The Ikeja branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, has vowed to continue its protest against the increase in the Land Use Charge introduced by the Lagos State government.
The promise was after the operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) was allegedly paid an unscheduled visit to the branch chairman, Mr Adesina Ogunlana, on the protest of the lawyers body against the Land Use Charge.
Shortly after the alleged DSS’s visit, the branch at an emergency meeting rejected the reduction of the Land Use Charge by 50per cent done by the state government .
Instead, it voted to embark on more protests to pressurize government to revert back to status quo before the increase.
Ogunlana said the DSS agents who wore plain clothes said that they were just on a peaceful mission to observe the meeting.
In a recorded conversation between the NBA Chairman, Mr Adesina Ogunlana, Ogunlana was heard asking a lady who led the DSS to the venue of the emergency meeting what her mission was.
To which the lady replied, ”Yes sir, we understand you want to hold a meeting today on this land use charge matter.
“We want to know whether the meeting will hold and what you want to say,” she said.
The meeting eventually voted against the reduction of the taxes and vowed to embark on more protests.
“To the horrible shock of Lagosians, they woke up a few days ago to learn about the hyper-inflated rate of the so called land use charge which the Governor of Lagos state has escalated upwards 400%”.
“Another notable tax increase is in the car registration fee, which is 300% In judiciary, filing cost of litigation has jumped astronomically, pushing genuine but financially weak grievances away from employing and enjoying access to legal and judicial justice,” Ogunlana said.
He lamented that if these regimes of tax were allowed to stay, Lagos State would be a living hell.
“Clearly the sharp increase in ancillary property tax of the land use charge will have a bandwagon effect on all other services and function in Lagos State as owners of properties and services will automatically transfer other financial burdens to other customers who will have to bear the burden.”