23rd May, 2013
Deputy Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, southwest Nigeria, Taiwo Kolawole, has accused the police in Lagos state of frustrating the enforcement of laws passed by the House.
He also blamed the country’s constitution for the poor implementation of laws enacted by the state Houses of Assembly.
Kolawole stated this while speaking with journalists Wednesday at a public hearing on a bill to establish an agency to fight for the rights of consumers in the state.
Residents of the state have often accused policemen of extorting money from them while taking advantage of some of the laws of the state.
One of such laws through which the police are accused of milking the residents is the Road Traffic Law which has only experienced partial implementation following more concentration on arrest of motorcycle riders (okada riders) even as several aspects of the law are not being implemented.
“We know we have a problem in Nigeria. This is the only country where we have a constitution that gives power to people to make laws at the state level but refuses to give the same power of enforcement to the state. It is a problem.
“You will therefore not want to blame us wholesale since there is something wrong with the constitution and the National Assembly is not doing enough to correct that.
“Concerning the Road Traffic Law of the state, the law is not limited to okada and that is why we are worried.
“Some members of this House have complained about the way the Nigeria police target that section that restricts okada more than other aspects of it,” he lamented, noting that the states of the federation were challenged because they do not have control over the police which is a federal agency headed by an Inspecor-General.
“Therefore, we have a whole lot of implementation problems and this is because of the defect in the constitution. I know one day we will get it right,” Kolawole added.
Concerning the harrowing experiences faced by the partial ban on okada, Kolawole disclosed that the state government has better plans to ease the transportation challenges faced by residents.
The new bill he briefed journalists about is titled A Bill For A Law To Establish The Consumer Protection Agency, Provide For The Protection Of The Interest Of Consumers, Settlement Of Consumer Disputes And For Connected Purposes.
It is aimed at addressing the issue of sale and purchase of unwholesome products in the state.
When the bill becomes law, it would assist consumers fight against exploitation and cheating.
During the media chat, Kolawole also said the Lagos State Transport Management Authority (LASTMA) is being rebranded through training of its personnel and expressed optimism that the officers would put into good use what they would learn.