The Lagos State Ministry of Justice today began a stakeholders’ meeting on the Review of the Obas and Chiefs of Lagos State Law, 2015.
The meeting, organised by the Ministry’s Directorate of Legislative Drafting, is seeking to update the law to make it responsive to current realities.
Director, Legislative Drafting, Mrs Aderinsola Olarenwaju, explained the importance of the review. “The present legislation is a good law, it’s been in existence since since 1957,” Olarenwaju said, adding that there is a need to “look into it, identify the lacuna and change things not in tandem with present realities.”
She explained that the Ministry identified several lacuna in the law and set up a committee which came up with a draft containing proposals that were presented at the meeting.
The director urged those who didn’t join the session to “send a memorandum for amendment of sections or repeal.”
Olarenwaju added that a bigger session would be held with obas and other stakeholders in attendance.
Director, Chieftaincy, Lagos State Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs, Mr Folami Lukman, praised the Ministry “especially the Directorate of Legislative Drafting” for organising the event.
Emphasising the need for the review, he revealed that there were no fewer than 93 monarchs – 65 of whom are first class obas – and 10 empty stools in Lagos State.
He said: “The law really needs to be upgraded. They should help us fast-track this review. Everybody wants to become Oba, chief. Even those with red blood, that are not bluebloods, they want to become obas. Let us do something and help our laws and help save the state. The state’s size is not increasing. As of today, we have 93 obas on ground; about 10 stools that need to be occupied.”
An Assistant Director, Legislative Drafting, Mr. Abdulfatai Muheed, presented the Directorate’s proposals.
The interactive session considered amending several sections of the Law, including Section 12 which provides that amendment or replacement of registered declaration is permissible only once.