of criminal justice in Lagos state.”

In a related development, the bill to amend the Lagos state Pension Reform Law 2021 scale second reading on Monday as the bill was committed to the House Committee on Training and Establishment after extensive debate by the lawmakers.

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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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