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.