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Lawmakers vs Lagos: A law against the law

By   /  September 25, 2017  /  No Comments

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The lawmakers in Abuja seem eager to stir trouble. Professor Itse Sagay has put their feet to the fire over their emperor’s salaries. They are still wining over it. Chidi Odinkalu has exposed a tyrant’s law they are cooking over NGOs. This page will address that soon. Now, amidst calls for restructuring, they are trying to interfere with the settled law over tourism, and they are duelling Nigeria’s iconic state, Lagos.

It’s impunity at work when lawmakers want to upturn what the Supreme Court has ruled upon. It has upheld the 2003 and 2009 hotels licensing laws passed by the Lagos State House of Assembly. There are many things wrong with what is going on in the centre. One, the federal agency is trying to eat where it did not sow. Lagos has made money with ingenious tax policy, which is helping to fuel the work alpha Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is doing.

Two, the licensing law of tourism affects hotels and associated businesses, and it is within the purview of the state to reap what it flowers and protects. Three, the federal tourism agency sued Lagos over this matter, and the Supreme Court ruled in Lagos’ favour. Four, the lawmakers want to torpedo the constitution by making a law against the law. That would be a fakery of a tour de force for tourism. They had seen the real tour de force Lagos has pulled off with its revenue.

Five, the Supreme Court ruled for federalism, hence Lagos passed the law. The centre is acting against the grain. Six, the constitution distinguishes between exclusive and concurrent lists. Exclusive belongs to Federal. Licensing hotels is concurrent.

This is illiteracy of impunity and impunity of legalism. It cannot stand.

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