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Breaking: Sanwo-Olu Dares FG, Signs VAT Bill Into Law

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…Appeal Court Stops Lagos, Rivers From Collecting VAT 

Despite stiff opposition from the Federal Government, the Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Friday signed into law the State VAT Bill as passed by the House of Assembly.

The Governor signed the “bill for a law to impose and charge VAT on certain goods and services” at about 11. 45am today , after returning from an official trip to Abuja .

By this act, the Bill has now become a Law.

Recall that on Thursday, the Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday passed the State’s Value Added Tax (VAT) bill and the bill that prohibits open cattle grazing in the state.

The two bills were passed after unanimous votes by the lawmakers at the sitting where they were read the third time.

Meanwhile, the Appeal Court sitting in Abuja has ordered all parties to maintain the status quo and refrain from taking action that would give effect to the judgement of a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt that allowed the Rivers State government to collect Value Added Tax (VAT), pending the hearing and determination of the instant suit.

A three-man panel of the appellate court led by Justice Haruna Tsammani gave the order on Friday while ruling on an appeal filed by the Federal Internal Revenue Service (FIRS).

The order of the appellate court is the latest development in the series of legal tussles over whose responsibility it is to collect VAT.

Although the FIRS has taken up the responsibility over the years, the Rivers State government tested the legality recently, and it was worth the move.

On August 19, Governor Nyesom Wike assented to the Valued Added Tax Law, 2021 along with four others following their passage by the Rivers State House of Assembly.

His action was sequel to the judgement delivered by Justice Stephen Pam of the Federal High Court in the state capital who held that states should collect VAT, and not the Federal Government.

Displeased with the decision of the court, the FIRS filed a motion on notice to apply for a stay of execution on the earlier judgement delivered by Justice Pam.

But the court said refused the application, saying the federal agency failed to file an application to set aside the tax law recently enacted by the Rivers State House of Assembly.

Justice Pam, therefore, stated that the state law on VAT was valid and subsisting.

The FIRS later approached the Court of Appeal in Abuja with a civil motion seeking a stay of the execution of the judgement earlier granted by the court in Rivers pending the determination of the case.

As the legal battle continues, the action of the Rivers State government received the support of some states, especially Lagos where the government is close to making it a law to collect TAX, instead of the FIRS.

On Thursday, the bill seeking to empower Lagos to collect VAT was read for the third time and passed by lawmakers in the Lagos State House of Assembly. As it awaits the governor’s assent, more states have indicated to follow in the part.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State government has applied to be joined as a co-respondent to the suit filed by the FIRS at the appeal court.

The Attorney General of the State and Commissioner of Justice, Moyesore Onigbanjo, represented the state government at Friday’s hearing.

He informed the court that the interest of the state was at stake, stressing that if they were not joined, it would amount to a breach of a fair hearing.

Onigbanjo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), urged the court to take the application for the joinder first before the application for the stay of execution filed by the FIRS.

But counsel to the federal agency, Mahmud Magaji (SAN), urged the court to hear the main application first, as it was of utmost priority.

The appellate court, in its ruling, held that the motion of joinder by the Lagos State government be heard and gave the applicants two days to file their written addresses.

Similarly, the respondents have been given two days to file their response, while the applicants were given a day to reply on the point of law.

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Leaking Someone’s Nudes Is A Criminal Offence, BBNaija Star, Angel Blasts Critics Behind Tiwa Savage’s Sex Video

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Former Big Brother Naija Shine Ya Eye finalist, Angel, has slammed critics who blamed singer Tiwa Savage over her alleged sex tape which recently surfaced online.

The reality TV star took to her Twitter page to call out critics, adding that the act of releasing the video was a criminal offense.

Last month, Tiwa Savage had revealed during an interview with American OAP, Angie Martinez of Power 105.1, that she was being blackmailed by an unknown person who threatened to release a sex tape that featured her and her current lover.

The Koroba singer revealed that the blackmailer demanded money from her so as not to release the sex tape but she has decided not to pay the money.

A few hours ago, a sex tape leaked online. While the face of the man involved in it did not show, the lady in the video bears a close resemblance with Tiwa Savage.

