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Crisis Rocks Lagos Assembly; Members Divided Over Support For Speaker & Deputy

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A big rumpus is currently going on in the Lagos State House of Assembly. The crisis may degenerate into a major political crisis in the state anytime from now, if not resolved.  Until now, the general perception has been that the leadership of the state has been enjoying unhindered peace; this latest development however, seems to have proved otherwise.  All is presently not well in the House of Assembly.

 

A story that emanated from the house, which was well circulated in the media last Monday exposed the secret whirlwind currently rocking the house. It was reported in the story that on Monday, April 10, when most of the lawmakers declined to attend plenary session meant to be presided over by the Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon. Wasiu Sanni-Eshinlokun. Checks have however shown that the report are not true.

In the story, it was reported that the Deputy Speaker had presided on the sitting on that day after the Speaker had communicated to him that he would not be available on that day.

 

According to that report, when the time for the sitting came and all support staff of the Assembly were ready for plenary sitting to commence, the lawmakers were nowhere to be found. Only about two or three of them were present at the chamber, clearly not enough to form quorum for sitting.

What really confounded close observers of the Legislative House was the fact most of the lawmakers were in their offices ready for the day’s sitting. However when they found out that the Speaker was not going to preside over the sitting, and the Deputy Speaker will take over, they refused to attend.

When it became obvious that quorum could not be formed for the sitting to commence, the support staff left the Chambers and the plenary was cancelled for the day. It was said that of the lawmakers that they decided not to attend the sitting because they did not have confidence in the Deputy Speaker who was supposed to preside over the sitting.

Investigations have however shown that against all the details given in the story, there was actually no sitting at all in the house o Monday, April 10. The Deputy Speaker never presided over any sitting, it has been confirmed.

Our checks revealed that almost all the 39 members of the house were present in their offices to resume their normal legislative business on that day, without the knowledge that the Speaker would not be available. The Deputy Speaker himself was not aware, until around noon when news came that the Speaker was not around. The Speaker, Honourable Mudashiru Obasa did not make any official announcement about his absence prior to that day.

The Clerk of the house, who should have also passed necessary information to members, also didn’t pass the message across.

A member of the assembly, who painted the exact picture of what happened last Monday said that the report that circulated in the media is being sponsored by some members of the house who have an axe to grind with the Deputy Speaker. He confirmed that it was a deliberate attempt to bring down the personality of the Deputy Speaker.

Giving a hint, he said “Some members of the house were already in the chamber to move into plenary. There was no prior notice that the Speaker wouldn’t be around to preside over plenary, so we were not expecting anything strange. The bell to announce the time for sitting had been sounded and even few members, including Hon. Funmi Tejuosho were already taking their seats. It was at this point that the Majority Leader came with the news that the Speaker was not going to be around. At that point, the Deputy Speaker was still in his office. It was the Majority leader that went to break the news to him. Later on, they got on the phone with the Speaker and he told them he was not around. While, all these were going on, other lawmakers who were preparing to go into plenary retired back to their offices. There are CCTV cameras all over the assembly complex, anyone that wants to fault what I have said can come out; the recordings from the cameras are there”.

“The truth is, the Deputy Speaker did not have any plan to preside over plenary on that day, as there was no fresh order of proceedings (which could have been made if the Speaker had communicated his absence officially). There are many channels through which the Speaker could have communicated his absence to the members. There is a WhatsApp chat group that has all the 40 members of the house. He could have just dropped the message there and all members would have done the needful”.

“No one was aware that he was not going to be around, and that there was not going to be a sitting, since the whole house officially adjourned till Monday during the last sitting on April 4. For instance, Hon. Desmond Elliot, who was in South Africa for the Big Brother Naija finale the previous night, flew into Lagos in time, so that he would not miss plenary”.

The lawmaker however expressed shock at the news that was released to the media.

Meanwhile, further checks revealed that the Speaker was later spotted in his office on Monday evening with one of his sons, who he travelled to London with later that night. He travelled to the UK for his son’s graduation ceremony, we heard.

