Lagos Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has promised to assist the tenants and shop owners at the Circle Mall in Lekki, whose shops and stores were recently looted and razed by hoodlums. Sanwo-Olu was quoted as speaking on Sunday during a condolence visit and meeting with tenants and shop owners at the Mall in Lekki. Speaking on his administration’s readiness to assist those affected by destruction in Circle Mall, Lekki, Sanwo-Olu was quoted as saying that: “The Lagos State Government will not leave the people to bear the pains alone. The government will assist them to return to their respective businesses. “Lagos State Government will give all business owners in the burnt Circle Mall tax break of PAYE and also appealed to the Federal Government to ensure that they get tax relief from the Federal Internal Revenue Services.” Sanwo-Olu also asked the shop owners to reach out to the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund and urged them to make use of the opportunities being provided by the agency in assisting people who are in business, especially small scale businesses. Speaking earlier, the tenants at Circle Mall, appealed to Lagos State Government to strengthen the security around the Circle Mall to prevent future occurrences of the two attacks they suffered in the last 13 months.
At a meeting in Kaduna on Monday, the governors said the effect of uncontrolled social media is devastating. They also condemned the “subversive” actions of some #EndSARS protesters, saying some people took advantage of peaceful protest to push their “separative agenda”. The governors also asked security agencies to keep “strict watch” on Abuja to guide against “unwarranted and destructives protests” and to safeguard critical assets of the country. The meeting was attended by traditional rulers, ministers and leaders of the national assembly. A week ago, Lai Mohammed, minister of information, had said social media will destroy Nigeria if it is not regulated. Earlier on Monday, Sunday Dare, minister of youth and sport, said it is important to regulate social media. Meanwhile, some protesters calling for an end to police brutality and extrajudicial killings took to the streets of Abuja, painting #ENDSARS on the floor of the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport entrance and painting similar graffiti on the road in front of the police headquarters. They vowed not to back down on their demand for justice for all victims of police brutality in the country, including those that were killed at Lekki Tollgate in Lagos two weeks ago. At the heart of the resumed protest is an unresolved dispute with the Federal Government over the implementation of the 5-for-5 demand of the #EndSARS protesters.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is presently interrogating former Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service Babatunde Fowler, over allegations of tax evasion levelled against a tax firm, Alpha Beta Consulting, to the tune of ₦100 billion. Fowler, who also ran the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service, responded to an invitation from the EFCC on Monday. A former Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Alpha Beta Consulting, Dapo Apara, had accused the firm of tax fraud to the tune of ₦100 billion. In a 2018 petition to the EFCC, Apara stated that Alpha Beta, the firm given exclusive rights to monitor and collect Internally Generated Revenue on behalf of the Lagos Government, “has become an avenue for official corruption of government officials, a conduit pipe for massive money-laundering scheme, tax evasion, among other vices.” The EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed that Fowler was with the commission. “Yes, Fowler responded to an invitation this morning. I believe he is still here,” he explained.
A Liberian government worker immolated himself in the capital Monrovia on Monday, two witnesses and local media said, in an apparent protest over an unpaid salary. Leroy Ponpon – who works at Liberia’s Temple of Justice, which houses the Supreme Court – set himself on fire outside his workplace after weeks of protesting at delayed pay. “Since last October, we have not received a salary from the office. So we are talking about one year,” said Ponpon’s colleague, who declined to be named. The colleague added that protests began in September and that Ponpon was part of a group of about 30 employees who staged a sit-in, all of whom were subsequently suspended. Liberia’s justice ministry did not respond to requests for comment. Amadou Seedebe, 34, a bystander who also witnessed the immolation, said that Ponpon had been taken to hospital but that his condition was serious. Local press also reported that he is currently receiving treatment. Liberia is a poor nation decimated by back-to-back civil wars from 1989 to 2003 and West Africa’s 2014-16 Ebola crisis. Continuing economic woes including rampant inflation and fuel shortages have led to protests against former international footballer and current president George Weah.