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Lagos Assembly Invites Attorney General Over Request On Pending Bills

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The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa has ordered the Clerk of the House, Mr. Ganiyu Segun Abiru to invite the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of the state, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem for a meeting with the Principal Officers of the House over bills inherited from previous assemblies.
This followed a request through a letter by the Commissioner for Justice directing the Assembly to stop legislative activities on outstanding Bills inherited from previous assemblies.

In the letter, which was read on the floor of the House by the Clerk of the House, Mr. Abiru, the commissioner listed 15 Bills, which he said the House should suspend.

The Speaker said that it was important to have a meeting with the Attorney General since he was new on the seat.

The commissioner’s request was faulted by the Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, who said that he had earlier received a letter from the Commissioner for Justice through the Clerk of the House calling on the Assembly to revive the pending Bills from the executive.

He said that the latest letter was contradictory to the first one and that it was wrong for the commissioner to have called for the suspension of the bills.

“The call was unnecessary because there is room for the executive to make amendments during public hearings that would be called by the House on the Bills. We cannot stop work on the bills as against the request of the Attorney General. So I will suggest that we should continue working on them,” he said.

This opinion was supported by Hon. Bisi Yusuf, who also said that the suggestion of the Attorney General was wrong, adding that the lawmakers should be allowed to do their job.

Also speaking, Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu said that the executive could send any additions to the Bills to the House rather than calling for the suspension of works on them.

The Chief Whip of the House, Hon. Rotimi Abiru, who also spoke on the matter, stated that each arm of the government has its own responsibilities.

He emphasised that making a law was a process, and that if the executive wanted to make any amend they could send it to the House during public hearings.

Hon. Lanre Ogunyemi, in his view said that Ibile Oil and Gas is already a law and that it shouldn’t have been part of the bills suggested for suspension by the commissioner.

He however said that the Attorney General did not have the power to ask the Assembly to suspend the Bills, saying that the fact that he had requested for the revival of the bills made the latest request unnecessary.

Hon. Tunde Braimoh said in his contribution that the commissioner might want to substitute the bills with other ones and that the matter should be critically considered.

In his view, Hon. Moshood Oshun said that the letters were contradictory and that government is a continuum.

“We should continue work on the bills. The letter is an insult on the House. He does not have the power to write us such a letter. The Governor ought to sign such a letter, and the executive should wait for public hearings on the bills and come up with any amendment,” he said.

Hon. Tobun Abiodun, who also contributed to the matter, stressed that it was the duty of the Assembly to tell the executive that they were elected by the people to do some jobs and that the executive could bring their additions to the Bills during public hearings.

Another lawmaker, Hon. Sola Giwa stated that the second letter nullifies the first one, but that the Majority Leader ought to have corrected the Attorney General that he did not have the power to make such requests, when he wrote the first letter.

He then suggested that the Speaker could facilitate a parley between the executive and the legislature on the issue and some other matters of interest.Obasa4

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