Osun: ‘N5.3m tax designed to silence me’ — Aregbesola’s critic cries out

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Kanmi Ajibola, a human rights lawyer based in Osun state, has accused the state government of imposing an outrageous tax on him because of his stance against the current administration.

Ajibola, who is currently the chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Ilesa branch, is a critic of Rauf Aregbesola, the governor.

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Speaking with journalists in Ilesa on Tuesday, the lawyer expressed shock that the state government could impose on him a personal income tax of N5.3million.

Describing it as an unfortunate and irresponsible action, Ajibola said it is clear that the governor is using this avenue to fight back.

“I need to raise the alarm over this issue. This tax bill was sent to my one room and a parlour office at Ajanaku Estate in Ilesa on Monday, December 11. I had thought it was a joke when few days ago I was hinted of this plan to heavily impose on me this outrageous tax,” he said.

“This was the arrangement in full. Those in government knew that I didn’t have the money to pay this extreme tax. So, after 30 days of expiration of receiving this bill, the state will file a criminal charge of tax evasion against me. This according to them is to keep me in the cooler and to bring me down on my kneel begging the governor.

“I heard this authoritatively that Mr. Aregbesola had vowed that he will send me out of this state, saying I am causing headaches for his government. I know of a truth that the tax bill was a predetermined matter by the governor and his cohorts.

“I can say emphatically that this is vindictive if you say my individual tax is N5.3 million. This is Osun state for that matter. We know the capacity of individuals here and the economic base of this state. How do they arrive at my earnings to be able to correctly impose such tax on me? This is totally unacceptable.”

He pointed fingers at the state governor, saying he had gathered before now through competent sources close to Aregbesola how he “mischievously plan to either send me out of the state or place on me criminal charge of tax evasion”.

The lawyer has filed over eight suits against Aregbesola’s government, the recent being his case against state electoral commission over the proposed parliamentary election for the state local governments.

He has vowed to challenge this matter in court as well.

Semiu Okanlawon, spokesman of the governor, had not responded to a text message sent by TheCable as of the time this report was filed.

Credit: the cable.