Lagos engages stakeholders on review of Obas, Chiefs Law

The Lagos State Ministry of Justice, through the Directorate of Legislative Drafting, on Monday, commenced a stakeholders’ meeting on the Review of the Obas and Chiefs of Lagos State Law, 2015, to update the legislation and make it responsive to current realities.

Explaining the reason for the engagement, the Director, Legislative Drafting, Mrs. Aderinsola Olarenwaju, stated that the Ministry had identified several lacunae in the law and set up a committee which came up with a draft containing proposals that were presented at the meeting.

In her words: “The present legislation is a good law, it’s been in existence since 1957. However, there is a need to look into it, identify the lacunae and change things not in tandem with present realities”.

While urging those who could not attend the session to send memoranda for amendment or repeal of sections, Olarenwaju added that a bigger session would be held with Obas, Chiefs and other stakeholders in attendance.

Also speaking at the forum, the Director, Chieftaincy, Lagos State Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs, Mr. Lukman Folami, praised the Ministry, especially the Directorate of Legislative Drafting for organising the event.

He emphasised that the review was overdue, stressing that there were no fewer than 93 Monarchs (65 of whom are First Class Obas), while 10 Obaship Stools are presently vacant across the State.

“The law really needs to be upgraded. They should help us fast-track this review. Everybody wants to become Oba, Chief. Even those with red blood, that are not bluebloods, want to become Obas. Let us do something to help our laws and help save the State. As of today, we have 93 Obas on-ground; about 10 stools that need to be occupied,” Folami said.

The interactive session considered amending several sections of the Law, including Section 12 which provides that amendment or replacement of registered declaration is permissible only once.

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The Commander, U.S. Africa Command, U General Stephen Townsend, wrapped up a three-day West African visit February 22-25, 2021, with a stopover in Nigeria to meet with the nation’s leaders and further the long-standing partnership and security cooperation between the two countries.

A press statement by the Embassy on Friday, said: “During the visit, Townsend met with the Nigerian President’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, and National Security Adviser, Babagan Monguno, to discuss regional security issues and to express the command’s gratitude for the assistance provided during a hostage rescue operation last year.

“When we asked for their help, the Nigerian government answered the call. Our hostage recovery mission in October would have been impossible without their support.

“They quickly provided assistance that helped the U.S. military to save an American life. That is a strong example of our partnership with Nigeria.”

Townsend also met with senior military officials, including the Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magash, and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, to talk about on-going cooperation in the region and greater maritime security and threat mitigation.

Nigeria is a key partner in countering violent extremist organizations throughout the Lake Chad Basin.

Townsend said furthermore: “The bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the U.S. is built on several pillars including security cooperation.

“U.S. Africa Command will do our part to advance the security cooperation pillar, so that Nigerians can enjoy the more secure future they all deserve.”

As close partners, the U.S. and Nigeria have worked at ensuring the collaborative relationship continues to grow to include a commitment to interoperability. Nigeria purchased 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, which will be delivered later this year.

“Nigeria’s purchase of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft is another example of their commitment to interoperability and security in the region,” he added. “Our economic relationship with Nigeria is already strong, and we look forward to the continued strengthening of security relationships. Nigeria’s leaders understand the importance of a collaborative approach to ensuring stability in West Africa and partnering on areas of mutual interest.”

The Commander also met with the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.

Leonard said: “General Townsend’s visit to Nigeria demonstrates the strategic importance the United States places on our bilateral relationship with Nigeria.

“Our security cooperation partnership with Nigeria’s military will strengthen the country’s capabilities to secure land and sea borders, enhance overall security, and combat terrorism in the North East.”

As part of the visit, Townsend participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Nigeria Military National Cemetery to honour those who have given their lives in the service of their nation.

During the visit, the delegation expressed their condolences for the seven service men killed in the crash of a Nigerian Air Force aircraft in Abuja.