Muideen Arolahun, HURMA’s member, Saka Oriyomi Nafiu, Coordinator of HURMA Apapa/Iganmu Unit and Chairman Ifesowapo Trailer Park, Whitesand, Comrade Isiak Olaitan Buna, HURMA’s Executive Director, Jimoh Yinusa Olayinka, HURMA’s member and Comrade AbdulSalam Sani, HURMA’s Coorditor, Somolu Unit, during the press conference, on Wednesday
A human rights group, Human Rights Monitoring Agenda (HURMA), has called on Mrs. Olufumilayo Akande Muhammed, Chairlady Apapa/Iganmu Local Council Development Area, Lagos State, to honourably obey the directive issued by the members of the State’s House of Assembly, ordered her to desist from collecting any levies from the owners of trailer park, at Whithsand, Orile-Iganmu.
The group led by its Executive Director, Comrade Isiak Olaitan Buna, also commended the lawmakers, especially, the Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs led by Honourable Rotimi Emmanuel Olowo, for condemning the Council’s imposition of arbitrary and multiple taxation on the trailer park owners.
Speaking on what led to the Lawmakers’ directives to the council chairperson, Comrade Buna states “HURMA recently had a 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 lganmu 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.
“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 (N100,000) yearly fee for parking space, in their compound”.
Comrade Buna further stated that while all efforts to see that the said imposition stopped and not to take laws into its hand, petitioned the the State Governor, on October 8, 2018, which was promptly responded to through the Chief Of Staff, no action was taken, the situation which warrant the group to petition the State Assembly.
“After waiting for sometimes without any response, same petition was addressed to the Speaker of LSHA 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, while the Council was represented by Mr. Rasak Subalr (A.K.A. coach) the Revenue Officer for the LCDA and Mrs. Osun, the Council’s Treasurer, . 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 meeting, the Chairman, Hon. Olowo read our petition to all parties present. After giving the representatives of the Apapa lganmu LCDA the chance to defend themselves the act of violence by the LCDA and enlightened them on how to generate income internally without terrorising citizens. He condemned the act of violence by the LCDA and enlightened them on how to generate income internally without terrorizing the citizens.
“He called for immediate withdrawal of the LCDA revenue boys within the territory of the trailer operators and proclaimed all all monies collected from the trailer’s owners so far as illegal”.
Comrade Buna states that despite the directive of the distinguished parliamentarians, the group observed that
“the LCDA till now remain adamant”.
HURMA said its of expectation that the Chairperson of Apapa lganm’u LCDA, Mrs. Olufumilayo Akande, would respect the directives and peaceful resolutions of the Lagos House of Assembly. While applauding the step taken by the State’s Lawmakers, it appreciated the sincerity and firmness of Honourable Olowo led-Committee in condemning the Council’s act”.