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Moghalu, Adegboruwa Back Wike, Sanwo-Olu On VAT Collection By States

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…Say State VAT Laws A Form Of Restructuring

Human rights lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), on Thursday, backed Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and his Lagos State counterpart, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for championing the agitation for fiscal federalism for states in the country.

Adegboruwa, in a statement, said the collection of Value Added Tax by states is a “form of restructuring”.

The lawyer, who commended the Rivers State governor for starting a “revolution”, said enough of “feeding-bottle federalism and Abuja financial pilgrimage!”

In his statement titled, ‘State VAT Laws Is A Form Of Restructuring’, Adegboruwa said, “It is restructuring and I support it 100%. We’ve been shouting and crying for this lopsided federalism to be made equitable. Those who make peaceful change impossible make violent change inevitable.

“I commend Gov Wike who started this revolution.

“I also commend Gov Sanwoolu, my LBS and Hon A-G, Onigbanjo and the Lagos House of Assembly.

“Other laws should follow. LASG should go to Lagos High Court to seek an order for immediate compliance with the VAT law by all persons and authorities doing business in Lagos State.

“It’s a good beginning. Enough of feeding-bottle federalism and Abuja financial pilgrimage!”

It was arlier reported that the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt last month in a judgment in suit number FHC/PH/CS/149/2020, held that the Rivers State Government had the powers to collect VAT within its territory.

Although the Federal Inland Revenue Service applied to the court for a stay of execution, Justice Stephen Pam rejected the application, saying granting it would negate the principle of equity.

The governor, who lamented the injustice in the country, had said Rivers State generated N15bn VAT revenue in June this year, but got N4.7bn in return, while Kano generated N2.8bn in the same month and got the same N2.8bn back.

He had said that N46.4bn was collected from Lagos State in the same month but the Federal Government gave Lagos N9.3bn. “Sometimes, you don’t want to believe these things exist,” he added.

Wike had also assented to the Rivers State Value Added Tax Law 2021 in August after it was passed by the state House of Assembly.

Some states have since followed with the Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday passing the Value Added Tax Bill, which Speaker Mudashiru Obasa directed that the Acting Clerk of the House, Olalekan Onafeko, transmit a clean copy of it to Sanwo-Olu for assent.

VAT is a consumption tax paid when goods are purchased and services are rendered. It is charged at a rate of 7.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, Kingsley Moghalu, former presidential candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), has described the recent judgment of the federal high court in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, on value-added tax (VAT) collection as the “correct one”.

Last month, the court issued an order restraining the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) from collecting VAT and Personal Income Tax (PIT) — directing the Rivers state government to take charge of the collection.

Nyesom Wike, Rivers governor, went ahead to sign a bill on VAT collection into law. Wike also informed businesses that payment to the state government would commence in September.

However, FIRS still insists that taxpayers must continue to honour their tax obligations under the VAT Act until the court of appeal or supreme court gives a final verdict on the issue.

Speaking on the development, Moghalu said the court order in favour of Rivers state struck “a blow at the lazy federal government.”

In a series of tweets on Wednesday, the former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said he expected that the court order will be appealed up to the supreme court.

“The Federal High Court ruling on VAT is the correct one, though we can expect litigation to the Supreme Court. It strikes a strong blow at THE LAZY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT whose head once called our youth “lazy”. Nigeria has long been a fiscally failed state,” the tweet reads.

“Why should states in a supposed federation be producing mainly for @NigeriaGov?#Restructuring has already begun, by fire by force. I pity those who think they can stop the wind.”

Meanwhile, controversies regarding VAT collection have been on the trail between the FIRS and the Lagos state government.

Lagos had directed FIRS to stop issuing demand notices for payment of VAT in the state following the judgement of the federal high court in Port Harcourt on August 9, 2021.

The state house of assembly passed the VAT bill (bill empowering Lagos to collect VAT) into law on Thursday.

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Gunmen Abduct 13 Passengers In Niger

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The Police Command in Niger on Wednesday confirmed the abduction of thirteen passengers by gunmen at Konar Barau village of Rafi Local Government Area of the state.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Monday Kuryas, confirmed the incident in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna.

Kuryas said that at about 1530 hours, the DPO of Zungeru reported that one Mubarak Idris of Kwanawa village, Sokoto State, a driver of an 18-seater bus with registration number LGT 12 XWX loaded with 18 passengers from Yauwuri Kebbi state mostly fishermen heading to Yenagoa Bayelsa state on fishing activities, reported the matter to the police.

He said Idris reported that on getting to Konar Barau sharp bend under Rafi local government area along Tegina — Minna road, suspected bandits in military uniform kidnapped 13 of his passengers and his motor boy.

He said the gunmen also dispossessed the driver with N131,500.

The commissioner said that already aggressive manhunt for the hoodlums had commenced and solicited the support of residents, especially those in rural areas, to assist the police with reliable information that could lead to the arrest of the miscreants.

” We appeal to residents to volunteer reliable information that could aid in apprehending miscreants in the state.

” We are doing everything humanly possible to ensure the protection of lives and property in our area of supervision.

” All we require from residents is vital intelligence information that could aid the security personnel deployed across the state on movement of dubious characters in their midst for necessary security action,” he said.

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Blame Sanwo-Olu For Police Harassment Of EndSARS Protesters In Lagos, Adeyanju Insists

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Deji Adeyanju, an Abuja-based activist, has disclosed that Sanwo Olu should be blamed over the harassment of EndSARS protesters in Lagos State.

The convener of Concerned Nigerian advocacy group made the remark while commending the police and Department of State Services, DSS, for conducting themselves orderly in Abuja.

In a tweet, Adeyanju said police and DSS operatives should be commended for not violating the rights of Abuja residents.

According to Adeyanju: “The police and DSS in Abuja were professional today. They did not violate protester’s rights and this is a big win for the Federal Government. We have nothing personal against the Government.

“When they behave right, we will praise them. Governor Sanwo Olu is to be blamed for harassment of protesters in Lagos today.”

Police officers had brutalized and arrested some EndSARS protesters in Lagos State.

The protesters had filed out to mark the one year anniversary of the EndSARS massacre in Lekki tollgate.

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Grab Man United Job If Contacted, Domenech Tells Zidane

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Former France coach Raymond Domenech has urged Zinedine Zidane to accept the chance of managing Manchester United if the opportunity is open.

Domenech made this known in an interview with L’Equipe TV, where he said that the former Real Madrid coach has the capability to turn around the fortune of the Red Devils.

Recall that on Tuesday, Cristiano Ronaldo has reportedly approached Manchester United chiefs and recommended the club replace manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with Zinedine Zidane.

Pressure has mounted on Solskjaer following Manchester United’s 4-2 defeat at the hands of Leicester City over the weekend.

Although reports have indicated that Zidane has no interest in a move to the Premier League, Domenech is urging the former Real Madrid to have a rethink.

“What job is he made for when he’s been a multiple Champions League with Real Madrid? What’s left? [Manchester] City, United, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich? There’s five or six clubs. After that, if he takes another club, they’re a step down for him, for someone of his level.

“There comes a point when you can’t let that possibility slip. He’s also got, with [Cristiano] Ronaldo, a direct relay, a translator from Spanish to English.

“He’ll also get away from people who say he only achieved what he did because it was Real Madrid because he knew the players and he’ll prove he’s really a top manager. That’s why I tell him: go for it. Or stay in your comfort, but I don’t think that’s his desire.”

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