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Lagos’ New Environment Law Inaccessible Two Weeks After Ambode’s Assent

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Two weeks after it was signed into law by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, the Lagos State’s law on the environment is still inaccessible to the public, PREMIUM TIMES can report.

The law titled: Consolidated Laws on the Management, Protection and Sustainable Development on the Environment in Lagos State and Connected Purposes, was signed by Mr. Ambode on March 1 after a contentious public hearing organised by the Lagos House Committee on the Environment on February 9 and its subsequent passage by the House on February 20.

Last week, Tunde Braimoh, a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, told PREMIUM TIMES the clean copy of the new law was with the Executive arm.

“It’s an executive thing, after they sign it they will send it to the Printing Corporation for printing, I don’t know how far they have gone about that,” said Mr. Braimoh (APC, Kosofe II), Chairman, House Committee on Information, Strategy, and Security. Others are Africa Women Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Network (AWWASHNET)

“If you go to Ministry of Justice, they will have it, because they are the people that will send it to the (Corporation).

“What I have is the one that was worked on but if you want to get the gazetted one, you have to go to the Ministry of Justice.”

At the Ministry of Justice, last week, an official said the gazetted law could be available after one week.

However, the official said the document isn’t yet ready.

“Just keep checking, we’ll make it available as soon as it’s ready,” he added.

Environmental activists in Lagos say they could also not access the new law.

On Wednesday, civil societies and grassroots stakeholders demanded that Mr. Ambode make the new law public.

The groups insisted that the inaccessibility of the document from the relevant ministries of the Lagos State government two weeks after it was signed has fuelled suspicion that its provisions are anti-people as they had alerted immediately the Lagos House of Assembly passed it.

During the public hearing, civil society groups had faulted the process on the premise that the 190-page draft bill was only made available to the invitees a day before the legislative exercise.

In addition, a few civil society organisations were invited and allowed to present memorandum.

In a statement issued by the groups in Lagos, they faulted sections of the law which they describe as “corporate buy-over of Lagos” in the guise of providing services.

The groups that signed the statement include: Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), Peace and Development Project (PEDEP), Joint Action Front (JAF), Friends of the Environment, Climate-aid, and Committee for Defence of Human Rights, the Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) of the Catholic Church andOthers Africa Women Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Network (AWWASHNET).

Akinbode Oluwafemi, Deputy Executive Director of ERA/FoEN, said the haste with which lawmakers organised the public hearing and passed the bill, and the equal speed with which the governor assented to the document is questionable in the face of a near total lack of public input.

“We are shocked that more than two weeks after the governor signed a law as far-reaching as the new environment law, no one has set eyes on the document or can say what it contains outside what we saw as a draft by the House of Assembly,” Mr. Oluwafemi said.

“We have suddenly realised that the greatest threat to our people is when a supposed-democratic government now exists only for big business. We are miffed.”

Francis Abayomi, Executive Director of PEDEP, described the alleged secrecy surrounding Mr. Ambode’s assent to the law as controversial and antithetical to the citizens of Lagos as “very disturbing.”

“We are particularly worried that the governor will sign a law that practically wills our right to a free gift of nature which water represents; to private interests whose sole concern is profits. Personally I am shell-shocked,” he said.

Veronica Nwanya, chairperson of AWWASHNET, said access to water is a human right that cannot be taken away from the people.

“This law, not only violates that right,” she said. “If allowed unchallenged, it will add to the burden that lack of sustained investment in the water sector has unleashed, and worsen the poverty the people suffer. Women and children and even generations yet born will suffer. It is unacceptable.”

The bill passed by the state House of Assembly on February 20 was not made public.

However, the draft at the Public Hearing gave too much power to the Lagos Commissioner for Environment, criminalizes sinking of boreholes, and imposes fines and sets prison terms for any Lagos citizen that sells or transports water, among others.

Mr. Braimoh had told PREMIUM TIMES in February that the sections of the bill that criminalised sinking of boreholes in residential areas were removed from the one passed into law.

But the activists called on Mr. Ambode to end the regime of speculations on the law by making it public without further delay.

Source: PremiumTimes

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Tinubu finally speaks on Lekki shooting, tells Buhari to find culprits

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Tinubu finally speaks on Lekki shooting, tells Buhari to find culprits

Former Governor of Lagos state and the All Progressives Congress (APC) Chieftain, Bola Ahmed Tinubu has commented on the Lekki toll gate shooting that left many dead and several others injured.

The Lagos politician who was interviewed via telephone by a Channels TV reporter, Olu Philips, shared his shock over the shooting and also revealed that he is ready to complain to the highest authorities.

Contrary to people’s predictions, Tinubu however denied ordering the shooting and also stated that he can only control his security guard. He again reiterated that he will never be part of any group that uses live ammunition against protesters.

Insisting that he has always been an activist, the APC Chieftain expressed sympathy for the victims of the incident and advised the federal government to “fish out whoever gave the order (for the shooting) and put them on trial”.

He then recalled how he was falsely accused of being behind #EndSARS protests. Tinubu who noted that he doesn’t believe that Buhari ordered the shooting, appealed for calm over the incident. He also denied having a stake in the Lekki toll gate or suffering a loss due to the continous blockage of the area by #EndSARS protesters.

He said,

“It is early hours of the morning, there’s no way I can talk to the authorities or wake them up now. I have tried to reach the NSA, I have tried to reach the head of the army.

“You don’t call the president at this hour, but I strongly condemn the act. There are other means of settling or dispersing protest. Why would they use live bullets? There are rubber bullets.

“I am not even sure yet they are Nigerian army, I am not sure how well the uniforms of the army are controlled. But that is not as critical as the bloodshed that has occurred.

“We have lost our sleep, we have lost our peace of mind, (and) we just have to deal with it.”

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Buhari Will Come Up With Solutions In Few Hours -Major General Babagana Monguno

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Buhari Will Come Up With Solutions In Few Hours -Major General Babagana Monguno

It has been reported that the National Security, Major General Babagana Monguno (retd), on Thursday said the President Muhammadu Buhari, would come up with solutions to the ongoing violence erupting in parts of the country ”in the next few hours”.

Babagana Monguno Says Buhari Is Coming Up With Solutions

According to Punch, May Babagana did not disclose the solutions, he said they would communicate to parties concerned.

Mongunu revealed this in an interview with State House correspondents at the end of a meeting of the National Security presided over the President.

The NSA also did not disclose whether the President will announce the solutions through a national broadcast.

He said,

“The President himself, I have just left his office, is also going to deal with these issues in a specific manner apart from what has just taken place in council.

I believe in the next couple of hours, Mr President will come up with certain solutions that will be agreeable to the entire federation.”

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“Please If Anything Happens To Me, It Wasn’t Ordinary” – Ex BBN Ifu Ennada

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“Please If Anything Happens To Me, It Wasn’t Ordinary” – Ex BBN Ifu Ennada

Nigerian reality TV star and actress, Ifu Ennada has disclosed that she is being threatened over her involvement with the ongoing #endsars protests.

The former BBNAIJA housemate told her fans that if anything bad happens to her, they should be aware that it isn’t ordinary, because she’s getting threat messages from anonymous people.

She wrote;

“They are threatening me! Guys the people where I live are getting calls that I should stop posting about these things.

Please if anything happens to me, just know that it wasn’t ordinary. I’m not posting things that aren’t happening or things that others are not already posting”.

She further mentioned that her location is currently off, and she isn’t home, so no one can trace where she is.

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