August 11, 2017
Mr. Debo Adeniran, Executive Chairman of the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL has called on the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development allow the law to take its full course with regard to the recent Appeal Court ruling on the dispute between the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and the Lagos Waterways Authority (LASWA), over who has the constitutional power to control the waterways in Lagos State.
He was reacting to the reported directive by Mohammed Abass, a Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry which gave its licensed dredgers in the state to go about their businesses without hindrance in spite of the July 18 decision of the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal which clearly vested on the state government the power to control the “intra-inland waterways.
“To put it bluntly, it will amount to total disrespect for the rule of law, if the Lagos state government yields to the directive of by the Federal Ministry. It can only breed anarchy in the system. Disregard for the laws is quite antithetical to the core values of democracy and such antics should definitely not emanate from a democratic government that is bounded to defend the laws of the land.”
“We encourage the Federal Ministry to pursue the lawful option which is to approach the Supreme Court for ultimate adjudication if it’s disgruntled enough with the ruling of the appellate court. This is much more reasonable than letting the dispute degenerate into anarchy.”
“Beyond the dispute between the Federal Ministry and Lagos state government, we haste to resound our position that dredging in the inland waterways and sand-filling on the coastal lines should be halted as they are injurious to the environment ultimately.”
“We believe that at the heart of the causes of the recent floods in Lagos can be linked with the nature of the relationship the government (State and Federal) has maintained with the environment in terms of planning and policies for infrastructural development. Basically, the approach has been inconsiderate of the environmental consequences of dredging and sand-filling activities. Sustaining these activities is a recipe for avoidable environment disasters.” Adeniran averred