The Lagos State Governor Mr. Babatunde Fashola has ordered his aides to unseal the Park View Estate property belonging to the former Governor of Abia State, Mr. Orji Uzor Kalu. Fashola also directed that the former governor be given 14 days grace period to pay up the land use charge he is deemed to owe the state government.
The order to unseal the property with the 14 days grace period was contained in a press statement issued by Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Remi Ibirogba.
According to him, the attention of the Lagos State Government has been drawn to a misleading claim by Kalu that his Ikoyi home has been sealed off following a threat to sue the Lagos State Government over an unrelated matter.
“We wish to state, for the avoidance of doubt that nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is that Mr. Orji Uzor Kalu’s property in Park View Estate, Ikoyi was distrained pursuant to Section 40 of the Revenue Administration Law of Lagos State for failure to pay the statutory annual land use charge despite three separate notices delivered to the said property.
“As a government driven by law and process, the Lagos State Government will ordinarily expect all law abiding residents to discharge their responsibilities to the state”, he said.
The commissioner said that in spite of failing fulfil his obligation to the state Kalu wants to give ethnic colouration to a routine performance of its duties by an agency of the state government, which in this case is the Land Use Charge Office, under the Ministry of Finance, the commissioner said adding that he is however welcomed to do so.
“However it should be noted that when the issue was brought to the attention of the Governor, Tuesday evening, he directed the agency to unseal the property and that an additional 14 days grace period be given to Mr. Kalu to pay the said charge”, he said.
He explained that notices like these are served on defaulting property owners on a regular basis who either comply or contact the agency to raise any objections adding that Kalu, like every other citizen, must fulfil his obligation to the state.