Prayer zone for a better, empowering, inspiring, promoting, prospering, progressing and more successful life through Christ Jesus

Posts tagged ‘Lagos state government’

Lagos Magistrate Court Grants Injunction Against Police Land Take Over Of Atiporome Community.


Some of the protesting land owners at the Lagos secreatriat
By SaharaReporters, New York

A magistrate court judge in Badagry has granted an injunction against a police invasion, and demolition of over a thousand houses at Atiporome community in Badagry.

The magistrate, Judge Adesanya (Mrs.) ruled on Wednesday that the police invasion and demolition of the houses was in contempt of court, as a suit was pending regarding the  ownership and tussle on the land.

Magistrate Adesanya in her ruling also lambasted the police over its arbitrary demolition of more than 1,500 houses in the Atiporome community. She wrote the action by the police left residents there homeless.

Just a few weeks before their removal, Atiporome community residents had stormed the offices of the Lagos State Government in Ikeja. They aired their complaints and demanded government intervention on their behalf. But not much came with the airing of their plight before government officials. The Lagos State Government was also busy, ironically, at the time, wrestling with residents of the Okun-Idasho community, in Ibeju-Lekki, in a strikingly similar legal battle, to take over their land for its Lagos Free Trade Zone project.

In recent weeks before the new injunction, police had demolished well over a thousand houses in the community, claiming ownership to the land.

The magistrate ordered the police authority to be immediately served with the court order to avoid further excesses, as she ruled on the application for injunction. This latest legal step was filed collectively by members of the Atiporome community.

The matter was adjourned set for a March 20th hearing.

 

FOI: Request For Information On Ejigbo-Idimu Road.


By Olanrewaju Suraju

Dear Sir : Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) is a coalition of over hundred and fifty Anti Corruption organizations whose primary aim is to constructively combat corruption vigorously and to ensure the effective monitoring of the various Anti-graft agencies in its activities in the fight against corruption and to enthrone transparency, accountability, probity, and total commitment in the fight to eradicate corruption in Nigeria.

The Ejigbo-Idimu road in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State, in a current decrepit status, has degenerated gradually over the years due to lack of maintenance. The road has dilapidated to the extent that the commercial buses, including the few motorists who used to ply the road, have had to abandon it for alternative access roads.

The road is filled with gullies and puddles, reducing means of transportation on the road to ‘okada’ (motocycle) and ‘keke Maruwa’ (tricycles) and even, the okada  and Maruwa riders have to glide through the puddles carefully, lest machine and its passengers end up in the dirty water. (It should be noted that the Lagos State Government has banned tricycles and motorcycles on Major roads; and Ejigbo-Idimu road is a major highway).

On April, 2013, during the Annual Ministerial Briefing marking the second year of second term of Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, the Ejigbo-Idimu road was stated to be amongst ongoing projects. In June 2013, the inhabitants of the Local Government still complained on several occasions through various newspapers including the Punch Newspapers (June 22, 2013) and ThisDay Newspapers (June 9, 2013) that the road is still unusable and that, though work has indeed commenced in the last 2 years, not much has been done, only construction of drainages and demolition of houses were done till date.

CSNAC is hereby requesting, in accordance with the Section 2, 3, 4 of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011, for the following information on the contract of the reconstruction of the Idimu-Ejigbo road:

1.       Total cost of the contact for the construction of that road.

2.      Name of the contractor awarded the contract

3.      Deadline for completion of the project, as contained in the contract.

4.      Relevant documents in support of responses to these requests.

We look forward to receiving these documents promptly and, in any event, within 7 days of the receipt of this application, as provided for in the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.

Sincerely

Olanrewaju Suraju
Chairman
To: Dr. Kadiri Obafemi Hamzat
Honourable Commissioner
Lagos State Ministry of Works and Infrastructure
Lagos State Secretariat
Alausa, Ikeja.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Okonjo-Iweala Denies Issuing Coscharis Import Waiver For Oduah’s N255m Armored Cars-PREMIUM TIMES.


