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LAGOS FIRST LADY BAGS SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD OVER FIGHT AGAINST SGBV

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Lagos State First Lady, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu on Thursday evening bagged a special recognition award in appreciation of her advocacy and tremendous support to enhance the fight against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in the state.

The recognition award was presented to the First Lady by the State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the Head of Service, Mr Hakeem Muri-Okunola at the annual Commendation & Awards Night organized by the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) to commemorate the Domestic & Sexual Violence Awareness Month.

The First Lady, according to a statement by Assistant Director, Public Affairs, Office of the First Lady, Mrs Olubukonla Nwonah, bagged the award in view of her various initiatives to confront the menace of rape, defilement, abuse and others through a multi-sectoral stakeholders’ committee which she is leading, and the recent presentation of three utility vehicles to critical agencies fighting SGBV crimes in the state.

In his address, Governor Sanwo-Olu reiterated the zero tolerance stance of the state government for SGBV, saying his administration was working not only to curb domestic and sexual violence, but also to ultimately eliminate it.

“In the past two years, we have made significant gains in our war against Domestic and Sexual Violence. Institutions have been strengthened to respond appropriately, policies have been formulated and introduced in ensuring we provide holistic care and support to survivors, and we are also gradually ending the culture of impunity as evidenced in the convictions secured by the Ministry of Justice. In simple terms, we are indeed walking the talk.

“The Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team has also leveraged on technology through the introduction of the Gender Based Violence Virtual and Referral System which provides uninterrupted access to GBV services. This enables survivors to have access to trained GBV service providers 24/7 through the established toll-free help line (0 8000 333 333).

“In the few months since its launch, the virtual system has provided legal, psycho-social, referral, as well as emergency services to 841 adults and 105 children; a total of 946 cases. This initiative is supported by the Joint European Union Funded Spotlight Initiative, with technical support from UNFPA,” the Governor said.

He added that in view of the public health implications as a result of the aftermath of Sexual Violence, the State Government through the Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme has recently launched an Intervention Fund which now ensures survivors of sexual violence are able to access immediate medical attention at all Primary health Centers, General Hospitals and designated private hospitals at no cost.

Besides, Sanwo-Olu said the government has also intensified advocacy efforts in ensuring residents become better informed of support services available, especially through creative use of social media and also community engagements which have taken place across the metropolis.

On her part, the First Lady commended all the award recipients for working assiduously to support the fight against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in the state, saying that the recognition should strengthen their individual and collective resolve to do more to stamp out the menace in the society.

“We have all done well; however, we can and we need to do more to scale up the fight against SGBV. Therefore, the recognition awards should serve as a motivation to spur us all to continue to do our best and key into the vision of zero tolerance for all forms of SGBV crimes in Lagos State,” she said.

Aside from the First Lady, other award recipients who were selected from multi-level sectors include the Police, social welfare officers, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), mandated reporters, health facilities, development partner organizati

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Supreme Court Orders FG To Pay allocations Directly To LGAs

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The supreme court has ruled that the federal government should henceforth pay allocations directly to local government councils from the federation account.

Delivering judgment in the suit on Thursday, a seven-member panel of justices held that state governments have continued to abuse their powers by retaining and using the funds meant for LGAs.

In May, the federal government filed a suit at the supreme court against governors of the 36 states.

In the suit marked SC/CV/343/2024, the federal government asked for full autonomy for the country’s 774 local governments.

In the suit filed by Lateef Fagbemi, attorney-general of the federation (AGF) and minister of justice, the federal government also requested the supreme court to authorise the direct transfer of funds from the federation account to local governments — in accordance with the constitution.

The suit was hinged on 27 grounds.

“That the constitution of Nigeria recognizes federal, states and local governments as three tiers of government and that the three recognized tiers of government draw funds for their operation and functioning from the federation account created by the constitution,” the originating summons had read.

“That all efforts to make the governors comply with the dictates of the 1999 Constitution in terms of putting in place a democratically elected local government system, has not yielded any result and that to continue to disburse funds from the federation account to governors for non-existing democratically elected local governments is to undermine the sanctity of the 1999 constitution.”

