By Okunade Adekunle
The bill for a Law to provide for the Preservation and Promotion of the Use of Yoruba Language and for connected purposes, has finally been passed into law by the Lagos State House of Assembly during the week.
While commenting on the Bill as its passed the third reading, the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa directed the Clerk of the House, Mr Sanni Azeez to pass it for assent by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
The bill reads in part: It would be compulsory for all primary and secondary schools in the state to include teaching of Yoruba Language as a core subject at all levels. All the laws in the state would be translated into Yoruba Language.
The bill also includes that all state-owned tertiary institutions should incorporate the use of Yoruba Language in the General Studies (GNS) courses.
It reads in part; “The use of Yoruba Language shall be an acceptable means of communication between individuals, establishment, corporate entities and government in the state if so desired by the concerned. It shall not be an offence for a person to speak Yoruba Language by the state government.”
It was added that any school that fails to comply with the provisions of Section 2 of the law commits an offence and is liable on first violation to issuance of warning and on subsequent violation be closed down and also pay a fine of N500,000.
Lagos Gets New CJ as Lawmakers Clear Ambode’s Nominee
History was made during the week at plenary as the Lagos Lawmakers confirmed the third consecutive female Chief Judge who had been in an acting capacity for two months.
Hon. (Justice) Opeyemi Olufunmilayo Oke, with her confirmation became the third consecutive female Chief Judge of the state after Justice Ayotunde Phillips and Justice Olufunmilayo Atilade who were both retired.
It is important to state that Ambode had earlier sent a letter for the clearance of the Chief Judge to the House of Assembly as stipulated by the law.
In the process of her confirmation, Oke , took time to answer the questions put across to her by the lawmakers, just as she threw her weight behind the death penalty to serve as a deterrent to others.
She stressed the need to sustain the death penalty, saying that those who kill others should be killed to serve as a deterrent to others.
“Those who kill others should be killed. I challenge the state governors to sign death warrants so that people would be discouraged from killing others. So I am for the death penalty,” she said.
The Chief Judge condemned juvenile delinquency and hard drugs amongst undergraduates and youths generally across the state and the nation.
Some of the questions she was asked by the lawmakers bothered on prison decongestion, accelerating cases in courts, integrity, establishing more courts, handling rape cases, capital punishment amongst others.
The Chief Judge informed the lawmakers that foster homes would be created to house juvenile prisoners.
“Most students go into drug abuse due to peer group influence, an awareness would be created on this and we would work in conjunction with the executive and the legislature on this. I am not happy with delay in justice and it is part of what I want to work on. Lawyers are also culpable on this, and we would have polices on this as a new administration. Our judges are ready for change if others are ready.”
She stressed further that she would fast track other cases apart from commercial such as those involving lands, family, crime and others.
The Judge added further that there were many cases in Lagos courts due to the population of the state but that efforts would be made to accelerate all the cases in the courts, adding that she was not happy that some cases last 25 years or more in the courts.
Oke promised to lobby the executive and the legislature in order to enable local governments in the state to have magistrate courts and mediation centres so that justice would be brought closer to the grassroot.
Oke, who apologised for the past mistakes from the judiciary, promised to ensure better relationship between the judiciary and the legislature.
Justice Opeyemi Olufunmilayo Oke, who was born in 1954, studied law at the University of Ife now Obafemi Awolowo University and the Nigerian Law School.
She had worked as Chairman of Armed Robbery Tribunal, Election Petition Tribunal and handled civic cases as well as land cases.
Also, she was the Chairman of the committee that reviewed court rules of 1974 in 2004 during the era of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as Governor of the state and Professor Yemi Osinbajo as Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of the state.
Lagos Speaker Constitutes Adhoc Committees For Budget Re-Ordering, LG Auditor General’s Report
Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt (Hon). Mudashiru Obasa, during the week at the plenary constituted two adhoc committees to work on Budget Re-Ordering and Local government auditor general’s report respectively.
