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Lagos Govt. Plans Fresh Recruitment of Teachers

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Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday disclosed that the State would be hiring trained teachers to strengthen quality education in its schools. The Governor said his administration would spare no effort to expand quality teaching to pupils in all state-owned schools.

The revelation followed the Governor’s directive to the Ministry of Education to recruit trained teaching personnel and provide vital resources that would strengthen quality education across government’s schools.

Sanwo-Olu spoke while commissioning three key projects in Ajah, Eti-Osa Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of the state. The projects include the newly built 110-bed Maternal and Child Centre (MCC), a 12-block classroom junior secondary school and a rehabilitated Primary Health Centre.

While the state government built the Maternal Centre, Tabernacle of David, Lagos Province 46 of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) financed the construction of the school and the upgrade of Primary Health Centre as part of the church’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Unveiling the school and the rehabilitated Health Centre, Gov. Sanwo-Olu said: “My administration is not going to walk away from its responsibility of catering for the educational needs of every child that is of school age. We will give our children the opportunity to attend quality schools that will not be too far away from them. This morning, I gave a directive to the Commissioner for Education that all schools owned by the state government be equipped with well-trained teachers that will help us to deliver quality training to our children in line with development agenda of my administration.

“The charge to the Commissioner also involves the provision of basic resources that would strengthen our schools and empower them to deliver the desired results we envisage in education and manpower development.”

The Governor said his administration would remain open to corporate organisations, non-governmental organisations (NGO) and religious institutions for partnership that would be beneficial to all residents of the state. He reiterated that the government under his leadership would not shirk its responsibility in providing necessary amenities to the citizens.

Sanwo-Olu praised RCCG for the intervention, which he described as a “progressive doctrine” from a religious institution. The Governor urged other religious bodies to take a cue from the RCCG’s intervention, stressing that government would make greater impacts with collaborations.

The Assistant Pastor in charge of Province 46 of the RCCG, Kayode Pitan, noted that the decision to embark on the projects was in response to dearth of basic education and healthcare facilities in the area.

He disclosed that the two projects gulped N180 million, pointing out that school, which has 12 blocks of classroom, was completed with N130 million; the church spent N50 million to rehabilitate and upgrade the services of the Primary Health Centre.

“The projects are part of the CSR of the Redeemed Christian Church of God to touch people’s lives by improving standard of living in our host communities, providing quality education and health in collaboration with the government. This is aimed at improving the physical and spiritual wellbeing within our host communities,” Pastor Pitan said.

The formal opening of the Eti-Osa Maternal and Child Centre, the eighth of its kind in the state, was replete with fanfare, as residents trooped out of their residents to welcome the Governor and members of his cabinet to the occasion.

Sanwo-Olu said the provision of the secondary health facility in Eti-Osa axis would reduce pressure on the Lagos Island General Hospital and save expectant mothers living in Ajah axis of the pain to travel a long distance for antenatal and post-natal care.

The Governor granted residents’ demand requesting the state government to build a General Hospital to complement the services of the maternity home, promising that the facility would be built close to the maternity home for efficient healthcare delivery.

The Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, observed that the completion of the eighth maternity centre would help the state to change unfavourable narrative, which stated that Lagos loses 45 of the 1,000 live births yearly. The facility, he said, would help the State achieve marginal progress in its drive to improve infant and maternal healthcare.

Wife of the Governor, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, said: “This three-storey 110-bed healthcare facility will, no doubt, go a long way in bringing about considerable improvement in the maternal and child health indices of Lagos State. It is gratifying that it has been equipped with state-of-the-art facilities to ensure top class health services for users.”

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METRO

#EndSARS: Lagos Inaugurates Panel of Inquiry

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At 10:30am on Monday, members of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution set up by the Lagos State Government to investigate cases of brutality and human rights violations committed by operatives of the dissolved Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) took the oath at the State House, Marina.

Then, the panel members led by their chairman, Justice Doris Okuwobi, immediately moved to LASWA Building located at Falomo Roundabout in Ikoyi for the inaugural proceeding.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said the swiftness of the process of the panel members’ composition was an indication of State Government’s sincerity towards the quick resolution of the issues that led to the nationwide protests against policing system.

Sanwo-Olu said the Government selected an unblemished retired judge to head the inquiry tribunal, given the enormity of the task at hand and the need to uphold the tenets of due process and fair hearing in the course of the panel proceedings.

He said: “In the last two weeks, we have witnessed pockets of justified protests by our youth against police brutality. The pain of our young ones has been felt in various parts of Lagos and country as well as in the diaspora. The protesters have spoken in one voice against the unbridled violation of fundamental rights and lives by the disbanded SARS operatives.

“In my engagements with the protesters, they handed me a list of five immediate demands, which I personally presented to President Muhammadu Buhari last Tuesday. Before then, I had taken action on some of their demands, which included the immediate release of all those detained on account of their participation in the EndSARS protests and the raising of N200 million victims fund for compensation to families and individuals who were victimised by officers of the disbanded SARS.

“In response to one of the demands of our youth and in line with the resolution of the National Economic Council on October 15, 2020, chaired by the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, the Lagos State Government has constituted a Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution under the chairmanship of a retired Judge of the Lagos High Court, Justice Doris Okuwobi. We assure all victims that justice will be served.”

The tribunal, which will sit for six months, is charged to evaluate the evidence and draw conclusions on the validity of public complaints on police brutality and extra judicial killings in Lagos, with the aim to determining and recommending compensation for victims and their dependents.

The tribunal also, in its terms of reference, is mandated to interrogate SARS officers responsible for the abuse of victims and recommend their prosecution.

