The Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) has filed a suit at the Federal High Court, challenging the powers of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, to constitute an interim management committee to run the affairs of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The announcement of an interim management team had sparked outrage in the Niger Delta states as many see the move as a way to scuttle the development projects of NDDC.
The minister was quoted as saying that the interim committee was to prepare ground for the new board and supervise the forensic audit which the President had ordered weeks ago.
LEDAP in the suit, filed by its Executive Director, Chino Obiagwu SAN, is challenging the appointment of the interim board on the grounds that it was contrary to specific sections of the NDDC Act as amended.
Joined as plaintiffs in the suit are some indigenes of the Niger Delta area, including Iruo Onoruvwe, Anatole Osuji, and Walter Abere.
Other defendants aside the minister and the NDDC, are Dr Gbene Joi Nunieh, Dr Cairo Ojougboh, and Chief Ibanga Bassey Etang.
LEDAP specifically wants the four to declare that the purported appointment by the first defendant of a three-man interim management for the second defendant is contrary to sections 2, 10, and 12 of the NDDC Act 6 2000 (as amended).
Bayelsa, Kogi Polls: Sack IGP, HURIWA Tells Buhari
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu over his failure to ensure adequate security during the just concluded elections in Bayelsa and Kogi states.
HURIWA explained that failure to sack the police boss would indicate that Buhari and his government directly benefited from the insecurity in Bayelsa and Kogi states.
The rights group said the police chief was disgracing Nigeria for embarking on what it termed meaningless voyage of discovery in search of infantile reasons for security failure during the just ended governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.
HURIWA stated this in a statement signed and made available to newsmen by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, yesterday.
It expressed shock that the IGP can be heard saying that politicians used fake policemen to undermine the security of the elections even when the police’s hierarchy had deployed 66, 241 police operatives for the exercise.
Senate Passes Finance Bill 2019
The Senate, yesterday, passed the Finance Bill 2019, which increased the rate of Value Added Tax (VAT) from five per cent to 7.5 per cent and equally streamlined the nation’s tax regime.
The passage of the Bill followed the presentation and consideration of the report of the Senator Solomon Adeola-led Senate Committee on Finance on the Finance Bill 2019.
In his comment after the passage of the Bill, the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan, said the amendment is meant to generate revenue to fund the 2020 Budget.
Lawan said: “We amended seven Acts largely to ensure that we streamline the tax system in Nigeria and ensure that we get revenues for government to provide services and infrastructure to the citizens of this country.
“What we have done is very significant because this is to ensure that we not only have sources of funding but credible and reliable sources of funding for the 2020 Appropriation but also for subsequent activities of government.
“The revenue generating agencies will have to sit up. The National Assembly, particularly the Senate, will be mounting a lot of oversight. If they have targets, we must ensure they meet the targets.
“I believe what we have done is not to put taxes or burden on the ordinary people. What we have done is to create more revenue.”
The seven Bills that were amended included: Petroleum Profit Tax Act (PPT), Customs and Excise Tax Act, Company Income Tax Act (CITA), Personal Income Tax Act, Value Added Tax Act, Stamp Duties Tax Act, and the Capital Gains Act.
Lawan urged revenue generating agencies to sit up, and ensure they do their work with patriotism.
The Finance Bill was presented alongside the 2020 Appropriation Bill to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari on October 8, 2019.
Adeola said following the presentations at the public hearing and submissions made by the relevant stakeholders, the committee observed that:
“The Bill sought to amend the provision of the Companies Income Tax Act by curbing Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) as proposed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and broaden the triggers for domestic taxation of income earned by non-resident companies in Nigeria through dependent agents and via online market platforms.”
By: Nneka Amaechi-Nnadi, Abuja
Sowore, Bakare’s Sureties Not Subject To DSS Verification, Falana Insists
Human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), has faulted the claim by the Department of State Services (DSS) that it could not release #RevolutionNow protest convener, Omoyele Sowore, and Olawale Bakare on bail until it sees and verifies their sureties.
Falana, who is a lawyer for the two detained activists, said in a statement, yesterday, that the judge, who admitted Sowore and Bakare to bail and ordered their release, did not assign the DSS with the responsibility of verifying their sureties.
The two men had perfected the bail conditions given them by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu since November 6, according to Falana, but more than two weeks after, the DSS had refused to let them out of its cells.
In a statement made available to newsmen, yesterday, Falana said, “Pursuant to the verification of the sureties of Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare by the Federal High Court, the trial judge, Honourable Justice Ifeoma Ojukwu, made an order on November 6, 2019, for the release of the defendants from the custody of the DSS.
“The court order has not authorised the DSS to approve the sureties before releasing Sowore and Bakare from custody.
“Kindly find below the court order being treated with contempt by the DSS which has continued to parade itself as a law-abiding security organisation.”
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