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Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has commended ASP Sunday Erhabor, a Police officer attached to the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the State Command, who was assaulted by one Victor Ebhomenyen at Four Point by Sheraton Hotel, Oniru last the weekend.
Governor Sanwo-Olu hailed ASP Erhabor for displaying high level of professionalism and calmness by restraining himself from taking laws into his hands, despite being assaulted while trying to arrest Ebhomenyen for driving against the traffic.
The incident that was captured in a viral video on social media last Saturday, Erhabor while trying to arrest Ebhomenyen for driving against the traffic was violently assaulted and inflicted with severe bodily injuries. But the Police officer, who was armed with his official AK 47 rifle, displayed a high level of professionalism despite the fierce provocations.
Speaking at the Lagos House, Ikeja on Monday while receiving ASP Erhabor, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the action of the Police officer is a testimonial and encouragement for other officers to show that they can be civil in the face of provocation or assault from suspected criminals.
He said: “This is our own little response to the very condemnable events that happened over the weekend. We are all very quick to condemn men of the Nigeria Police, especially when they are found wanting. We are always very quick to also admonish them. But the event that we all saw over the weekend showed that indeed there are some very commendable Police officers.
“In the real heat of provocation, ASP Erhabor displayed high quality of restraint. He displayed calmness and restrained himself from taking laws into his hands. And I think for that little gesture, it is important for us to bring him out so that we also can use him as a testimonial and encouragement for other Police officers to show that indeed they can be civil and that Police are meant to protect our citizens. They are meant to also be law abiding and the likes of ASP Sunday Erhabor today can be a source of encouragement to others.
“On behalf of the Government and the entire people of Lagos State through the Commissioner of Police, I want to commend ASP Erhabor for show of patience, decorum and what is expected of a Police officer. And I want to implore other Police officers to see that indeed there are times when you may be provoked, restraint is the word and see it that there are some members of the general public that can be very violent, please restrain and let the normal cause of law take its full course.”
“I want to use this medium to commend him, thank him and give him a Governorship handshake or elbow shake as the case might be as a source of encouragement for him and for the Commander of RRS, Chairman of Task Force, the Chief Security Officer and everybody in our Police formation to use ASP Sunday Erhabor as a good case for others.”
Speaking earlier, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu said ASP Erhabor “in the face of provocation and assault on his person displayed high level of diligent and civil oriented professionalism expected in modern policing as advocated by the present Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba.”
Lagos State has moved to deepen the culture of accountability and transparency in the expenditure of appropriated public funds, with the signing of a bill by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Monday, establishing an anti-corruption commission in the State.
The Governor assented to Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission Bill of 2021 at a brief ceremony held in Alausa. The legislation, sponsored by the executive arm of the Government, was signed into law days after it was passed by the House of Assembly.
With the legislation coming into force, the anti-corruption commission, which will be formally set up in the coming days by the Governor, is backed by the instrument of law to investigate and prosecute officials of the State Government and registered contractors indicted for economic crimes and financial misappropriation.
Also, Sanwo-Olu assented to the Lagos State Lotteries and Gaming Authority Bill of 2021, initiated by the executive arm to coordinate activities of lotteries agencies operating within the State.
After the signing of the two bills into law, Sanwo-Olu said the action was a testimony to the State Government’s effort towards entrenching accountability in governance and checking malfeasance among officers entrusted with public resources.
He said: “The bill establishing Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission is an important legislation critical to the delivery of quality services to the citizens. When we came in, we had said we would be accountable and responsible in the appropriation of the State’s resources. We want to stand in front of the citizens to give account on how public funds are being spent.
“To give credence to this promise, the executive arm initiated the bill and sent to the Assembly for approval. We believe that this law would not only ensure accountability of public funds, responsibility of public office, but also promote dialogue among public officers to keep the trust of the people in the discharge of their duties in line with transparency. The anti-corruption commission will ensure that all approved activities are implemented in accordance with budgetary allocation.”
Sanwo-Olu said the anti-corruption commission would be independent in its operations and functions, pointing out that the agency would complement efforts of similar agencies in the police and federal establishment.
The Lotteries and Gaming Authority Bill of 2021, the Governor disclosed, is to simplify and incorporate technological innovations in the gaming sector.