 

Nigeria‘s Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
By Bassey Udo

The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Thursday distanced herself and her office from the raging controversy concerning the two armoured BMW cars recently imported into the country for the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah.

While the Chairman of Coscharis Motors Limited, Cosmas Maduka, told the House of Representatives committee on Aviation probing the N255 million purchase that the Federal Ministry of Finance granted his company waiver for the importation, Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala dismissed such claims as “totally false and without foundation.”

The minister first issued through her twitter handle, saying the customs waiver she approved had no link to either the aviation ministry or bullet proof cars, but for the importation of 300 cars ordered by the Lagos State government for the National Sports Festival (“EKO 2012”).
She then followed up with a formal statement for clarification.

“On June 23, 2012, the Lagos State Government applied for Waiver of Destination Inspection Charges and Duty Exemptions for Coscharis Motors Nigeria Ltd, the official Automobile Partner for the National Sports Festival (“EKO 2012”), to purchase 300 vehicles on its behalf for the event,” the Special Adviser to the Minister on Media, Paul Nwabuikwu, said in a statement.

“Since the Lagos State Government met the laid down criteria, the waiver was granted. It is also important to clarify that the waiver granted to the Lagos State Government for the event did not include the purchase of armoured vehicles.”

At the public hearing by the House of Representatives on Wednesday, the Deputy Comptroller General of Customs, Manasa Jatau, had also accused Coscharis Motors of lying, by deceiving both the Ministry of Finance and National Security Adviser, NSA, into believing that the two armoured cars were among the ones acquired for Lagos state government for the National Sports festival.

Mr. Jatau, who alleged that the N10.1 million import duty due to Customs for the two cars were not paid, said Coscharis had used the same waiver for the Lagos State cars on the controversial BMW’s associated with NCAA.
“Coscharis imported the cars without paying import duties claiming there was a waiver from the Ministry of Finance. Coscharis obtained the waiver claiming the armoured cars were part of 300 vehicles imported for the Sports festival in Lagos last year, and therefore the beneficiary was Lagos State government. The cars had an End User Certificate from the NSA office in the name of Coscharis,” Mr. Jatau told the committee.

The NSA office had apparently issued End User certificate without knowing that it was doing so for cars to be delivered to Stella Oduah or the NCAA.

Reliable sources close to the office of the NSA, however, told PREMIUM TIMES last week that no such authorization certificate was ever issued to either the Minister of Aviation, Ms Oduah or the NCAA, to procure the controversial vehicles.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Anambra deportees sue LASG for N1bn.


Ade-Ipaye

THE 76 destitute persons, who were deported by the Lagos State Government and dumped on the Upper Iweka Bridge, Onitsha, Anambra State on July 24, 2013, have dragged the Lagos State Government to a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.

The suit was filed by seven of the deportees: Nnenna Ogbonna, Joseph Aniebonam, Osondu Mbuto, Osondu Agwu, Emily Okoroariri, Friday Ndukwe and Onyeka Ugwu as the applicants, on behalf of the 76 others, while the Attorney-General of Lagos State and the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State are the respondents.

In the motion filed by their lawyer, Ugo Ugwunnadi, the applicants asked the court to declare that they, as Nigerian citizens were entitled to the enjoyment of their fundamental rights as provided for in Sections 34, 35, 36, 37, 40, 41 and 42 of the 1999 constitution, as amended.

The applicants are also seeking a perpetual injunction restraining the respondents, their agents, workers and officers from their further deportation or refusing them free entry into Lagos and free exit there from, as well as an order mandating the respondents to tender a written apology to them by publishing the apology

in three national newspapers continuously for 30 days, from the date of the first publication, for unlawful and gross violation of their constitutional rights.

The deportees are also seeking a declaration of the court that their arrest and detention in various camps within Lagos state for no offence known to law and without trial and conviction by a court of competent jurisdiction, amounted to a serious breach of their rights as provided for in the relevant sections of the constitution.

The suit was brought as a motion on notice pursuant to Order 11, Rule 1&2 of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure Rules), 2009, Sections 34 (1) (A), 35, 40, 45 (1), 42 (1), 46 (1) and 6 (1) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended; Articles 5, 6 and 12 of African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.