Sanwo-Olu said the panel took its legitimacy from Section 5 of Tribunals of Inquiry Law, Laws of Lagos State, 2015, stressing that the panel had powers to procure evidence and summon any person to attend its proceedings to give evidence or produce any document or other thing in the person’s possession.

The Governor said: “Mindful that complaints may be against serving police officers or ones already dismissed, the tribunal has a mandate to carry out the directives of the Federal Government to enable it discharge its duties without fear or favour. We expect the panel to judiciously use its powers to ensure that all necessary parties appear before it to testify: the members of the panel have the mandate to ensure that the rule of law prevails.

“I thank the chairman and members of the Judicial Panel for responding to the call of duty at this crucial time. I am convinced that you all recognise the importance of the assignment, which I believe will open a new chapter in police-citizen relationship. I urge you to approach this task with all sense of responsibility even as Lagos residents look to you for a fair and just outcome.”

Sanwo-Olu promised the State Government would not wait till six months – the period set for the tribunal to sit – before compensating victims as may be recommended by the judicial panel.

He also pledged that the Government would comply with and support the manner which with the tribunal members may decide to hold their proceedings.

Lagos Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, said the urgency of setting up the tribunal was an indication of the priority the Governor usually accord to matters bordering on citizens’ interest.

He said the tribunal fully had the backing of the laws of the State and of the Federal Government to carry out investigative duties and give recommendations for prosecution of anyone indicted.

Justice Okuwobi, who spoke on behalf of the tribunal members, said the EndSARS protests had proven formidable to elicit positive actions to re-awaken consciousness of the Government on the need to address injustice meted out to members of the public by SARS operatives.

She said: “Having been invited to serve on this panel, we view our appointment as scared, demanding our utmost commitment, passion, loyalty and sense of duty in the discharge this assignment.

“No stone will be left unturned. We shall be thorough, objective and transparent in line with the terms of reference and enabling legal instruments. As thorough-bred professionals and legal experts, we remain true to our calling and will ensure that victims of this loathsome abuse and brutality are identified with the society and recommended for due compensation.”

After the swearing-in, the tribunal members proceeded to the venue of its sittings, where the inaugural proceeding was held.

Justice Okuwobi invited members of the public not to delay the presentation of their petitions and memoranda. She also urged the press to report the proceedings of the tribunal without sensationalism, noting that media houses could do live coverage of the panel activities for transparency.

Mr. Segun Awosanya, a Human Rights activist, could not be sworn in with other panel members, as he was held in a traffic while coming for the event.

Also, the representatives of the youth in the panel had not been nominated by the protesters at the time tribunal members were sworn. The protesters pleaded for more time to send the names of their nominees, four days after the State Government reached out to them to provide their representatives.

Tribunal members who took the oath include Mr. Ebun Adegboruwa, SAN (representing the Civil Society), Taiwo Lakanu (a retired Deputy Inspector General of Police), Ms Patience Udoh (representing the Civil Society), Mrs. Olutoyin Odusanya (Director, Lagos Citizens Mediation Center), and the representative of the Human Rights Commission.

Lagos residents, who have petitions against SARS and the police, can reach the tribunal’s help desk on the numbers: 0901 051 3203, 0901 051 3204 and 0901 051 3205.

Also, petitions can be sent to the dedicated email: judicialpanelonSARS@lagosstate.gov.ng

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#ENDSARS: Here are the solutions to the nationwide protests

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The protests calling for a total overhaul of the Nigeria Police structure continue nationwide despite all efforts to quell the uprising by the government.

In an obvious attempt to placate the protesting youths, the Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Adamu hurriedly announced the disbandment of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) and declared a replacement, -Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), but even at that, the protests have continued to gather momentum nationwide, spreading to parts of Europe, Asia and America.

What do these protesters want?

Find out in this video:

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#EndSARS: IGP unveils SARS replacememt

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Barely three days after disbanding the troubled Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS), the Inspector General of Polics today unveiled a new unit to replace SARS.

According to Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, the new unit is to be known Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT).

He said: “The Inspector General of Police, IGP M.A. Adamu, NPM, mni has, today, 13th October, 2020, in accordance with Section 18 (10) of the Police Act 2020, ordered all personnel of the defunct SARS to report at the Force Headquarters, Abuja for debriefing, psychological and medical examination.

“The officers are expected to undergo this process as a prelude to further training and reorientation before being redeployed into mainstream policing duties.

“The medical examination will be carried out by the newly set-up Police Counselling and Support Unit (PCSU), a Unit, which henceforth shall engage in psychological management, re-orientation and training of officers of the Force deployed for tactical operations and other duties.

“The Unit, which is domiciled with the Force Medical Department and coordinated by the Force Medical Officer, has its membership drawn from amongst psychiatrists, psychologists, medics, pastors and imams, Public Relations practitioners, Civil Society and other Human Rights groups with relevant qualifications and expertise.

“Meanwhile, the IGP has set up a new Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team that will fill the gaps arising from the dissolution of the defunct SARS.

“Prospective members of this new team will also undergo psychological and medical examination to ascertain their fitness and eligibility for the new assignment.

“They are to commence training at the different Police tactical training institutions nationwide, next week. While personnel from the Police Commands in the South-East and the South-South will be trained at the Counter-Terrorism College, Nonwa-Tai, Rivers State, those from the Police Commands from the North and the South-West will be trained at the Police Mobile Force Training College, Ende, Nasarawa State and the Police Mobile Force Training College, Ila-Orangun, Osun State, respectively,” Mba said

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