A Lagos State High Court has barred Folasade Tinubu-Ojo, the daughter of All Progressives Congress leader, Bola Tinubu, from imposing levies on traders at the Computer Village, Lagos.
The development comes over a year after Tinubu-Ojo, who is also the Iyaloja-General of Lagos State, reportedly imposed leaders on the traders who then introduced new levies, a development which sparked a series of protests at the Computer Village.
Others who were similarly barred from imposing levies include Mrs. Bisola Azeez, Mr. Adeniyi Olasoji, Nofiu Akinsanya, Tony Ikani and the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State.
The order is sequel to a fundamental human rights suit marked ID/9039MFHR/19 instituted against the five respondents by the five major stakeholders representing the traders at the Computer Village, Punch reports.
The stakeholders representing the traders include The Registered Trustees of Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria; Registered Trustees of Phone and Allied Product Dealers Association of Nigeria; and Registered Trustees of Phone Parts and Accessories Dealers Association of Nigeria.
Other applicants include the Registered Trustees of Association of Caterers, Food and Drinks Vendors of Ogunbiyi Computer Village, Ikeja, Lagos; Registered Trustees of Ikeja Books, Stationeries and Computer Association and Azeez Olunrin.
The judgment, which Justice Yetunde Pinheiro delivered, read in part, “I find that the 2nd and 3rd respondents’ imposition of levies on the applicants is illegal, null and void and therefore amounts to a violation of their fundamental rights.
“Accordingly, it is hereby ordered as thus: The first to fifth respondents by themselves, agents, levy collectors howsoever called are restrained from imposing levies and fines on the members of the 1st to 5th applicants at the Ikeja Computer Village in the Ikeja Local Government Area of Lagos State.”
In a letter titled, ‘Dear members, Our Court Victory against Iyaloja and Babaloja and Others in Computer Village, Ikeja’, the Computer Village leadership rejoiced over the judgment.
In the letter signed by its Chairman and Secretary-General, Timi Famoroti and Jerry Mba, members were asked not to pay tax to Tinubu’s daughter or her representatives.
It read in part, “This landmark judgement implies that the Iyaloja General, Chief Mrs. Folasade Tinubu-Ojo, Mrs. Bisola Azeez, And Mr. Olasoji Adeniyi or their representatives or agents cannot collect any form of dues, levies or fines from the members of Ikeja Computer Village Market. Any collection in this regard is illegal.
“We, therefore, urge you not to submit yourself to any form of payment, intimidation and extortion. It is your right to defend yourself and report to your leaders if there is a violation of your fundamental human rights.
“Please ensure you document with concrete evidence and report any breach of your right to your leaders. This will help our legal action/s against any violators when necessary. We, therefore, urge every member to continue to pay your agreed dues to your various associations accordingly.”
Traders were also advised to pay their personal and company income, taxes, levies and others to the appropriate government agencies at the national, state and local governments when due.