They also sought an order of the court to declare that their deportation from Lagos State to Anambra State on July 24, amounted to a gross violation of their rights and a breach of the provisions of the 1999 constitution, as amended, adding that the court should mandate the first respondent to re-absorb and accommodate the applicants within Lagos State since they were Nigerian citizens and were entitled to reside in any part of the country including Lagos State.

Also, the applicants noted that the issue for determination is whether the action of the respondents in arresting, detaining and their subsequent deportation from Lagos to Onitsha, Anambra state was justified in law, in view of the supreme provisions of the 1999 constitution of Nigeria.

The hearing, which will be presided over by Justice Anumogobia, is set to begin on January 29, 2014.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Lawyer, NCP sue Lagos over ‘deported’ Anambra 69.


Deportees from Lagos to Onitsha

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos is expected to commence hearing in a fundamental human rights suit filed against the Lagos State government by an Onitshabased lawyer, Anthony Orunkoya, and the National Conscience Party (NCP) over the deportation of 69 Anambra State indigenes.

The plaintiffs, Orunkoya and the Anambra State branch of NCP are praying for a declaration that the arrest, confinement and/or detention and subsequent deportation and/or dumping at Onitsha, of the 69 persons of Anambra State origin or any Nigerian whatsoever by the Government of Lagos State on the grounds that such persons are destitute in need of rehabilitation and re-union with members of their families or any reason whatsoever not provided for in the constitution is an infringement, a breach and gross violation of their constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights.

They are also seeking an order of court restraining the Government of Lagos State either by itself or through any of its agencies, servants or privies, from

arresting, confining, detaining and/or deporting any Nigerian not of Lagos State origin to any state in Nigeria whatsoever on any ground whatsoever not provided for in the 1999 Constitution.

The plaintiffs are also asking the court to declare that the liberty of the deportees were infringed upon by the Lagos State Government to wit: right to dignity of human person Section 34(1)(a), right to personal liberty Section 35(1), right to freedom of movement Section 41(1), and freedom from discrimination Section 42(1)(a) of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended in 2011) as well as the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In a statement in support of the motion on notice, the state chairman of NCP, Sir Peter Okala, said that NCP, which has the history of protecting Nigerians, would not watch helplessly for a constitutional government like Lagos State to go against the law that established it with impunity, adding that that is why the party aligned with Orunkoya, the first plaintiff to bring up the action against Lagos State Government.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Ohanaeze condemned the multiple taxation imposed on traders by Lagos State.


Ohanaeze logo

Igbo youths, under the aegis of Ohanaeze Youth Council, OYC, have condemned the multiple taxation imposed on traders by Lagos State Government.

They also condemned the constant closure of markets on flimsy excuses by the government and recent imposition of one Alhaji Abibu Oladotun Oki as Babaloja of All Mushin Motor Spare Parts Markets (Ladipo market).

The youths, in a statement issued by OYC’s Secretary, Board of Trustees, Mazi Okwu Okwu, said: “We have watched the Lagos State Government’s anti-poor and anti-Igbo policies of Governor Raji Fashola, ranging from unlawful deportation, detention, multiple taxation, displacement of Igbos from their places of business to incessant harassment and closure of Igbo interest-dominated markets.

“Until the coming of Mr. Fashola, and his predecessor, Senator Bola Tinubu, Lagos had been an enabling and business-friendly haven for the Igbos and other non-Yoruba ethnic nationalities.

“The Igbos are through legalisation of illegalities and fraudulent financial regimes, made to bear the burdens of financing Lagos budgets and projects to the detriment of their respective business interests.

“Igbo dominated markets in Mushin and other areas of Lagos had under the veil of not carrying out sanitation been closed, only for the Igbos to be made to pay millions of naira before reopening them.”

On imposition of Babaloja on Ladipo market traders, the youths wondered why a Yoruba man would be made leader of a market exclusively developed and long operated by the Igbo people, even in the face of Ndi Igbo market leaderships, headed by president-generals?

