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Lagos Assembly Drills Sanwo-Olu’s Commissioner Nominees

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The Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday drilled eight commissioner nominees of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the state for about five hours.

It will be recalled that Sanwo-Olu sent 25 names of Commissioner nominees to the Assembly penultimate week for screening as stipulated in the constitution.

A letter from the Governor containing the names of the 25 commissioner nominees were read by the Clerk of the House, Mr Azeez Sanni during plenary.

The nominees were Mr. Rabiu Olowo Onaolapo, Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo, Professor Akin Abayomi, Dr. Idris Salako, Mr. Tunji Bello, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka and Mrs. Bolaji Dada

Others included Mr. Lere Odusote, Dr. Frederick Oladeinde, Mr. Gbolahan Lawal, Ms. Adekemi Ajayi, Mr. Femi George, Dr. Wale Ahmed, Mr. Moyo Onigbanjo (SAN), Mr. Hakeem Fahm and Mrs. Ajibola Ponle.

Also on the list were Engr. Aramide Adeyoye, Mr. Segun Dawodu, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, Mr. Sam Egube, Ms Ruth Bisola Olusanya, Princess Aderemi Adebowale, Mr. Tunbosun Alake and Mr. Afolabi Ayantayo.

The list contained the first batch of the nominees with an assurance that there would be a subsequent batch.

The nominees are to serve as Commissioners and Special Advisers upon ratification by the legislature.

The 16-man adhoc committee set-up for the purpose by the House is headed the Chief Whip of the House, Hon. Rotimi Abiru.

First to be screened by the Committee was Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka, Assistant Legal Adviser of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.

Toke Benson, who was a House of Representatives aspirant of the party in Ikeja Constituency in the 2019 general elections, promised to bring her experience as a lawyer for 30 years to bear if she was given an opportunity.

The politician, who said she has been speaking against domestic violence and child abuse through the social media stated that she spoke against Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo of COZA, when his alleged rape case against Busola Dakolo broke.

“I have been speaking against all issues relating to domestic violence, rape and child abuse through the social media and other means.

“We need to teach our boys, who grow into men that when a girl says ‘no’ it is ‘no.’ We should make some scapegoats to put a stop to it.

“Though there is an awareness on rape, the awareness is not enough. On child abuse, we have fathers sleeping with daughters and mothers sleeping with sons.

“Lagos is the model state in Nigeria. If we don’t speak against rape and child abuse, we will be like India where a man will enter a bus and rape about 50 women. We should have laws in place that will take care of all these,” she said.

Toke Benson also spoke about gender sensitivity, and revealed that she did not like to be regarded as a feminist and detested being pushed to the Ministry of Women Affairs all because she is a woman.

Also screened was Princess Aderemi Adebowale, who said that she was a foundation member of the ACN/APC, and a member of the support group of the party in Lagos State.

Adebowale, who said that she was a presenter of a talk show that treats life issues on LTV 8, added that she is a registered nurse.

“I will emphasise the welfare of the workers if given the portfolio of health commissioner in the state.

“Our doctors and nurses travel abroad because of the poor pay in the sector.

“If you go abroad, you will see that nurses are well taken care of. We can have facilities but maintenance is key and insurance is key,” she said.

Adebowale added that she was a sole administrator of a local government in Victoria Island, and that she was able to build about six roads and did some other projects.

“I believe in women empowerment. Also, primary healthcare cannot survive if we don’t have doctors and nurses that can man the hospitals.

“I will curb access to social media by youths to reduce drug abuse.

“We were able to survive before internet came, so our children can survive without it. Some of the lyrics the children listen to are not okay,” she said.

Answering questions from the committee members, another nominee, the immediate past Secretary to the Lagos State Government (SSG), Mr. Tunji Bello revealed that he had worked in several places and that he worked as the speech writer of the late Chief MKO Abiola.

The trained lawyer, journalist and former commissioner for the environment in the state advised that the state must intensify efforts on waste management and conversion.

“There are a few area you can set up dumpsite in Lagos State because the state is below the sea level.

“You cannot set up a dump site in Lagos Island, except in places like Agege, Abule Egba and others.

“On flooding in Lagos, we have nine main drainages in the state, and while six are developed, three are not developed.

“The Lagos Mainland drainage system is the oldest and it has about six divisions.

“The tertiary drainages and channels must link up with primary channels,” he said.

This was corroborated by the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Rotimi Abiru, who stated that everybody was concerned about the environment in the state.

Abiru advised Bello to impress it on the government that the state could not afford not to improve on the environment.

Miss Adekemi Olanike Ajayi-Bembe, who was also screened stated that she has worked in the finance and telecommunication sectors for many years, saying that these adequately prepared her for the task ahead.

Ajayi-Bembe stressed that though Lagos State realised about N388 Billion in 2018 as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), the state could not rely on IGR alone.

The nominee explained that not everything could not be fixed at once, and that the state must have priorities.

She added that DFI could assist the state on development, but that they had to see what the state had on ground.

“Infrastructure is very important, we need to fix roads, provide power and affordable housing for the people for them to feel the impact of the government.

“Once the structures are in place the revenue of the state would increase. This is what they practice in Singapore, China and other places,” she said.

The secretary of the APC in the state, Dr. Wale Ahmed was asked to take a bow by Hon. Rotimi Abiru as a former member of the Assembly, who left in 2003.

“The party scored 100% under the watch of the current executive members in the last general elections.

“It is a good thing that the party appointed you to be a commissioner in the state.

“He was a member of the 4th Lagos State Assembly from 1999 to 2003. We will want him to take a bow and go because of this,” Abiru said and this was accepted by other members of the committee.