As the video has gone viral, social media users on several platforms have taken to their accounts to air their opinion on the situation, and some wasted no time in blaming the singer.

Responding to the critics, Angel said, “The problem will never be the fact that someone made a sex tape or that someone took a picture naked, the problem will always lie with the person that decided to leak it. Stop victim blaming.And leaking someone’s nudes is a criminal offense. I hope one of you becomes a scapegoat.”

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PDP Charges Nigerians On National Rebirth

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The Peoples Democratic Party has urged those behind mindless killings and terrorism in Nigeria to have a rethink and retrace their steps.

The party also charged those in authority to redouble their efforts in finding solutions to the challenges facing the country.

This was contained in a statement in which the party felicitated Nigerians as they celebrate this year’s Eid-el-Maulud which marks the birthday of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad.

The statement titled, ‘Eid-el Maulud: PDP Felicitates with Nigerians, Urges National Rebirth,’ was signed by the PDP National Publicity, Secretary Kola Ologbondiyan.

It read, “The Peoples Democratic Party urges Nigerians to use the occasion of this year’s Eid-el Maulud for solemn introspection and make commitment towards a rebirth in all areas of national life.

“The party notes that Eid-el Maulud, the celebration of the birth of Holy Prophet Mohammed, presents a providential occasion for our nation to put behind, all issues that cause disunity, disaffection, strife and despondency and move to a new beginning by embracing the virtues of love for one another, tolerance, mutual understanding and forgiveness, in line with the teaching of the Holy Prophet.

“The PDP insists that such is the only way to move the nation forward under the present circumstance.

“Our party urges Nigerians to resist all forces that seek to disunite them for selfish reasons and continue to work together, especially in their determination to chart a new course for our dear nation on the platform of the PDP.

“The PDP also calls on Nigerians to use the occasion to make fervent supplication to God for divine intervention as well as show love by reaching out to one another, especially the less privileged and victims of escalated acts of terrorism in our country.

“The party also urges those behind the mindless killings and acts of terrorism in our country to have a rethink and retrace their steps, while charging those in authority to redouble their efforts in finding solutions to the challenges facing our nation at this critical time.

“The PDP felicitates with Nigerians and wishes them a happy Eid-el Maulud celebration.”

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Man City Place £67m Price Tag On Sterling Amid Barca Interest

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Premier League champions Manchester City have reportedly placed an £67million price tag on Raheem Sterling amid interest from Barcelona.

The LaLiga giants are desperate to improve their forward line either in the January window or next summer and have placed Sterling on their shortlist of potential targets.

As reported by Sportsmail last week, Sterling wants to remain at Man City but will consider his future at the Premier League champions if he continues to struggle for consistent games.

No player has ever appeared in more matches managed by Pep Guardiola at Man City, yet the 26-year-old has started only two league games since the opening weekend of the season after the £100m summer signing of Jack Grealish.

“I’m not a person that’s going to complain, I’ve not tried to make it a bigger deal than it actually is,” Sterling said earlier this month.

“I get on with my work, do what I need to do. And I’m just raring to go: playing football matches regularly, scoring goals regularly.

“At the end of the day, if football for me is not at a certain standard I’m not really at my happiest. If I want my happiness at a certain level I need to be playing football. I need to be scoring goals and enjoying myself.”

Sterling has 18 months remaining on his current contract at Man City but has opted against opening discussions over an extension until his short-term future is resolved.

Now, according to Spanish newspaper Marca, City have told any club interested in signing Sterling that they will have to pay £67m to get a deal done.

Barcelona’s need for a new winger is exacerbated by Ousmane Dembele’s contract situation – his deal is set to expire at the end of the season. The club could look to move him on in January for a cut price to avoid losing their £135million signing on a free transfer.

Recent reports in Spain have linked Barcelona with an initial loan move for Sterling because their financial woes mean they could not afford to pay a huge fee for the former Liverpool star at present.

The club are in financial ruin due to their debt, which stands at more than £1billion, which contributed to LaLiga slashing their wage bill to a maximum of £90m – equivalent to that of Watford – last month.

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