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It’s only a fool that links people to criminal activity because they appeared in a group picture- Dogara replies APC

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The former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has replied the All Progressives Congress to establish the link between himself and alleged multinational fraudster, Ramon Abbas Igbalodely, better known as Hushpuppi.

Dogara who is a member of the People’s Democratic Party and a current reps member said this following a statement by the APC, signed by its Deputy Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, which demanded the probe of some PDP leaders, including the immediate past President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; former Vice-President and PDP’s 2019 presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar; and Senator Dino Melaye, among others, over their alleged contact with Hushpuppi in times passed.

Dogara reacted to the allegation in a statement issued by his media aide, Turaki Hassan, entitled ‘The Fatuous and Infantile Statement by the Smellfungus Called Yekini Nabena’.

Dogara through Hassan pointed to Nabena that APC members, including incumbent Governors who were spotted frolicking in photos with suspected internet fraudster, Mompha who was charged by the EFCC should be called out as well.

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According to The Punch, Hassan said,

“This smellfungus called Nabena should have known that it is sheer mindlessness to attempt to execute mischief and blackmail in plain sight before the public some of whom are better informed. Who is that fool that links people to criminal activity simply because they appeared in a group picture at a public event comprising of people from different walks of life?

“If appearing in a group photograph is what Nabena is now using to establish a link or connection to crimes or alleged criminals, then, why didn’t he issue such a statement in the wake of the arrest of a suspected money launderer by name Ismaila Mustapha, aka Mompha, whose pictures with notable personalities including some APC governors are all over the social media? Is Nabena guilty of selective amnesia or share perfidy? Who is Nabena scared of? Who is he trying to fool?”

He added,

“For the records, Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara has agreed to waive his right to a trial and go to jail if Nabena establishes any form of links or connection between him and the alleged cybercriminal before the event where the picture was taken and after the event until now. For Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara, that picture was just another picture among the thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of such pictures with Nigerians from all walks of life.

“If the said Nabena is worth his salt, next time he speaks, he should speak to issues affecting the welfare of our union, which are well known to all discerning Nigerians. Nabena should or ought to know that there is no honour in speaking about group pictures taken at public events when the nation is bleeding and most Nigerian families are struggling and hurting.”

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UPDATED: Lagos revokes 2018 land use charge

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Lagos state government has cancelled 2018 land use charge and has reverted to pre-2018 land use charges while upholding the 2018 method of valuation.

The government announced this at a press conference addressed by the state commissioner for Finance, Dr. Rabiu Olowo at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Center, Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja on Wednesday.

The government has also waived penalties for those who defaulted in payment of land use charge for the years 2017, 2018 and 2019, which according to the commissioner translates to a loss of revenue to the state amounting to N5.6b.

Olowo said the new Land Use Charge Law 2020 is a product of series of stakeholders meetings and is designed to accommodate the agitations of Lagosians and reduce the financial pressure on citizens as it relates to Land Use.

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The new law reduces the penalties for defaulters from between 25 to 100 per cent to 10 to 50 per cent; there is also a 48 per cent reduction in the annual charge rates for different properties.

“Still on reductions, another major sector that had its charge reduced is the Agricultural sector, which annual charge rate for Agricultural land was reduced from 0.076% to 0.01%. This is an 87% reduction from the old rate.”

The government further re-introduced the 15 per cent early payment discount which has been increased by a 10 per cent special COVID-19 incentive making it 25 per cent when payment is paid before due date.

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Unlike in the 2018 law pensioners now include retirees from private and public institutions in the state (or any person that has attained the age of sixty (60) years and has ceased to be actively engaged in any activity or business for remuneration) and their properties are exempted from paying land use charge.

Also “profit-oriented cemeteries and burial grounds are no longer exempted from payment of Land Use Charge,” the same thing goes for private libraries.

Olowo said,

“We have completed the LUC Reform process and review of bills. Property owners should expect to receive their 2020 LUC bills shortly and we expect property owners to leverage on the 25% early payment discount.

“Furthermore, the LUC payment can now be made Online via https://Lagos.ebsrcm.com Payment can also be made using USSD Code to any of our designated banks with the appropriate code stated below;

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It would be recalled that the land use charge was increased via a law under the administration of Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode and it generated a lot of heat among residents with widespread protest as resident rejected the outrageous increase.

When the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration took over the reins of governance, it promised to redress the situation and effect some reform which resulted in the latest development seen as a huge relief to property owners across the state.

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Benue rejects FG’s rice donation, says deliveries have expired

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Benue State Government has rejected three trailers load of rice donated by the Federal Government through the Ministry for Humanitarian Affairs as COVID-19 palliatives.

This was disclosed by the Chairman of the State Emergency Committee on COVID-19 and Deputy Governor Benson Abounu.

The chairman who also doubles as the deputy governor said the rice deliveries have expired and are no longer fit for human consumption.

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The Deputy Governor further disclosed that even though the bags of rice had been taken to the three senatorial zones, the government has decided to return them to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.

Abounu said;

“Government cannot afford to risk the health of its citizen by given them expired rice to eat.”

He also revealed that the state government spent about N2 million to purchase the bags of rice.

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SERAP condemns attacks on #RevolutionNow protesters

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Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has “strongly condemned reported violent attacks on #RevolutionNow protesters in Abuja, Osogbo and other parts of the country. The government of President Muhammadu Buhari must end the use of excessive force against protesters, and allow people to peacefully exercise their human rights.”

The Department of State Services today reportedly arrested Olawale Bakare and six other #RevolutionNow protesters wearing orange-coloured caps around Olaiya area of Osogbo, Osun State capital. Several protesters were also arrested by the police and the Nigerian Army in the Abuja metropolis.

In a statement today by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said:

“By failing to adequately protect protesters from violent attacks, Nigerian authorities have blatantly violated their obligations under the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 (as amended), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to which Nigeria is a state party.”

“Nobody should be arrested or subjected to torture and ill-treatment simply for taking part in peaceful protests. The authorities should stop criminalising peaceful protesters.”

“Rather than suppressing peaceful protests, the authorities ought to protect peaceful protesters and ensure a safe and enabling environment for people to exercise their constitutionally and internationally guaranteed rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.”

“SERAP urges the authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all those arrested, promptly investigate attacks on protesters, and identify security agents suspected to be responsible and bring them to justice.”

“Nigerian authorities need to take seriously the protesters’ socio-economic grievances, including by immediately taking measures to genuinely fight grand corruption, and improve access of Nigerians to basic public goods and services.”

“SERAP urges the international community including the UN Human Rights Council, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the African Union and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to publicly condemn attacks on peaceful protests and to put pressure on the Nigerian authorities to effectively investigate attacks on protesters, prosecute perpetrators and to respect and protect the human rights of everyone.”

“Nigerian constitution and human rights treaties to which Nigeria is a state party guarantee the rights to liberty and security of person, freedom from arbitrary detention, freedom of expression, and the right of peaceful assembly.”

“The UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials prohibit the use of excessive force against peaceful protesters.”

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