Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has signed the bill for the Prohibition of Unlawful Societies and Cultism of 2021 into law, approving 21-year jail term for convicted cultists in the state.
The state’s House of Assembly, in February, passed the anti-cultism bill, which also stipulates 15-year jail term for anyone found guilty of abetting cultists and residents who willfully allow their property to be used as meeting points by cultists.
Sanwo-Olu assented to the bill at the swearing-in event for newly appointed members of the state’s public procurement agency governing board and two permanent secretaries held at Banquet Hall in the State House, Alausa, on Monday.
At the event, the governor also signed three other bills into law. They are Lagos State Audit Service Commission (Amendment) Law of 2019, Lagos State Public Procurement Bill of 2021 and Coronavirus Pandemic Emergency Law of 2021.
The anti-cultism law repeals the Cultism (Prohibition) Law of 2007 (now Cap. C18, Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2015) and provides for more stringent punitive measures, as well as makes its application all-encompassing and applicable to the general public, as against the restriction of the previous law to students of tertiary institutions.
Sanwo-Olu said the state had suffered the negative effects of unlawful societies and cultism, stressing that the new law sought to make parents more responsible and show more interested in the up-bringing of their children and wards to ensure that they do not become a burden to the society.
Speaking on the appointment of the procurement agency’s governing board members, the governor said their selection was predicated on their track record of integrity, experience and professional competence.
Sanwo-Olu said: “Your major responsibility as members of the Public Procurement Governing Board is to ensure strict adherence to the provisions of the State Public Procurement Law. You hold a crucial and strategic role in preventing wasteful spending and corruption in public procurement. The State Government and taxpayers count on you to keep the procurement process as transparent as possible.”
The public procurement agency governing board members are the commissioner for finance, Rabiu Olowo (chairman); commissioner for economic planning and budget, Sam Egube; attorney-general and commissioner for justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo; Fatai Onafowote (general manager); Foluso Onabowale; Foluso Mustapha; and Lanre Olusola.
Each governing board’s member has a term of three years to serve in the board.
The two permanent secretaries are Adebayo Odusanya (office of works) and Rotimi Thomas (office of infrastructure).