The Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria (CLASFON) has called for the establishment of Ecclesiastical Courts in Lagos State to adjudicate on issues relating to marriage, divorce, custody of children and inheritance on behalf of Christians. The group made the call in an address presented by Prince Okey-Joe Onuakalusi, Coordinator, CLASFON, Lagos State, during a courtesy visit to the Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa, at the Speaker’s Chamber, House of Assembly Complex, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos. The group also called for amendment of Section 22(3) of the Customary Law of Lagos State, which already makes provision for a court to adjudicate on Islamic laws to introduce Section 22(4) as follows, “the Lagos State Judicial Service Commission may designate a court to adjudicate on Christian Law and matters in relation to marriage, divorce, custody and inheritance as it deems fit”. CLASFON also called for introduction of Legislative Intervention and Review Committee, LIREC to monitor laws passed by the House of Assembly, provision of rail system and pipe-borne water in Lagos state, introduction of effective measures for ease of doing business and measures for the decongestion of traffic, especially with regards to the menace of articulated vehicles on Lagos roads.
While tasking the Lagos State House of Assembly to make laws, to reflect the will of the people they represent, the coordinator urged them to ensure they do not only pass laws, but also show interest in how the laws affect the lives of their constituents. Stating that since the inception of the fourth Republic, the Lagos State House of Assembly has not lagged behind in bills being presented and passed to law in the last six years. Onuakalusi urged that more be done to better the lots of the citizens. The coordinator noted that the legislature is the most important organ of governance because it does not only represent the people, but has the responsibility to formulate the will of the state, vest its legal authority, and force through the exercise of oversight functions. He said Lagos is a melting pot, and commercial nerve center of Nigeria, and Africa, where a variety of peoples and cultures assimilate into a cohesive whole. He noted that Lagos is the second largest metropolitan city in Africa, and one of the fastest growing cities in the world and drew the attention of the parliamentarians to the challenges on the Ease of Doing Business ( EODB) in Lagos as established by World Bank that might legislative and oversight interventions.
He said: “Some of the areas include: standard of living, job creation, hydra headed traffic congestion , water supply, stronger protection of property rights (in our case, grant of certificate of occupancy and consent ), property registering, life expectancy of Lagosians etcetera. “Traffic gridlock has without measure impacted negatively in the ease of doing business in Lagos. Sections 2 and 38 of the Traffic law 2012 restricted movement of trailers and articulated vehicles, except between 6am and 9pm. Why is this law not effective in Lagos? Sir, can this law be reviewed with other similar laws were needed to make it more practicable. In Abuja for instance, trailers and tankers are not allowed into the city centers during the day.
”Protecting the property right (in our case, grant of certificate of occupancy and consent), property registering , providing available health services , affordable housing development and building approval , it is in the interest of the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) to allot a time frame in our laws in Lagos State within which these services can be discharged by those charged with responsibilities. . He recommended the parliamentarians to revisit and adopt their initial proposal of post legislation discourse. On the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN’s suspension of the 64 days nationwide strike, he said: “The following agreement was reached, we suggest that there should be an amendment to the existing Self-Accounting law of 1995 to accommodate the Memorandum of Action (MOA) reached by JUSUN, the setting up of State Allocation Committee (SAAC), comprising the state Commissioner for Finance, the Chief Registrar, and the Clerk of the House of Assembly.