ALLEGED EXPLOITATION AND OPPRESSION, RIGHTS MONITORS APPLAUD LSHA DECISION, CALL ON AKANDE OF APAPA IGANMU LCDA TO RESPECT THE LAW
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press,
The Human Rights Monitoring Agenda (HURMA), a body committed to equity and justice in its service to humanity, call this conference to give an update of our recent meeting at the Lagos House of Assembly, where the House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, chaired by Hon. Rotimi Olowo, invited our organization and the administrators of Apapa Iganmu LCDA, over a petition written by our office on “Alleged Double Taxation and Harassment of our Members at Apapa Whitesand Park”.
We indeed applaud the resolution of the LSHA as this has gone a long way in addressing the fear of many Lagosians, as to whether we have a constitutional assembly that truly represents the interest of ordinary citizens.
*Background To Our Petition to LSHA.*
HURMA is a mass based organization with units at every Local Government and LCDA of Lagos State. Our unit at Apapa Iganmu LCDA constitutes more of trailer owners who are law abiding citizens of this great country. These truck owners, after going about their legitimate businesses at Apapa port, come back to park their vehicles on their legitimately acquired land. But suddenly, the management of Apapa Iganmu LCDA began an imposition of unnecessary ticket tagged “loading and offloading” on every vehicle going in and out of their compound.
Every effort to explain to the LCDA that such charges should never occur, since they pay for same loading and offloading at Apapa port, where the real activities take place, always fell into deaf ears. This imposition continues with regular harassment by hoodlums working for the APC government of Apapa Iganmu LCDA. They work day and night. Beside the daily imposition of loading and offloading fees, the truck owners are made to pay a hundred thousand (#100,000) yearly fee for parking space, in their compound.
As law abiding members of the Nigerian society who will not take laws into their hands via self help, we petitioned the LCDA chairperson but no response. We also petitioned His Excellency, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on 8th October, 2018, who promptly responded on the 9th of October, via the office of the Chief of Staff, that our letter has been referred to the Lagos state Commissioner for Local Government, for immediate action.
After waiting for sometimes without any response, same petition was addressed to the Speaker of LSHA on 17th October, and we finally got invitation for a meeting which was held on Wednesday 19th of December, 2018.
The meeting held at the Assembly Complex was chaired by Hon. Olowo Rotimi, the Chairman House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs. The Apapa Iganmu LCDA was represented by 3 persons which include Mr. Rasak Subair (A.K.A coach) who is the revenue officer for the LCDA and Mrs. Osun, treasurer to the LCDA. HURMA was represented by some members of its legal department and also some trailer owners who are direct victims and members of HURMA, Apapa Igamu unit. At the commencement of the meeting, the Chairman, House Committee, Hon. Olowo Rotimi read our petition to all parties present. After giving the representatives of the Apapa lganmu LCDA the chance to defend themselves, he condemned the act of violence by the LCDA and enlightened them on how to generate income internally without terrorising citizens. Finally, he concluded by calling for immediate withdrawal of the LCDA revenue boys within the territory of the trailer operators and proclaimed all monies collected from the trailers owners so far, as illegal.
It has always been our believe that the APC Government in Lagos operates as one big family with respect to the rule of law at all levels, but it is however disheartened to observe that the LCDA till mow remain adamant, despite the directives of the House of Assembly. It is still our expectation however that the Chairperson of Apapa Iganmu LCDA, Mrs Funmilayo Akande, would respect the directives and peaceful resolutions of the Lagos House of Assembly.
Finally, we applaud the genuine democratic and pro-people stance of the Lagos House of Assembly. We appreciate the sincerity of the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudasiru Obasa and the firmness and unbiased position of Hon. Olowo Rotimi, chairman House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.
HURMA would remain a true developmental partner with such arm of government.
Comrade Buna Olaitan Isiak.
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