The Lagos State Government will today (Monday) arraign the key suspects arrested in connection with the kidnap of Oniba of Iba, Oba Yishau Goriola Oseni before a Lagos High Court in Igbosere.
The State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, in a statement on Sunday, said the four suspects – Duba Furejo, Ododomo Isaiah, Reuben Anthony and Yerin Fresh would be arraigned before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of Court 24 for offences of conspiracy to murder, murder, armed robbery and Kidnapping.
Specifically, Kazeem said the suspects would be arraigned on eight count charges relating to kidnapping of the monarch, murder of the palace security guard – Sunday Eniola Okanlawon, and a commercial motorcycle rider, Joseph Okeke.
They would also be arraigned on attempted murder of the monarch’s wife, Olori Abosede Oseni and armed robbery of the Olori’s property.
While expressing the resolve of the present administration to rid the State of all forms of criminality, the Attorney General said his office would work closely with all security agencies to ensure that all cases of kidnapping, cultism, rape, sexual and domestic violence crimes are swiftly prosecuted to a logical conclusion.
He added: “The swift commencement of the trial of the suspects in the kidnap of the Oniba is a strong signal by the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode that it is not business as usual for criminals. If you commit a crime, we will find you and prosecute you no matter how long it takes,” Kazeem said.
He assured that present administration was determined to hurt the scourge of kidnapping, cultist killing, raping and murder, adding that Governor Ambode, as part of his commitment to make the State a safe place to live in, move freely around, and do business, will continue to support law enforcement agencies in the investigation and apprehension of all criminals, especially those involved in heinous crime of kidnapping, armed robbery and murder.
He added: “Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is committed to ensuring that Lagos state becomes a no-go area for criminals who target innocent citizens for kidnapping and collection of ransom, in an effort to get rich quick.”
It would be recalled that during the unfortunate and dastardly crime on July 16, 2016, the Okanlawon and Okeke were killed, while the monarch was whisked away and kept in captivity for about three weeks.
The sustained pressure and intelligence gathering from law enforcement agencies, however, led to the rescue of the monarch, while the four suspects were apprehended in the process.
Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday launched an Adult Education Programme tagged ‘Lagos is Learning (Èkó ńkẹ kòó)’, a move he said was in line with his administration’s commitment to combat the illiteracy level in the State.
Governor Ambode, who spoke at the launch of the programme, held at the Police College, Ikeja, said the target was to raise the literacy level in the State from 85 per cent to 100 per cent within the next three years.
To achieve this, the Governor said the adult education centers in the State would be increased from 522 to 1000, while additional 1000 teachers would be engaged, adding that the programme would be free of charge for participants so as to accommodate more people.
Governor Ambode, who was represented at the launch by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Mrs. Idiat Oluranti Adebule, said the number of illiterate persons in the State was not consistent with his vision to make Lagos Africa’s model mega city, hence the need to address the situation.
He said, “In Lagos, research also shows that 13 per cent of the population, meaning about three million persons, are illiterates. This level of illiteracy is unacceptable. The high population of illiterate people is not consistent with our vision to become Africa’s model mega city because illiterate person lack basic literacy, numeracy and essential skills which makes them more vulnerable to activities of criminals and they can easily be lured into anti-social groups.
“Basic literacy is essential for economic empowerment and to understand and follow simple instruction in the areas of health, transportation, safety and others. Today, we are launching this Eko Nke Ekoo project with the objectives of kicking illiteracy out of Lagos. Our goal is to achieve 100 percent literacy for all Lagosians. Towards this end, we plan to increase the number of basic and post literacy centers from the current 532 to 1,000. We will also engage additional 1,000 facilitators who will be trained in basic skills and techniques in the teaching of adult education.”
The literacy centres, according to the Governor, would offer courses including Education, Fashion designing, Soap making, Hair dressing and Bead making, among others.
Besides, Governor Ambode said the State Government would aggressively promote literacy initiatives through all media channels, while channels of literacy contents, radio literacy programmes, mobile literacy centres and other innovative channels would be multiplied and diversified across the State.
“To achieve this, the Ministry of Education, through the office of the Special Adviser on Education and Agency for Mass Education under the direction of the Deputy Governor, will strengthen relationship with various stakeholders including private organizations, international funding agencies, government agencies, religious organizations, community based and several NGOs running literacy and empowerment programmes”.
