23 Feb 2015

PDP governorship candidate Jimi Agbaje admits tax default; ...pays N500,000 to Lagos State Govt

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, at the weekend said the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, had paid N500,000 out of N1.629 million being the cost of the Land Use charge his firm, Jaykay Pharmacy Limited, owed the state government for a period of four years.

Besides, the governor said a high level of moral authority was required to fight the country’s scare index of endemic corruption, which he said, was the real reason Nigeria had been witnessing socio-economic downturn since independence.

He gave an update on the allegation against the PDP governorship candidate at a session with journalists which he addressed at the weekend in Lagos House, Marina alongside the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Aderemi Ibirogba and Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Dr. Lateef Raji.

At the session, the governor disclosed that Agbaje had paid the sum of N500,000 out of N1.629 million his company, Jaykay Pharmacy Limited, was owing the state government as the land use charge for a period of four years.

Fashola explained that the payment of N500, 000 showed that Agbaje actually did not pay land use charge on his property located at 34/35 Calcutta Crescent, Apapa in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015 contrary to Agbaje’s claims that he did not owe the state government land use charge.
The governor said: “we said his pharmacy owes N1.629 million land use charge, he said it was all lies. He said that he has resigned his position from the company. But today, he has gone to pay a sum the of N500,000.

“I have to remind him that he is yet to complete his payment. He must pay because that money belongs to the councils. His payment showed that what we said was true. I have listened to some of the interviews of Agbaje.

“I did this because all the allegations made by Agbaje about performance were my records and I must defend them. I do not listen to him because he has no content. I engaged him in debate in 2007. I am disappointed that his level of preparation he has exhibited after 8 years. He is not prepared to be the governor of this state.”
On ant-graft war, the governor explained that though corruption “is a heinous crime which capital punishment will not stop it perpetration in the country. As for corruption, I have my own views that I have expressed consistently about corruption. I have always said corruption is the symptom of a more serious problem.
“There are so many levels of corruption and I think Nigerians or to country must reach an agreement about what we want to do about corruption. When we say we must stop corruption who is ready to lead by example? Corruption is not only taking money that is stealing and it is corruption and I disagree that stealing is not corruption.

“If you are driving against traffic, though it is an infraction against the traffic law to get to where you do not deserve, it is corruption. If you go to the commissioner to get a promotion for your sister before promotion examination in the ministry, is that fair? These are cases of corruption. Can you sentence somebody to death for that?

“So I do not think sentencing people to jail or death is the answer to the problem of corruption. The answer first is to provide enough for people and to lead them with a moral authority that is everybody knows that it is bad to cheat and when they break the rules that there will be consequences,” the governor explained.
Credit: Gboyega Akinsanmi/ThisDay

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