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Ambode Backs 25 Years Jail Term For Rapists, Perpetrators Of Domestic Violence

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Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday threw his weight behind the 25 years jail term for rapist and perpetrators of all forms of domestic violence, saying that the time has come to take aggressive steps to put a stop to the menace.

Governor Ambode, who led a symbolic walk against Domestic and Sexual Violence in Alausa, Ikeja, with top government functionaries including the Deputy Governor, Dr. Oluranti Adebule, Chief Judge of the State, Justice Olufunmilayo Oke, wife of the Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, Attorney General, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, members of the State Executive Council, members of the House of Assembly, stakeholders in the justice sector, celebrities, students, among others, said it was time to walk the talk and ensure that all hands are on deck towards safeguarding the rights of every citizen and the most vulnerable in the society.

Backing the 25 year jail term for rapists, the Governor, decked in a red t-shirt with inscriptions including ‘I Say No To Rape’, ‘Stop Domestic Violence’, among others, said it was time to take the fight one step further by amending the Protection against Domestic Violence Law, 2007 and also come up with strict punitive measures that would serve as a deterrent to perpetrators of such act.

“Rape should not be met with light sentencing; the minimum sentence of 25 years is highly recommended. We need new laws, which will respond adequately to the nature and occurrences of this era. Domestic Violence is a crime, and should be treated as such. The Protection Against Domestic Violence Law, 2007, should therefore be amended accordingly,” Governor Ambode said. 

He said in the last two and half years, the State has made a lot of in the war against the oppression of the female gender, noting that the State’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team has executed interventions and initiatives including easy access to reporting incidents, speedy rescue and access to justice, medical & psycho-social support for survivors, sensitization & policy advocacy and the establishment of the lagos state domestic and sexual violence trust fund to ensure survivors are financially independent.

Governor Ambode, however, said that his administration would not rest on its oars until the menace is totally eradicated.

“A lot of progress has been made in the steps taken to protect the rights of women and the girl child and in the war against the oppression of the female gender. However, there is still so much to be done. We need to ask ourselves the hard question: for this cause we honour today, how can we truly ensure we are walking the talk?

“What we are tackling today is an almost innate culture which relegates women to the background and forces them to suffer in silence. In Lagos, we are waging a war against this culture and we will do everything within our power to transform ours to a culture of equality, respect and dignity for all. It is a journey of radical transformation, and our government is wholly committed to seeing it through.

“We are not just reactive in helping survivors but also taking aggressive steps to prevent future occurrences. Our aim is to build a system of trust and accountability, where survivors are encouraged to speak out and potential perpetrators are discouraged to commit future acts,” Governor Ambode said

The Governor commended the Lagos State Judiciary for heeding the call to establish a Sexual Offences Court, just as he also lauded the State House of Assembly for enacting the Protection against Domestic Violence Law, 2007, the Child’s Right Law of Lagos State, 2015 and the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015, noting that all efforts was geared towards providing a solid platform for waging the war against Sexual and gender based Violence.

Besides, Governor Ambode, urged the Nigeria Police Force to strive to be more professional and ensure proper investigation of reported cases by grooming specialist officers, since they were mostly the first point of call for victims of sexual and domestic violence.

“As the saying goes, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the next best time is now. We firmly believe that the actions we take today will be the seeds sown for a brighter future for our women and indeed, our children. We believe our State can continue to pioneer in this agenda and become a benchmark not just in Nigeria, but globally”, he said.

In her remarks, the Chief Judge commended Governor Ambode for leading the symbolic walk, saying the development as well as other efforts geared towards combating the menace eloquently confirmed the commitment of the State Government to reduce the menace to the bearest minimum, just as she urged victims to come out and seek justice.

On his part, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa who was represented by the Chief Whip of the House, Rotimi Abiru, said Lagos has set the pace in putting issues of rape, domestic violence, child abuse and others on the front bunner adding that the coming together of the three arms of governments was a proof of political will to fight the menace in the State to a standstill.

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Lagos Matters

Governor Sanwo-Olu presents N1.168 trillion budget for 2020

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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Friday, November 8th presented a budget of N1.168 trillion to the Lagos State House of Assembly for approval for the 2020 fiscal year.    

The proposed budget is to be funded by a projected Total Revenue of N1.071 trillion and a deficit amounting to N97.53 billion. The budget size is higher than the 2019 budget by 34%. Capital Expenditure amounts to N723.75 billion while the Recurrent Expenditure is N444.81 billion, giving a 62:38 capital to recurrent ratio.

According to Sanwo-Olu, “This, in our view, is strong for development. We have placed an increased focus on wealth creation where we will take deliberate steps in courting a partnership between our people and various development institutions.  