The law sought to harmonise five gaming and lottery formats, such as casino, jackpot, pool, lotto and sports betting, thereby regulating the sector and checking fraudulent activities of unregistered game centres within the State.
Sanwo-Olu said the former lottery law of the State did not meet the contemporary needs in the industry, which was why the executive initiated the bill to accommodate technology in regulating the business.
“As a forward-looking Government, we are doing the needful to ensure fair play, regulation and monitoring is brought back into the gaming industry. The law is not in any form to stifle investment, but to offer better platform for lottery companies to enhance equity, transparency and make their investment more rewarding,” the Governor said.
Sanwo-Olu reiterated that his Government’s actions would continue to be taken in a way that would boost confidence of the public and promote accountability in governance.
He thanked the Speaker and members of the Assembly for cooperating with the executive arm and consistently prioritisng executive bills aimed at delivering good governance.
Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, said the two bills signed by the Governor made it 10th legislation sponsored by the executive and passed by the House of Assembly to strengthen good governance. Twenty-six executive bills, he said, have been initiated since inception of the current administration.
He said: “The anti-corruption commission agency to be established is akin to Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to prosecute misappropriation of public funds in the State. The chairman of the agency will be appointed by Mr. Governor, subject to the ratification of the House of Assembly. If the investigation leads to prima facie case, the offender will be prosecuted in the court.”
Chairman of the House Committee on Finance, Hon. Rotimi Olowo, and his counterpart in Public Complaints and Judiciary, Hon. Victor Akande, attended the event.
Says The Late Afenifere Spokesman Was A Detribalised Nigerian
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Thursday urged Nigerians, especially members of the Civil Society Organisations to cherish, preserve and push forward the struggle for a better Nigeria and black race, which the late Yinka Odumakin, former National Publicity Secretary of the pan Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, fought and died for.
The Governor said Odumakin during his lifetime, did his best through several struggles and interventions to make Nigeria a better country and therefore urged people to stand firm and ensure that the legacy of the late Afenifere spokesman is built upon.
Odumakin, a renowned human rights activist, died on Friday April 2 at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) at the age of 54 years.
Speaking during a condolence visit to the family at the deceased’s residence in Omole, Ikeja, Sanwo-Olu described the late Afenifere spokesman as “one of the strongest, detribalised, action packed, full of life, true Nigerians of our time.”
The Governor assured the widow of the deceased, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin that Lagos State will not leave her alone. “We will not leave you alone. We will ensure that even when the crowd disappears, we will be there for you,” he promised.
He said “I am here to pay my condolences on behalf of my government and the entire people of Lagos State for the painful loss of one of the strongest, detribalised, action packed, full of life, true Nigerians of our time, late Comrade Yinka Odumakin.
“Our friend and brother lived a good life. He lived a fighter; he died a fighter. The civil society stakeholders in Lagos and Nigeria have indeed lost a big member of that community and indeed the entire nation because of what he stood for and fought for. If we begin to take him as a Yoruba man, we will be reducing him and what he stood for in this country.
“Wherever Yinka is right now, his wish would be that we will make this country better than how he left it and that is a commitment we are going to leave with you that we will do it to ensure that what he stood for, the legacy he worked for does not go into waste.”
In her response, Dr. Okei-Odumakin appreciated the Lagos State Government for the condolence visit.
She said several tributes and comments about the deceased will energise her to do more in pursuing what Yinka Odumakin stood for, adding that the ideals of her husband will continue to live forever.
She said: “Yinka was selfless. Before he went to hospital, he still told me about four programmes that he would have. He told me how he would leave for Ilorin the next day and later to Ekiti, the third day he would be back to Ibadan for his programme. He said he would be at Ife on Friday, he would be at Ikenne and Sunday, he would return to Lagos. He was so selfless and he had faced all sorts of medical problems and still came out strong. One did not know that this would be goodnight.
“One consolation is that Yinka is not dead; he lives because he will continue to live in the consciousness of the people. And to live in the consciousness of the people is to live forever. What Yinka will want to see is for us to remain focused and committed. Some of the things he could not achieve like restructuring of Nigeria and a lot of things that he could not do, he will be happy if he sees us doing a lot more better. Yinka lives on.”