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Nwadioke asks Lagos Assembly to repeal LUC law

Lagos State House of Assembly

Civil rights lawyer, Mr. Emeka Nwadioke has advised the Lagos state House of Assembly to “urgently repeal” the controversial land use charge law 2018.

In a statement at the weekend, Nwadioke described the LUC law as “unconstitutional,” noting that the law is in breach of the 1999 constitution.

“The land use charge law 2018 as presently enacted is in clear breach of article 1 (j) of the fourth schedule to the 1999 constitution,” said nwadioke who is also a member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) criminal justice reform committee.

“The schedule, pursuant to section 7 (5) of the constitution, unequivocally vests the assessment of privately owned houses or tenements for the purpose of levying rates on the Local government,” he said.

“While we have taken notice of the remark by the speaker of the Lagos State House of assembly that ‘the (LUC) law was all about increasing the revenue generation of the state,” Nwadioke said “it is unthinkable and highly worrisome that a duly constituted group of lawmakers sworn on the constitution would contemplate such brazen undermining of the same constitution merely in a quest to shore up internally generated revenue.”

According to him, all lovers of democracy and rule of law must rise in defence of the Nigerian constitution from this latest onslaught.

The cavalier manner in which the lawmakers have treated the Nigerian constitution, he said, is unacceptable.

“No amount of legislative gymnastics can alter the right exclusively vested by the constitution in the Local government to levy tenement rates.

“It is heart-warming that the Nigerian Supreme Court had in Knight Frank Rutley Nigeria v Attorney General of Kano state (1998) 4 sc 251 upheld this unambiguous provision of the constitution. The same is true of the Rivers State High Court in Grinaker Ita limited v board of internal revenue (suit phc/2842/2010).

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