A right activist, Barrister Kanmi Ajibola has dragged the Governor of Osun State, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola to court over the recently introduced land use tax in the state, asking the court to declare the law backing it up and which was signed in March this year by the governor as null and void.
Besides, the lawyer noted that no one can sign into effect any new tax regime apart from the state Commissioner for Finance, saying Aregbesola’s refusal to inaugurate new state executive council for over one year and nine months further make the introduction of the said tax unacceptable.
Barrister Ajibola who joined the State House of Assembly in his suit filed at the State High Court, Ilesa stated that the law by that its name, ‘the State of Osun Land use Charge Law 2016’ and its maker, ‘State of Osun House of Assembly’ are unlawful and unconstitutional.
According to the legal practitioner in 53-point affidavits he deposed to, all actions taken by either the governor or the state lawmakers with the name “State of Osun” cannot stand in the face of the law.
He said, “Osun State is the creation of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Expressly and impliedly, what the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria created is Osun State not “State of Osun”
“I believe that ‘State of Osun’ is an impish coinage and unknown to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The first Defendant, that is the Governor of Osun State, took his oath of office as the Governor of Osun State.
“I believe there is a difference between ‘Osun State Government’ and ‘State of Osun Government’. I believe ‘Osun State’ does not mean the same thing as the ‘State of Osun'”.
“I believe that ‘Osun State House of Assembly’ does not mean the same as ‘State of Osun House of Assembly’. I strongly believe that the ‘State of Osun Land Use Charge law, 2016’ is made for the state unknown to the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“I strongly believe that the ‘State of Osun Land use Charge Law, 2016’ is made by a legislative body unknown to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
He stated if the law is allowed to operate, the state through a private company, Interspatial Limited will be making an average of unlawful N50 billion per annum at a time when workers in the state are being paid irregularly with half salaries.
Barrister Ajibola asked the court to restrain the state from implementing the law and set it aside in its entirety adding that the policy and its operation would be encouraging social, security and economic malaises in the state.