Professor Akinola Abayomi, the sixth nominee to be screened by the committee, said that free health was not possible and backed the health insurance scheme of the state, saying that with this the rich would pay for the healthcare of the poor.

The last nominee that was screened for the day was the Editor of The Nation Newspapers, Mr. Gbenga Omotosho.

Omotosho, who told the lawmakers that the Freedom of Information Law (FOI) was not working in Nigeria, promised to bring his experience as a journalist of many decades to bear as a commissioner in the state.

Speaking with journalists after the exercise, Chairman of the committee, Hon. Rotimi Abiru stated that the committee shall be taking the other nominees in two sessions on Friday and Saturday.

“You have been part of the exercise, I would not want to be a judge on my own case.

“The nominees demonstrated a high level of knowledge and the understanding of government.

“They realised that this is a call to service and they have promised that they would add their experience to governance.

“I don’t have any doubt that those that we have spoken to so far are good and that they would join hands with the Governor to make the state better,” he said.

Abiru added that Dr. Wale Ahmed was asked to take a bow man and go as a former member of the House and that the committee members had agreed to give all former members of the house that privilege.

“He was a commissioner in the state and the state secretary of the APC and he worked assiduously with others to achieve 100% success for our party at the election.

“The final decision lies in the 40 members of the House.

“Ours is to screen and make a report to the entire House.

“If the entire House finds them suitable the decision would be communicated to the entire people of the state,” he said.

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Crime

Mutilated Body Of Murdered Millionaire Bizman IG Odunukwe Recovered In Lagos,Suspects Make Confession

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An Anambra businessman, Ignatius Odunukwe kidnapped in December last year has been found dead, his body already decomposed in a forest in Lekki Ajah, Lagos.

According to reports, Odunukwe abductors, who later turned his killers had posed that they wanted to buy his Abuja property valued at N900million and they arranged to meet to consummate the transaction.

Instead, he was kidnapped. Weeks after, his body was found, dismembered,” chopped into pieces”.

According to a report, the police in Lagos have arrested some of the suspects connected with the gruesome murder, although the photographs of the suspects don’t look like men who could buy a N1million property.

In a five minutes video unidentified policemen who introduced themselves as acting on the directives of the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 2, Ahmed Iliyasu took the suspects to identify the already decomposed body inside a bag.

The suspects who identified themselves as Arinze, Solomon, Cletus and Daniel Ibeaju took turns to confirm that the body in the bag belongs to the missing businessman who they killed and dumped inside the forest in Ajah.

In the video, one of the policemen explained: “This is the gruesome murder of Chief Ignatius Odunukwe. This act was planned and hatched by a gang led by Daniel Ibeaju from Enugu State. It is very unfortunate. The AIG Ahmed Ilyasu has directed us to recover this corpse and take it down to the hospital. The investigation will continue and the outcome will be made known to the public.”

He later called on the medical personnel who were at the scene with their ambulance to evacuate the body to the mortuary.

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Lagos Matters

Sanwo-Olu Appoints Five New Permanent Secretaries

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The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has approved the appointment of five new Permanent Secretaries.

A circular released on Monday by the Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, confirmed the appointments as part of Governor Sanwo-Olu’s giant strides to attain the set objectives espoused in the THEMES agenda.

Okunola listed former Director of Financial Intelligence and Research at the State Treasury Office, Mr. Olujimi Ige as the new Permanent Secretary at Debt Management Office (DMO), a former Director of Finance and Accounts of the State Auditor General, Mrs. Ajenifuja Kafayat Adetokunbo is Permanent Secretary, Parastatal Monitoring Office while Mr. Adeniji Hakeem Oduyinka, who until now was Director of Commerce at the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives moves up as Permanent Secretary, Office of the Civic Engagement. Also former Director of Public Affairs, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Mr. Thorpe Isaac Olusina becomes the Permanent Secretary of the same Ministry.

The circular names Dr. Aina Olugbemiga Ayoola formerly the Medical Director at Massey Street Children’s Hospital as the Permanent Secretary of the Primary Health Board.

The statement noted that all the appointments, which have different deployment dates take immediate effect. While new Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Information and Strategy resumes on the 8th of February, his Primary Health Board counterpart will take over the mantle on the 23rd of February.

Okunola wished the new Permanent Secretaries a most rewarding and impactful tenure.

SIGNED
GBOYEGA AKOSILE
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
JANUARY 20, 2020

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Lagos Matters

Lagos pipeline explosion: 2 burnt to death, 11 trucks, 7 houses razed

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The pipeline explosion at Ile-Epo area of Abule Egba, in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria has left two persons burnt to death, 11 trucks and seven houses razed in the inferno.

A massive explosion shattered the peace of the area around 7:45pm on Sunday with thick smokes and balls of fire bellowing the atmosphere.

Residents fled their homes to take shelter in safer places while thousands of onlookers were seen close to the scenes taking pictures.

Several fire trucks raced to the area, but they are finding it difficult to contain the rampaging fire as at the time of filing this report around 12:15am on Monday.

Director General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyintolu said “a raging fire from the explosion of a vandalised NNPC pipeline has caused panic among residents within Awori, and Pipeline communities in Abule Egba.

“LASEMA, Lagos fire service are responding and on top of the situation,” he said earlier.

Oke-Osanyintolu, however, confirmed that two adult male were burnt to death, with 11 trucks and seven houses razed.

“Investigation reveal that the inferno was as a result of pipeline vandalism. Hence, two adult male lives have been lost while eleven trucks laden with 40 feet containers were destroyed while, about seven buildings have so far been razed down by the inferno,” he said.

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