By Tope Templer Olaiya and Yetunde Ayobami Ojo
Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN) has declared that the state House of Assembly has constitutional powers to investigate dredging activities within its waterways.
He stated this yesterday while reacting to a petition by the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) in which it requested information on the activities of a seven-man committee set up by the Lagos State House of Assembly to investigate and make recommendations on dredging activities in its waterways.
In a letter dated May 28, 2020 and addressed to Managing Director of NIWA, Onigbanjo restated that the House could make laws on intra-state waterways, investigate and make recommendations on the matter.
He stressed that a subsisting judgment of the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division delivered on July 18, 2017 in Appeal No. CA/L/886/2014 had resolved the matter in the lead judgment by Justice Mukhar J.C.A.
“All other inland waterways within Lagos State are within the legislative competence of the House of Assembly and any revenue accruable therefrom is payable to the Lagos State Waterways Authority…
The Lagos State of House of Assembly can make laws in respect of the intra-inland waterways in Lagos State….”
Onigbanjo further explained that the court in arriving at its decision that nothing in the combined reading of items 29, 36 and 64 of the exclusive legislative list by any form of interpretation alluded to intra-state waterways, neither was there such item in the concurrent legislative list, which makes it a residual matter the state could legislate on.
Meanwhile, Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Mrs. Ajibola Ponnle, has disclosed that government’s investment in human capacity development of its workforce was already attracting global attention, as the state’s public service would be producing the first forensic dentist in West Africa soon.
She stated this during the Year 2020 ministerial media briefing organised as part of activities to commemorate Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s first year in office of at the JJT Park, Alausa.
Ponnle pointed out that the government decided to foot the bill of sponsoring one of its staff members from the Ministry of Health for a Masters Degree in Legal Medicine and Forensic Dentistry outside the country to bridge an identified gap in the state’s public service.