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South-East Gets N24bn From FG Tax Rebates

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The South-East states have received nothing less than N23.87 billion from the Federal Government as tax rebates.
The Chairman, Joint Tax Board, Mr Babatunde Fowler, said this yesterday in Awka, the Anambra State capital during the South-East geopolitical zone regional ceremony for the New National Registration System.
He said, “The South-East states have already received N23.87 billion from the Federal Government. The gesture will encourage the state governments to reciprocate and promptly remit all withholding taxes and VAT due to the Federation Account.”
He said a major feature of the new tax regime was that it possessed the capability to integrate with relevant agencies by leveraging on already captured data.
Fowler said, “We recognize the huge entrepreneurial and commercial potential of Anambra State taking into consideration that the Onitsha main market is touted as the biggest market in West Africa, and we are well aware of the opportunities that this can have in shoring up the state’s IGR potential even more.
“A look at the IGR performance of the South-East geopolitical zone also shows encouraging growth trends as the cumulative collection of N77.31 billion for the year 2018 was a 16.66 per cent improvement on the N66.27 billion collected in 2017.
“The year 2019 is looking quite positive as well; already the sum of N42.98 billion has already been reported for the half-year period. This represents an 18.1 per cent growth over the N36.4 billion recorded for the half-year period of 2018.

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Sowore, Bakare’s Sureties Not Subject To DSS Verification, Falana Insists

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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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Ize-Iyamu, Other Rebel PDP Members Join APC

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A former Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Hon Bright Omokhodion, former Deputy Speaker, Festus Ebea, former state chairman of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, Mr. Tony Omoaghe, yesterday, joined Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu to defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Others were Mrs. Tawa Idubor, Chief Blessing Agbomhere, Etinosa Ogbeiwi, Emmanuel Momoh and several others.
They had announced their mass resignation from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) through a voice vote after motion was moved and seconded by Hon Festus Ebea (Edo Central) Emmanuel Momoh (Edo North) and Tawa Idubor (Edo South).
Giving reasons for leaving the PDP, Hon Omokhodion said they had an intense and exhaustive deliberation on the political wrangling and demise of internal democracy in the Edo State chapter of PDP as well as consulted widely across the three senatorial districts of the state.
He noted that the present leadership of the Edo PDP lost its political directions and all attempts to suggest ways of redirecting the fortunes of the party was resisted by the leadership of the party.
Omokhodion said the action of suspending top leaders of the party on spurious allegations were undemocratic and has reduced the morale of members to its lowest.
“That as a result of leadership failure, Edo State PDP no longer command the electoral sentiment of the Edo people.
“We, therefore, in our numbers collectively resolve that Edo state PDP has failed in its objective mission to the people and we have this day resigned our membership of the PDP and have resolved to join the All Progressives Congress.”

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Internet Celebrity, Mompha, Sues EFCC, Demands N5m

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Internet celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha, alias Mompha, has filed a fundamental rights enforcement suit against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), alleging unlawful detention and a violation of his rights.
He was arrested by the EFCC in October on allegation of cybercrime and money laundering.
In the suit he filed before the Lagos State High Court in Igbosere, Mompha is urging the court to award N5million against the EFCC for detaining him beyond the constitutionally-allowed period without being charged to court.
He prayed the court to order the EFCC to either immediately charge him to court or release him if it was not ready to charge him to court.
His lawyer, Mr Gboyega Oyewole (SAN), said his client, as a Nigerian, was entitled to the protection of his fundamental rights under Sections 34, 35 and 36 of the 1999 Constitution.
Oyewole said his client was arrested on October 19 at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja by the EFCC which accused him of money laundering.
He said the remand order which the EFCC obtained to keep Mompha had since expired and he ought to be released.
In a 20-paragraph supporting affidavit, one Olumuyiwa Ajidagba claimed that, “The applicant (Mompha) has been subjected to physical, mental and psychological torture in the underground cell of the EFCC’s detention centre.”
The court has yet to fix any date to hear the case.
The EFCC had said in October that it arrested the internet celebrity in Abuja on his way to Dubai, based on “actionable cross-border intelligence received from collaborative law enforcement agencies about his alleged involvement in the criminal activities.”

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