Members of the Adhoc Committee on Budget and Economic Planning as announced by the Speaker include the Acting Chairman, Hon. Rotimi Olowo, Hon. Yinka Ogundimu, Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu, Hon. Dayo Famakinwa and Hon. Moshood Oshun.
Others are Hon. Victor Akande, Hon. Adefunmilayo Tejuoso, Hon. Fatai Oluwa and Hon. Nurudeen Saka Solaja.
Those that would work in the Adhoc Committee on Local government Public Accounts are the Acting Chairman, Hon. Bisi Yusuf, Hon. Mosunmola Sangodara, Hon. Fatai Mojeed, Hon. Akeem Bello and Hon. Rasheed Makinde.
Others are Hon. Yinka Ogundimu, Hon. Richard Kasunmu, Hon. Tunde Braimoh, Hon. Adefunmilayo Tejuoso and Hon. Saka Fafunmi.
It will be recalled that the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa during plenary on Monday announced the dissolution of all the standing committees of the House, while the chairmen of the committees were told to be working in acting capacities.
Obasa stated that the Chairmen of the Committees would henceforth be working in acting capacity.
He added “May I announce to you all that all the standing committees of the House are hereby dissolved, while the Chairman of the Committees would be working in acting capacity.This will continue until new committee chairmen and members are constituted,” the Speaker said, adding that the committee chairmen must get permission from him before taking any major decision since they are still acting.”
However, the Speaker did not give any reason for the dissolution.
Group Urges LAHA to Intervene in Recruitment Exercise
Some members of the Unemployed Environmental Health Graduates (UEHG) have implored Lagos State House of Assembly to intervene in the non-invitation of the Environmental Health Officers cadre in the ongoing recruitment exercise in the state.
The unemployed health graduates, who made the plea in a peaceful protest to the House, expressed the grievance at the exercise being carried out by the Lagos State Local Government Service Commission.
In his comment, the Leader of the Group, Mr Nureni Basorun, explained that the group had acquired relevant trainings to fit into the job having worked for the state as non-pensionable staff.
Basorun stressed, “This group is an environment health graduates. We have actually gone through the rudiments of trainings for the cadre of environmental health officers and fit to work at any level-both public and private. Majority of us have been working in the syetem of the Lagos State Government as non-pensionable staff with the hope that when opportunity arises for work, we would become full fledge staff.
“Just some weeks ago, Sept. 24 to Sept. 29, 2017, the Lagos State Local Government Service Commission placed adverts for some jobs and our own job also have vacant positions and we applied. Just last week we heard and know that interview exercise are going on but till this moment, all other cadres have been called but funny enough, our own cadre is about to be swapped for graduates from courses like anthropology, bio-technology, water science, crop protection and fishery and we thought this shouldn’t be,” said Basorun.
He added further “This is Lagos State-a Centre of Excellence. We should not fix a square pegs in a round hole, it will never fit. That is why we are here before you to help us look into the situation that we are presently experiencing. Why would they not invite us? Having made the application open for everybody to put in and they should give us a level playing ground and allow us to participate in the screening and interview exercise going on.”
The leader of the group further submitted position letters to the Lawmakers, stressing that the group have in its disposal various letters on the happenings at the Lagos State Local Government Service Commission.
While addressing the protesters, the Acting Chairman of the Health Committee of the House, Hon. Segun Olulade, who represented the Speaker of the House, Rt (Hon) Mudashiru Obasa, told the protesters that the House would look at the petition and engage all relevant parties to resolve the issues.
Obasa commended the protesters for peaceful conduct and assured them of quick intervention.
He stressed, “I want to welcome you to your own House. We are all here on your behalf and we are here to defend your rights. We are here to stand by you. We will receive your petition and I can assure you that we are going to work on it immediately. We will contact your representatives and also call on other parties to explain the rationale behind it so that we can be on the same page”
Obasa concluded, “I am aware there was a publication on vacancies and I believe you also have a right to apply. We will look into your matter and see how to address it. We will get back to you very soon.”