It is however baffling that since the story that circulated few days back came out, there has not been any official statement from the house over the issue. The Speaker, his Chief Press Secretary, and Hon. Tunde Braimoh (who is the Chairman of the Information Committee of the house) are yet to drop any comment about the development.

Interestingly, the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Wasiu Sanni-Eshinlokun, who the story is centred about, has also been silent.

However, beneath this silence is a serious bickering going on among members of the house, particularly in the leadership. We heard that from the take off of this legislative assembly about 2 years ago, all has not been well between the Speaker and the Deputy. It could be recalled that Hon. Wasiu Sanni-Eshinlokun also contested for the Speakership with Hon. Obasa. Since Obasa emerged Speaker, some members of the house who are loyal to him, have always seen the Deputy Speaker as a potential threat to his seat.

Another source, a senior staff in the assembly confirmed to us that the lawmakers who are loyal to Obasa don’t want Eshinlokun to even come close to leading the house. The source squealed to us that while the news that the Speaker wouldn’t be available last Monday, some members voiced out their opinion that the Deputy Speaker automatically steps in, but some of the pro-Obasa lawmakers led by Hon. Lanre Osun vehemently declined.

This source confided in us that the cold war is thickening by the day as the lawmakers who are loyal to Obasa are plotting to even get the Deputy Speaker removed from office.

Meanwhile, trusted sources say that the Deputy Speaker has a strong backing in the house and enjoys a massive support from the political class in the state. So, an attempt to remove him is an onerous task.

 

 

The Pulse NG

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Lagos Lawyer Gboyega Adetunji Delves Into Agriculture, Floats Abundish; A Revolutionary Farm-To-Table Outfit

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Barrister Gboyega Adetunji, a Lagos-based renowned legal practitioner, has ventured into agriculture with the launch of Abundish, a revolutionary farm-to-table service aimed at transforming how Nigerians access fresh, high-quality, and healthy farm produce.

 

Abundish is committed to offtake directly from farmers and supply to consumers promoting sustainable agricultural practices, and ensuring fair market value for produce.

 

The innovative platform offers a subscription-based model, allowing customers to customize their experience and receive curated selections of fresh, seasonal produce delivered conveniently to their homes.

 

“I’m thrilled to embark on this new journey, combining my passion for sustainable living and community development,” said Barrister Adetunji, Founder and CEO of Abundish.

 

“Our goal is to empower farmers, support local economies, and provide healthy, fresh produce to consumers while reducing food wastage and promoting sustainable practices.”

 

“Abundish is more than just a bridge,” says Barr. Gboyega Adetunji.

 

“We are a movement bringing fresh, high-quality produce whether cash or food crops directly from the farm to the end consumer, cutting out unhygienic produce, reducing landing costs of produce, and the convenience of doorstep delivery it affords our customers. This does not only benefits our customers, but also supports sustainable agricultural practices, grows the naira and local economies, and also empowers the farmers who nourish our communities.

 

Reacting to what inspires his diversification, Barr. Gboyega said “I’d always wanted to have my little farm that can cater for at least 80% of my consumption, but then I realized how impactful it would be if this practice could be extended to others, hence the creation of the Abundish brand”

 

When asked what sets Abundish apart from its counterparts, Barr. Gboyega said, “Abundish offers a unique subscription model, allowing customers to customize their experience and receive a curated selection of the freshest seasonal produce delivered conveniently to their homes. By bypassing traditional distribution channels, Abundish reduces food waste, ensures peak freshness for consumers and the amount of time doing tedious work of purchase and clean up”.

 

“Abundish offer fresh farm produce at fair market value, championing food security with sustainable practices” he added.

 

At Abundish, we are not just passionate about delivering farm-fresh produce, we are committed to creating a positive impact on our world. That is why we operate with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in mind, striving for a more sustainable, equitable, and food-secure future.

 

Join The Abundish Movement, visit www.abundish.info to learn more about Abundish, and subscribe to receive the freshest produce delivered at your convenience.

 

Follow Abundish on social media platforms for behind-the-scene farm footage, exclusive offers, recipes, and our social impact initiatives.