“In view of this, we call on Governor Fashola’s government to leave Ndi Igbo alone, since its actions and selective policies are exposing the Igbo nation to internal social phobia not good for Igbo-Yoruba relationship.”

Source: Radio Biafra.

How Lagos Broke Its Own Laws On Deportation‏ By Femi Falana.


Femi Falana
By Femi Falana (SAN)

In a recent intervention on the illegal deportation of beggars and the destitute by Lagos. Anambra and some other state governments I demanded for a new urban renewal policy that provides adequately for the rehabilitation and resettlement of all displaced people in the beautification of state capitals. The demand is anchored on the fundamental rights of disabled people guaranteed by the Constitution.

Although 135 beggars from Osun State were deported from Lagos between April 2010 and July 2013 Governor Rauf Aregbesola cautioned his Anambra state colleague, Mr. Peter Obi to desist from politicizing the expulsion of 14 beggars of Anambra state origin from Lagos. But Governor Aregbesola would have added value to the debate if he had disclosed that the poor state of Osun does not expel beggars and the destitute but rehabilitate and resettle them in recognition of their right to dignity.

However, in defense of the involvement of the Lagos State government in the deportation saga the State House of Assembly Speaker, Honourable Adebayo Ikuforiji threatened that the exercise would continue until the state was rid of people who are “considered as illegitimate burden as well as serious challenge to the State”. With respect, the threat is totally uncalled in the light of the several progressive laws enacted by Lagos state to protect disabled people, neglected children, abandoned pregnant women, victims of domestic violence and persons living with HIV/AIDS in Lagos State. Incidentally, Honourable Ikuforiji is one of the legislators who passed the relevant bills signed into law by both Governors Bola Tinubu and Babatunde Fashola SAN from 2003-2013.

One of such legislations is the Disabled Persons Welfare (Enhancement) Law of Lagos State, 2004 which defines a ‘disabled person’ as “any physically or mentally disadvantaged person.” Since the deaf, the blind and crippled people as well as those who are non compos mentis are either physically or mentally challenged they are entitled to the protection of the law, regardless of their states of origin.

The law has specifically mandated the government to set up “rehabilitation centres for disabled persons and vocation centres in each Local Government Area of the State” and make provisions “to enhance the placement of disabled persons in suitable employment or vocation” and assist them “financially or otherwise.” As the law never contemplated the deportation of disabled people from Lagos it has imposed a duty on the government to promote interaction between them and their able colleagues “within and outside the State”.

Convinced that the law has not adequately addressed the challenges faced by persons living with disability in Lagos State government enacted the Lagos State Special Peoples Law on June 24, 2011. Section 23 of the law requires the government to ” ensure that persons living with disability have good standards of living for themselves and their families, including adequate food, clothing and housing and continuous improvement of living conditions”. In particular, they are entitled to free tuition in all public schools and free medical treatment in all public health institutions in the State. Equally guaranteed are the rights of disabled people to freedom of communication, participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sports. The convenience and safety of persons living with disability shall be provided for in public and private buildings, vehicles, trains or aircrafts and at parking lots.

The law has created an Office of Disability Affairs while a Disability Fund has been established to cater for all disabled people. Governor Fashola SAN inaugurated a governing board made up of seven members including a blind man and three crippled persons on July 9, 2012. On the memorable occasion the governor said that “The society has always responded to the challenge of physically challenged people by giving them alms but that what they need is a level playing ground – level enough to give them the opportunities to be able to carry on with their lives.”

Apart from setting the pace in the inclusivity of persons living with disability in Nigeria the Lagos State government promulgated the Law Against Abandonment of Pregnant Women 2013 on August 9, 2013. The law has criminalized the callous and irresponsible conduct of some men who impregnate women and abandon them. If enforced by the government the law is going to curb the incidence of indigent pregnant women and nursing mothers begging for alms on the streets.

Another relevant legislation is the Lagos State Protection Against Domestic Violence Law, 2007. The law has vested the courts with the power to issue prohibition orders to stop acts of domestic violence and make appropriate orders. Parents and guardians are obligated to provide for the welfare, care and education of their children and wards. It is on record that the human rights community has taken advantage of the provisions of the law to reunite a number of street kids and other abandoned children with their parents.

