THE Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) was on Monday paid an unscheduled visit by agents of the Directorate of State Security (DSS).
The agents who wore plain clothes said that they were just on a peaceful mission to observe the meeting.
The NBA had called an emergency meeting to discuss the outcome of the protest which took place last week Tuesday when members of the association took to the streets to protest the increase in the land use charge.
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.
In the course of the meeting, the Ogunlana and members of the association hinted on plans to stage another protest as the ‘reduced land use charge’ was unacceptable.
Recall that the Ogunlana said the branch would stage a protest tagged “walk the talk” to protest the over 400% increment in land use charge and another over 300% in car registration without having a dialogue with relevant stakeholders.
“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 the 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.
Ogunlana 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 or crumble under the weight.”
Adeshina said that the government could not hide from developing Lagos into the mega-smart city to kill Lagosians with what he called “pharaonic taxes”.
“Must Lagos become a so-called paradise at the expense of lives and limbs of Lagosians?” he said.
“Ambode should not let people regret voting for him the first time and go on to reject him for a second term,” Ogunlana lamented.