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Court bars Osun government from arresting, prosecuting NBA chairman

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Osun state. Photo: Twitter/aufaregbesola

A High Court in Ilesa, Osun State has restrained the government and its agents from arresting, persecuting or prosecuting the branch Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Kanmi Ajibola.

Members of the state NBA had approached the court, seeking the ex-parte order to restrain Governor Rauf Aregbesola and the state agents from victimising Ajibola on the issue of tax or any other related matter pending the determination of the suit.

Nathaniel Folorunso is leading 32 other lawyers in the matter, and to challenge the constitutionality of the State Tax Law.

In his 43-page affidavits, Ajibola, a human rights activist had claimed that the governor vindictively, speculatively imposed a heavy tax of over N5.3 million on him.

He explained that in January 2018 alone, he was issued a bill of N577, 000 as tax, adding that: “The imposition is unprecedented to any person or persons in my cadre.”

Ajibola argued that most of his cases were being handled pro-bono, as he had to resort to farming to support and care for his family.

According to him, the governor “is too embittered by some of the cases I have against him.

He cited the suit where he is asking for the financial independence of the judiciary to guide against undue influence by the executive.

Another instance, he said, is the suit seeking to declare unconstitutional, the renaming of Osun State as State of Osun.

There is also another case where Ajibola is seeking an order to stop the governor from sacking 678 workers of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital.

Ajibola said he got security report that the governor was planning to kill him, by directing the attorney general to frame him and send him to prison.

The NBA also petitioned the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to investigate the allegation.

Justice Kola Adegoke stopped the governor or any of his officials not from victimising, persecuting, causing the arrest, arraignment, and prosecution of Ajibola.

The judge adjourned the matter till April 16 for further hearing.

Meanwhile, Aregbesola has urged Nigerians to champion volunteerism, to support government’s efforts in taking Nigeria to greater heights.


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