The federal government had asked the apex court to invoke sections 1, 4, 5, 7 and 14 of the constitution to declare that the governors and state houses of assembly are under obligation to ensure democratically elected systems at the third tier.

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N33bn Fraud: Ex-Minister Mamman Collapses Outside Court

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The arraignment of Saleh Mamman, the former Minister of Power under ex-President Muhammadu Buhari, was on Thursday, July 11, 2024, stalled at a Federal High Court in Abuja due to ill health.

Mamman, whose plea was fixed for Thursday morning, collapsed outside the courtroom before the case was called.

The former minister’s counsel, Femi Ate (SAN), told the presiding judge Justice James Omotosho shortly when the matter was called for Mamman to take his plea.

Upon resumed hearing, the ex-minister walked into the courtroom and stepped into the dock with part of his clothes drenched.

Justice Omotosho then asked why Mamman was sweating or whether it was raining outside.

The former minister, who responded from the dock, said water was poured on him.

The counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika (SAN), while addressing the court, said though the matter was fixed for Mamman’s arraignment, there was a development outside the courtroom.

Olumide-Fusika said he had a discussion with Ate outside the courtroom about Mamman’s ill-health.

“I was informed of an incident outside. I will want my learner senior advocate to tell the honourable court himself,” he said.

Speaking, Ate said Mamman, “upon being brought into the premises of the court collapsed and had to be resuscitated and treated by the medical personnel of the Federal High Court.”

He said his client was served with the charge after he was resuscitated.

N1.6bn fraud: Please give me time to return looted funds, ex-AGF begs court

“He was served this morning,” he added.

The lawyer said he sought the understanding of Olumide-Fusika for an adjournment so that the arraignment could be done on Monday when his client would have been okay.

However, the judge said due to the workload in the court dockets, the arraignment could only be fixed for September ending.

Ate then withdrew the oral application for an adjournment.

The judge, however, asked Mamman if he was fit enough to take his plea today and he responded in the affirmative.

Mamman, however, said he was fit to continue with the arraignment.

“It can happen to anyone,” the judge said.

Justice Omotosho, thereafter, stepped down the arraignment until Thursday afternoon.

The EFCC had filed a 12-count money laundering charge against the Mamman.

He was alleged to have committed money laundering offences to the tune of N33 billion.

The former minister served under former President Buhari from 2019 to 2021.

 

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Olaide Akinremi, House Of Reps Member, Dies At 51

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Olaide Adewale Akinremi, a member of the house of representatives, is dead.

The lawmaker died on Wednesday morning aged 51.

Akinremi represented Ibadan north federal constituency on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He was a ranking member and house committee chairman on science and research.

In a statement, Akin Rotimi, spokesperson of the house, said the Oyo lawmaker was a “dedicated public servant known for his unwavering commitment to the development of his constituency and the country at large”.

“His passion for service, coupled with his deep understanding of the needs and aspirations of his people, earned him the endearing title of ‘Jagaban’.

“Throughout his tenure, he was a staunch advocate for policies and initiatives that promoted social welfare, economic growth, and scientific research.

“His contributions to legislative debates and his active participation in committee activities were a testament to his dedication and hard work.

“Rep. Akinremi was as much a grassroots politician as he was an astute statesman who leveraged his goodwill and network of relationships to attract positive impact to the people of his constituency.

“He built friendships by being intentional about reaching out and sending goodwill messages to all colleagues on special occasions, fostering camaraderie and unity within the House.

“As a ranking member, Rep. Akinremi had keen institutional memory and was a mentor to many first-time parliamentarians, guiding them with wisdom gained from his extensive experience in legislative affairs.”

Tajudeen Abbas, speaker of the house, also expressed “profound sadness” over the passing of the lawmaker.

“Rep. Akinremi Olaide Adewale was a beacon of dedication and service,” Abbas said.

“His contributions to our legislative work, especially in the area of science and research, were invaluable.

“His passing is a great loss to the House, his constituency, and the nation. We will miss his leadership, wisdom, and the unique passion he brought to his work.”

Akinremi’s death comes weeks after the passing of Isa Dogonyaro, a member of the house of representatives who represented Babura/Garki federal constituency of Jigawa state.

Dogonyaro died in May after a brief illness.

 

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