 

X (Twitter) – @abundish

 

Instagram – _@abundish

 

Facebook – Abundish

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US-based Nigerian Jailed 41 Months For Operating Illegal Money Transmitting Business; Funds Wired To Lagos Bank

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A Nigerian man based in the United States Oluwafemi Osinowo has been sentenced to 41 months in a federal prison after he was convicted of operating an illegal money transmitting business.

 

U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Gathe, Jr. in a press release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Middle District of Louisiana on Monday, announced that Chief Judge Shelly D. Dick also sentenced Osinowo, 35, of Miami, Florida, to three years of supervised release following his term of imprisonment.

 

According to admissions made as part of his guilty plea, from December 2016 to January 2019, Osinowo operated an unlicensed money transmitting business.

 

He confessed that he conducted foreign currency exchange business without complying with required federal registration requirements.

During the course of operating the business, money was transmitted from third parties from the Middle District of Louisiana and elsewhere to bank accounts located in Miami, Florida.

 

Once the money was in the bank accounts in Miami, Florida, an individual acting as an agent of Osinowo’s business wired the money to a bank in Lagos, Nigeria. Those wire transfers included approximately 51 separate transmissions in the aggregate total of approximately $722,177.

 

 

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‘Stolen’ $6.2m: What Emefiele Told Us In Kuje Prison – Investigators

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One of the investigators handling the case of $6,230,000 allegedly stolen from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on February 8, 2023, has revealed what Godwin Emefiele, immediate past governor of the apex bank, told them at Kuje prison.

The former CBN governor, who is standing trial on an alleged 20-count amended charge, preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), was once remanded at Kuje prison.

He was alleged to have engaged in criminal breach of trust, forgery, conspiracy to obtain by false pretence and obtaining money by false pretence when he served as central bank chief.

In an affidavit filed before a Federal High Court in Abuja, one of the investigators, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, gave details of investigators’ findings and progress made so far.

The Deputy Superintendent of Police was quoted to have said: “We visited Kuje Correctional Centre, where we interviewed Godwin Emefiele, who purportedly approved the memos authorising the payment, as then CBN gov and he denied seeing, talk less of approving such memos.

“We also arrested some concerned staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria, who denied any involvement in the crime, before we finally arrested Bashirudeen Maishanu, who corroborated the account of Abdulmajeed Muhammad and further confessed to have been involved in the crime which, according to him was perpetrated by himself and the first to third defendants/respondents – Adamu Abubakar, Imam Abubakar and Odoh Eric Ocheme.

“Bashiru Maishanu further confessed that himself, the first and second defendants/respondents (Adamu Abubakar and Imam Abubakar) shared the sum of $2,500,000.00 from the stolen money, while the third defendant/respondent (Odoh Eric Ocheme), being a fellow staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria, kept the balance of $3,730,000.00 claiming that he had other interests to settle in the CBN.

“Bashirudeen Maishanu further confessed that both himself, and the first and second defendants/respondents jointly invested the United States dollars equivalent of the sum of N1, 440,000,000.00 into real estate business of Afrolyk Global Ltd.

“The Managing Director of the said Afrolyk Ltd, Aminu Lawal has been arrested and he confirmed the investment by Bashirudeen Maishanu, Adamu Abubakar and Imam Abubakar, and already refunded the sum of $200 000 00 to the Special Investigator’s team as part of the money he (Aminu Lawal) received as part of the purported investment.

“Cash of about $400,000 00 has also been voluntarily returned by Bashiru Maishanu from part of his remaining share of the money in question. The money (the $6,230,000) was received in cash from the Central Bank at Nigeria and also shared in the same cash by the defendants/respondents and others, making it difficult to trace the monies without arresting the defendants/respondents.

“It was later revealed that the third defendant – Odoh Eric Ocheme – was the Personal Assistant to Godwin Emefiele as the CBN governor while the first and second defendants (Adamu Abubakar and Imam Abubakar) are businessmen and associates of Bashirudeen Maishanu.”

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