Traders at the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, Lagos Badagry expressway, Lagos, have challenged the imposition of multiple taxes on their members by the Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Council.
The aggreived traders on Friday filed a suit against the Council before an Igbosere High Court, Lagos.
The claimants are the Registered Trustees of Auto Spare Parts and Machinery Dealers Association, the Registered Trustees of Balogun Business Association and the Registered Trustees of Association of Progressive Traders.
The defendant in the suit is the Chairman, Amuwo-Odofin LGA.
The claimants, in a June 4, 2018 statement of claim filed through their counsel, Mr Kehinde Yekeen, are seeking five reliefs:
“A declaration that the premises where claimants members carry on business is a federal government territory and does not fall under the control, or regulation of the defendant’s local government or other local governments in Lagos.
“A declaration that the provisions of the bye-laws and other revenue generation policies of the Amuwo-Odofin LGA does not have territorial application in areas marked and demarked as Federal Government of Nigeria lands and territory within the state.
“A declaration that an attempt by the defendant to force the claimants of their members to pay local levies and dues to the defendant’s local government is unconstitutional unlawful and of the effect
“A perpetual order restraining the defendant, their agents privies and representative or other persons and through them from further interfering with the claimants activities by forcing their members to register and pay local dues and levies to the defendant government.”
The claimants averred further that they had been paying ground rents to the federal government via the Trade Fair Management Board as its authorised agent, and that at meetings with the defendant, they had reiterated that their associations were not covered by the categories of person and business in which the Amuwo-Odofin LGA business levies and taxes was applicable to, and they were carrying on business on a federal land.
They said their members were breadwinners of their families and the defendant’s threats could negatively affect their businesses and livelihoods.
The defendant is yet to file his defence and no date has been fixed for hearing.