LASG inducts members of Standing Tribunal of Inquiry into Chieftaincy Matters

L-R: Justice Olusola Williams, a retired Justice of the High Court; Justice Hakeem Oshodi of the High Court of Lagos; Justice Habeeb Abiru of the Appeal Court; Chairman, Standing Tribunal of Inquiry into Chieftaincy Matter, Hon. Justice Titilola Ojikutu-Oshode (Rtd); Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Lagos State, Moyo Onigbanjo and Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Dr. Wale Ahmed at the Second Induction Course of the Standing Tribunal of Inquiry into Chieftaincy Matters in the State in Ikeja on Tuesday.

The Lagos State Government, on Tuesday, commenced a three-day orientation and induction course for members of the Standing Tribunal of Inquiry into Chieftaincy Matters as part of efforts to reduce disputes and acquaint members with the Chieftaincy Laws of the State.

Speaking at the event held at Ikeja, the Honourable Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Dr. Wale Ahmed, urged the tribunal members to effectively discharge their responsibilities with integrity in resolving chieftaincy disputes. 

He explained that the orientation programme is to acquaint the tribunal members with expectations on their roles and responsibilities as well as enhance their preparedness for the task ahead.

The Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), said the tribunal was set up several years ago because of incessant chieftaincy disputes occasioned by the demise of a traditional ruler and the need to fill the vacant stool.

He disclosed that the purpose of the tribunal is to help in managing such disputed crises and bring about amicable solutions to thorny issues, adding that the tribunal will serve as a bridge between the government and parties involved in chieftaincy issues.

Earlier, the Chairman, Standing Tribunal of Inquiry into Chieftaincy Matters, Hon. Justice Titilola Ojikutu-Oshode (Rtd) stated that the induction and orientation programme is a requirement for the effectiveness of the tribunal, in view of the fact that many members of the tribunal are not legal practitioners.

According to her, the induction course and orientation will enable tribunal members realise and recognise the enormity of their responsibilities; learn more about the terms of reference given to the tribunal; provide tribunal members with basic skills required to be competent and effective; provide ‘in-court’ observation of court practice and other aspects of pleadings, filing, representation and judgment processes among others.

She listed members of the tribunal as Engr. Jimoh Folorunso Kazeem, Mrs. Mariam Bolanle Olaniyi, Mr. Nojeeb Ola Agunbiade and Chief Oladapo Akinshola, while the training facilitators include Justice Habeeb Abiru of the Appeal Court, Justice Hakeem Oshodi of the High Court of Lagos and Justice Olusola Williams, a retired Justice of the High Court.

The Standing Tribunal of Inquiry into Chieftaincy Matters had been holding public hearings since its inception in 2001 and had handled over 50 chieftaincy cases since 2014 when the current Chairman took over.

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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.