Furthermore, the Lagos State Child’s Rights Law, 2006 has explicitly set out the rights of the child, the responsibility of parents towards the child and the duty of government to protect and defend the child. The law has prohibited child marriage and the act of sending children to the streets to beg for alms or hawk goods or subjecting them to any disability or deprivation. Community homes shall be maintained in the local governments to provide care and accommodation for needy children.

In addition, the Lagos State Compulsory Universal Basic Education Law, 2006 has provided free and compulsory education for every child from primary to junior secondary school at the expense of the government. It is a criminal offence for  a parent not to send  any child to school. The enforcement of both the Child’s Rights Law and the UBE Law ought to have effectively put an end to the criminal use of children as beggars and traders.

Under the Lagos State Adoption Law, 2003 juvenile courts may authorize the adoption of any child under the age of 17 years who is abandoned or whose parents or relatives and other relatives are unknown. Any child above the age of one year may be voluntarily given out for adoption by his parents. It is a crime for parents to marry their adopted children while an adopted person cannot marry the natural child of his/her adopted parents.

The Lagos State government has equally enacted the Law for the Protection of Persons Living with HIV and Affected by AIDS, 2007. Aside the prohibition of discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS the law has provided for the establishment of a fund to facilitate the purchase of antiviral drugs for persons living with the dangerous disease. Under the Lagos State HIV/AIDS Control Agency Law, 2008 an agency has been established to carry out among other things, the removal of “human resources, financial cultural and information barriers to HIV/AIDS prevention”.

There is no doubt that many poor people resort to begging for alms due to poverty and ignorance while the rich who give alms to them do so on religious grounds. But through education, empowerment, public enlightenment and enforcement of the welfare laws  those who engage in alms begging would have seen the disgraceful practice. In fact, the enforcement of the Lagos State Sanitation Law, 1984 should have stopped street trading and removed criminal scum from the streets by now. A government, which cannot enforce its own laws on account of official negligence or ineptitude, should not be allowed to look for scapegoats among the vulnerable people.

It is pertinent to note that the Lagos high court has upheld some of the rights guaranteed by the welfare laws. Recently, a bank was ordered by the court to pay damages of N250, 000.00 to a physically challenged person who was prevented him from entering a banking hall with clutches. Last year, the court set aside the termination letter of an employee who was sacked by her employer on the ground that she was HIV positive. A few months ago, the court also awarded N500, 000.00 damages against the police for detaining an 8- year old boy in lieu of his father who was wanted for his alleged involvement in a criminal matter.

Regrettably, the aforementioned welfare laws have not been enforced due to lack of political will by the government.  Indeed, the office of the public defender is specifically tasked with the responsibility to provide legal services “for indigent citizens of Lagos State especially women, children and those with physical disability resident in the State irrespective of tribe, race or religion”. It is submitted that if the office of the public defender had carried out its duty of defending“those with physical disability resident in the State” the embarrassing repatriation of a handful of beggars from Lagos to their states or origin would not have occurred.

However, instead of addressing the issue of illegal deportation of disabled people from Lagos and other state capitals including Akwa in Anambra state a section of the petit bourgeoisie has resorted to mud slinging, name calling and whipping up of primordial sentiments. Let such opportunists be told that this battle transcends petty ethnic jingoism. It demands a commitment on the part of all men and women of goodwill to team up with the human rights community in ensuring the enforcement of the welfare laws of Lagos State in the overall interests of the marginalized masses.

Even though the Lagos State government deserves commendation for enacting a corpus of welfare laws it has itself to blame for violating the rights of the victims of social economic injustice guaranteed by the said laws. Rather than persist in illegality in the circumstances the government should stop further deportations and speedily set the engine in motion for the full implementation of the aforementioned welfare laws. It is hoped that other states will enact similar legislations and faithfully enforce them. After all, each of them has created the office of the public defender and established a mediation centre modelled after the Lagos state system.

Femi Falana SAN.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Tag Cloud