Land Use Charge: Lagos Lawyers Stage Protest Despite Police Warning
Lawyers of the Ikeja chapter of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) on Thursday marched in Lagos against the new Land Use Charge (LUC) introduced by the state government.
This is despite a warning from the police to the lawyers to shelve the protest.
The police and men from the Department of State Services (DSS) had on Wednesday evening stormed the lawyers’ secretariat at the Old Secretariat in Ikeja ostensibly to arrest key officials of the association.
The protest, which was earlier billed for Ikeja, was, however, staged in different parts of Lagos including the Tejuosho market in Yaba; Ojuelegba; Ayilara and Itire road; Agege market; and the Pen Cinema roundabout.
Joining the Ikeja NBA at the march were the Trade Union Congress, Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, Joint Action Front, among other civil society groups.
Addressing the crowd, Adeshina Ogunlana, the chairman of the Ikeja NBA, reiterated his earlier position that Lagosians should ignore any land use charge notice served them by the state government.
“Do not pay these taxes. Lagos belongs to the people and not Ambode. He wants to use your head to build a mega city,” Ogunlana said.
“Our protest is a continuation of the sensitisation of the people not to pay Ambode’s toxic tax. They think they can do anything and get away with it but we are opposing and we call on well-meaning Lagosians to oppose it and we are sure the tax will not hold in Lagos.
"Lagosians, don’t be deceived, shine your eyes, Land Use Charge would lead to inflation, increase in rent, increase in the cost of transportation, increase in the cost of food.
“We have dared the commissioner of police in Lagos, Imohimi Edgar, who said anybody that comes out to exercise their fundamental rights will be dealt with. We have come out and people have accepted us without their police protection. This is a democracy.”
Thursday’s protest, which coincided with the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to the state, is the second to be held by the lawyers in the last two weeks.