“In line with this, we have provided N11.8bn as counterpart funds in preparation for various social impact schemes. In addition, we have made provisions for N7.1bn this year, to provide for industrial hubs, parks, graduate internship programs and virtual markets for artisans. This is in support for Micro, Small and Medium enterprises which are the engines for both economic and employment growth.  

“It is equally proposed that a total of N167.81 billion of the Recurrent Expenditure shall be applied towards personnel costs and other staff-related expenses. This represents 22.02% of the proposed Total Revenue, which is within the acceptable wage policy of 25% of Total Revenue, and includes a provision for the new minimum wage.  

“The budget deficit of N97.53 billion will be financed by both internal and external loans. Since revenue generation is the spine of any budget, this budget supports investment in our revenue generating agencies. This budget seeks to aggressively invest in and develop our education, health and other physical infrastructure sectors. Although our capital spent on works and infrastructure was just N31 billion as at September 2019, as against the 2019 budget proposal of N78 billion, it is our intention to spend N115 billion in 2020,” he said.

The governor said Education would see a significantly increased capital budgetary allocation of N48 billion, an increase of 60% over the 2019 provision of N30 billion, adding that “we must improve the standard and relevance of our education outcomes to our industries. We will work together with our Local governments to strengthen early child education and teachers training/administration, leveraging technology.

“Similarly, in healthcare, we have provided for a capital expenditure of N33 billion, compared to the 2019 budget proposal of N21 billion. We will ensure that our primary health care institutions remain active and attractive to the primary health care needs of our people. Lagos belongs to us all; we will continue therefore to drive partnerships with the private sector in promoting health services within our institutions.  

“Given the perennial challenges of flooding in the metropolis, we have tripled the capital budget provision to tackle this from N3 billion in 2019 to N9 billion in 2020,” he added.

Sanwo-Olu stated that wider consultation was made in the three senatorial districts, in addition to taking memoranda and feedback from stakeholders’ meetings organized by members of the House within their constituencies, which were also attended by Cabinet members, adding that the 2020 Budget would be supported by a Performance Management System that would ensure that, by December 2020,” we shall achieve an optimal budget implementation when compared with previous years. This is in line with our commitment to transparency and accountability in the management of public finances.”

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Lagos Matters

Oniru Throne: Abisogun Family Members At War Over Succession!

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Less than 40 days after the death of a first class monarch in Lagos State, the Oniru of Iruland. His Royal Majesty, Oba Idowu Abiodun Oniru, serious war has reportedly broken out in Abisogun Ruling House over his successor.

It will be recalled that the respected and powerful monarch died in late September, 2019 at the age of 82 after a brief illness.Under the reign of the monarch, Iru land, the host of the highbrow Oniru and Victoria Island, became a mega location with investments and buildings worth hundreds of billions of naira.

We were reliably informed that a tussle has broken down over the throne with many candidates showing interest in the coveted seat.Some of those said to have shown interest in the obaship seat included Wasiu Ogunbambi, Jamiu Adelakun and Saliu Abisogun.Others included Hakeem Ajasa, Fabayi clan, Giwa Otto clan amongst several others.

Reliable sources informed us that lobby has started in high places as some of the candidates were said to have circulated their curriculum vitae among the kingmakers and have started talking to top officials of the Lagos State Government in-charge of chieftaincy affairs in the state.It was gathered that the matter has torn the family apart as none of the candidates was willing to step down for another.Our sources added that what baffled watchers of events in the area is the fact that the crisis broke out just few weeks after the death of the Oba of the town.

“It was only on Friday November 1, 2019 that we did the final burial of Oba Idowu Abiodun Oniru in Eko Hotel. So it is surprising that the candidates for the throne could not even wait for some time before they start fighting over the stool.”Were they waiting for the Oba to die? We all know that the throne is lucrative, but that does not mean that they should start fighting immediately. It is uncalled for,” said a source.

It was however, gathered the kingmakers have started necessary consultations both traditionally and officially, and that the needful would be done in due course, while those interested in the office “have been cautioned to allow the people in-charge due their work so that Iru land would have the right traditional ruler at the right time.”

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Lagos Matters

First Military Governor Of Lagos State Dies At 83

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Mobolaji Olufunso Johnson, a retired Nigerian army brigadier-general and the first governor of Lagos state, is dead.

Family sources said that Johnson died on Wednesday around 4pm.

He served as governor of Lagos between May 1967 and July 1975 during the military regime of Yakubu Gowon.

He became a director of construction giant, Julius Berger Nigeria in 1979 and its chairman in 1996; a post he held until 2009.

He was aged 83

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