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Lagos Hosts Body Of State Attorneys-General

Lagos State is hosting a three-day meeting of the Body of Attorneys-General of States of the Federation (BOAGs) at the Continental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The meeting was organised to discuss several critical legal issues bordering on the London/Paris Club Loan Refund Claim, Value Added Tax (VAT), Stamp Duty and Amendments to the 1999 Constitution (Amended), among others.

The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in his welcome address, applauded the body for organising the meeting to discuss critical issues and proffer solutions for the betterment of the country.

He said: “The roles played by Chief Law Officers across the Federation cannot be overemphasised and we also know how important it is to have you all at the helm of affairs in the country”.

The Governor expressed delight at hosting the meeting, stating that he will continue to provide support to the BOAGs.

In his keynote address, the Governor of Ondo State, Mr. Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu (SAN), stated that there can be no better time for the Chief Law Officers of the 36 States of the Federation to come together to critically look into provisions of the laws and the attendant issues thrown up as they continue the march to nationhood.

Akeredolu noted that the 1999 Constitution has been amended twice with optimism for further amendments arising from the manifest irregularities in many provisions, adding that this has compelled many lawyers and educated citizens to insist on having a new constitution which will reflect the agitations of the groups which make up the country.

He stated that the structure of the Federal police has failed and called for the establishment of State police to maintain law and order due to the current spate of insecurity across the country.

The Governor challenged the 36 State Attorneys-General to take a stand on restructuring to curtail the Federal Government’s unbridled quest for more powers.

Also speaking, the Attorney-General of Lagos State and Interim Chairman of BOAGs, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), noted that the body was established as part of efforts to form a formidable force to take positions on legal issues, advise the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and take legal action or review legal actions taken on behalf of all the States.

He said: “The forum provides a platform for peer learning and deliberation on common issues that affect the collective interest of the member States with a view to finding lasting solutions, as this will remain at the core of our convergence and deliberations”.

Onigbanjo averred that part of the body’s mandate includes the pursuit of true federalism, adherence to the constitution, rule of law, independence of the judiciary, as well as liaison with the AGF on behalf of the States on legal issues.

Other critical legal issues discussed at the meeting include the State Anti-Corruption Commission established by States, FIRS threat to recovering unremitted tax deductions by States and Local Governments, current issues in the legal profession and related matters, pensions and gratuity for Judges, amongst others.

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