Lawyers Calls Ambode’s 50% Cut in Land Use Charge “Illegal”
By Dipo Olowookere
The 50 percent reduction in the land use charge rate by the Lagos State government on Thursday has been rejected by the Ikeja Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
On Tuesday, the NBA embarked on a protest in Lagos to kick against the increase of the land use charge as well as hike in car registration and court fees. The protest was led by Chairman of the NBA branch, Mr Adesina Ogunlana.
Speaking in an interview yesterday, Mr Ogunlana, while rejecting the reduction approved by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, said the latest move by state government was unacceptable because government is not sincere about the downward review of the charge.
According to him, “The upward review is something that came with by law and cannot be reviewed downward like that. Until the law is reviewed, we are not going to accept it. The reduction is arbitrary and illegal” [and means] “government is not sincere about the review.”
Speaking further, Mr Ogunlana said “the 50 percent reduction was not in line with our demands and the demands of the average Lagosians. We need a total reduction of the rates.
“Everybody knew how difficult it is to get money under the present harsh economy. So, the government should consider total reduction.”
“I am yet to hear officially from the government about that reduction or see a document about it, I have only seen news flash which I will treat only as a rumour.
“The rumoured reduction is not acceptable, I don’t trust this government; this is democracy and if there is going to be a reduction you have to consult with the people.
“The reduction is arbitrary and lacks legal basis. Due process must be followed; the law must be repealed and amended.
“You cannot repeal a law by proclamation, we are not in the military era where laws are made by decrees and proclamation,” he said.
Mr Ogunlana noted that, “The NBA Ikeja branch will hold a press briefing to address this issue.”