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Nigerian Bar Association Challenges Federal Government’s Vehicle Ownership Levy

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Nigerian Bar Association Challenges Federal Government's Vehicle Ownership Levy

The leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), with Mr. Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau as its President, joined forces with the NBA’s Section on Public Interest and Development Law, steered by Mr. John Aikpokpo-Martins, to launch a lawsuit to overturn the Federal Government’s yearly charge on vehicle owners.

The suit, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1285/2023, was brought before the Federal High Court in Abuja, with a hearing adjourned until March 4. The controversial levy, introduced in June 2023, imposes an N1,000 annual fee for Proof of Ownership certificate verification on all motorists, with Lagos State initiating collections in July of the same year.

Nigerian Bar Association Challenges Federal Government's Vehicle Ownership Levy

The NBA-SPIDEL, represented by Chairman John Aikpokpo-Martins, Secretary Funmi Adeogun, and Governing Council member Francis Ogunbowale, argues that the policy lacks statutory support, questioning the legality of directing vehicle owners to pay the mandatory fee.

The plaintiffs seek an order restraining the defendants (Federal Government, Lagos State Government, and Joint Tax Board) from interfering with Nigerians’ freedom of movement based on non-payment of the Proof of Ownership certificates. Furthermore, they question the potential illegality of imposing an annual renewal fee, citing concerns of multiple taxation.

In a statement, NBA-SPIDEL’s Publicity Secretary, Sadiya Saleh, revealed that proceedings began on Monday before Justice Inyang Ekwo. The court confirmed that all defendants received the necessary documents during the preliminary hearing.

Nigerian Bar Association Challenges Federal Government's Vehicle Ownership Levy

The legal representation of NBA-SPIDEL, with Godspower Eroga and Vincent Adodo, underscored the absence of representation for the 1st and 2nd defendants during the initial court appearance.

This legal challenge holds significance for citizens questioning the statutory basis and fairness of the imposed levy, aiming to protect the rights of vehicle owners and address potential issues of legality and multiple taxation. The court is set to reconvene on March 4 to further deliberate on the matter. #NBA #LegalChallenge #VehicleLevy”

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NBA NEWS Judiciary Ethics Career Practice Public Interest | 

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Nigerian Bar Association Challenges Federal Government's Vehicle Ownership Levy

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