“I encourage residents of Lagos to take the opportunity to learn. It is never too late to learn; age is not barrier to acquire basic literacy. It will help the learners forge a better understanding between the government and the people and as well aid personal development,” he said.
Earlier, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr Obafela Bank-Olemoh, said the initiative was to improve the standard of living of adults without formal education while growing up and make them self-reliant and employable.
The Lagos State Government on Wednesday confirmed the release of the four pupils and teachers of the Lagos State Model College (Senior and Junior) Igbonla in Epe who were kidnapped by suspected ex-Ijaw militants on October 6, 2016, assuring that the Government would spare nothing until it rids the State of criminal elements.
The Government, in a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, said the children have undergone medical check-up after which they were reunited with their families.
“The Lagos State Government today welcomed the release of the school pupils, Vice-Principal and Head teacher of Igbonla Model College, Epe, who were kidnapped by suspected Ijaw militants on Thursday October 6, 2016.
“The children are doing well; they have been taken through medical checkup and have been safely reunited with their families.”
Ayorinde, while restating the government’s determination to protect lives and property, however urged residents to be more vigilant, security conscious and report all suspected persons and objects seen within their neighbourhood to the appropriate security agencies.
“The determination of the government to ensure 24-hour security of the State is evident in the huge investment in the equipment and welfare of security agencies, especially the police”.
The Commissioner, however, said that Government has taken adequate steps to stem the tide of kidnapping in the State, noting that in line with the directive of the State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, plans have been concluded to commence the demolition of illegal structures erected across the state waterfronts and creeks.
“Often times, the incidence of kidnapping are perpetrated through the waterways and as such, these illegal structures provide a leeway for these criminal elements to plan and execute their nefarious activities. This step, we believe, will go a long way to address this menace.
“The State Government has also begun steps to boost community policing with the recent announcement by the Governor that at least 5000 neighbourhood watchers will soon be recruited to improve surveillance across the state, especially at the rural areas,” Ayorinde said.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday swore-in two new Permanent Secretaries into the State Public Service, with a charge on the appointees to add positive values and uphold the tradition of excellence which the State is known for.
Governor Ambode, who performed the swearing-in ceremony at the Executive Council Chambers at the Lagos House, Ikeja, said the successes recorded so far by his administration in the last 16 months could be largely attributed to the vibrant public service in the State, and counseled the appointees to continually adhere strictly to the integrity and productivity that earned them the appointments with the view to achieve enhanced service delivery to the citizens.
The Governor said: “In the last 16 months, our administration has started a course for positive growth and development in the various areas of human endeavors in Lagos State. Our modest achievements amplify commitment to the progress of Lagos as aptly expressed in the slogan “The progress of Lagos is of paramount interest to us all”.
“A major pilot in the successes so far achieved is the vibrant state public service. Our public service ranks among the largest and most effective in Nigeria in terms of service delivery. Our public service has continued to maintain this reputation because we have always upheld best practices and given a lot of priority to training and equipping our officers.
“More importantly, we have ensured that only competent and qualified officers with proven capacity to interpret and implement government policies and programmes are appointed to leadership positions,” he said.
While congratulating the appointees on their deserved appointments, Governor Ambode said from findings, they were adjudged to be fit and proper persons with integrity and character and satisfied the parameters for appointments as Permanent Secretaries, therefore, they must not betray the confidence reposed in them.
Governor Ambode, specifically urged them to bring on board added value and relate with other members of the Body of Permanent Secretaries in upholding the tradition of excellence for which the state public service is known for.
The Governor also warned the appointees to be conscious of their actions and inactions henceforth as according to him, they would be subjected to intense public scrutiny by virtue of their positions.
“You have been elevated to the highest career positions in the state public service and from now on, all your actions and inactions will come under intense public scrutiny. I urge you not to relent in maintaining integrity and productivity that distinguished you for the appointments,” the Governor said.
The appointees are Mrs. Toyin Awoseyi, who was appointed Permanent Secretary in charge of Civil Service Commission, and Mrs Anike Adekanye appointed Permanent Secretary/Tutor General, Education District Five.