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Lagos Assembly wants executive interference at constitution review hearing criminalised

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Lagos assembly in session

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Wednesday called on the National Assembly to criminalise undue interference of the executive on activities of the state legislature in the ongoing review of the 1999 Constitution.

The Lagos Assembly Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa made the call at the South-West Zonal Public Hearing on the Review of the 1999 Constitution organised by the Senate in Lagos.

Obasa commended the National Assembly for responding to the concerns of Nigerians on the need to carry out a review of the 1999 Constitution to reflect the current realities and challenges.

“We want criminalisation of undue interference on the activities of the legislature, though, this does not happen in Lagos but we cannot close our eyes to the happenings in the nation, whereby a chief executive can just order the House of Assembly to be closed down.

“This should be criminalised, the police officers who also participate in such activities should also be punished to serve as a deterrent,” Obasa said.

Read also: Lagos Assembly suspends three council chairmen over alleged insubordination

The speaker said that from the financial autonomy, there should not be interference in legislative activities by the executive in any way.

The speaker, who reiterated the need for Lagos to be granted special status by the Constitution, decried that the state was not benefitting from the 13 per cent derivation despite huge income being generated from the state by the federal government.

“The most fundamental flaw we see, from Lagos point of view, is that the provision of the Constitution which gives 13 per cent derivation on natural resource. It is highly discriminatory.

“What should be done is natural and economic resources, which will give Lagos desired leverage because we will be able to get derivation from money collected by NIMASA, (Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency), NPA (Nigerian Port Authority) and Customs here in Lagos.

“What they take away from Lagos is huge. If we get 13 per cent of this we should be able to do more in the state.

“The current Constitution does not take into consideration the economic nerves centre which bears the brunch of these activities. Giving Lagos State one per cent is highly unjustifiable,” he said.

By Mayowa Oladeji…

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