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FIRS Apologises To CAN Over Easter Message

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The Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, has issued an apology to the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) over its Easter message.

CAN had on Tuesday called out FIRS over an Easter advert which the Christian body deemed offensive.

The FIRS, in an X (formerly Twitter) post, #FIRSNigeria, had shared a picture of a Point of Sale machine with the caption, “Jesus paid your debts, not your taxes.”

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The post had elicited reactions from Nigerians, particularly Christians, who criticised the post.

In a statement released by FIRS, the agency clarified that the message was not intended to disparage Jesus Christ or undermine the significance of Easter.

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Instead, FIRS explained that the message aimed to creatively engage taxpayers and emphasize the importance of fulfilling civic obligations, including tax payment.

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The statement reads, “Our attention has been drawn to a statement by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) about a flier posted on our social media platforms with the headline “Jesus paid your debts, not your taxes.”

“As a responsible agency of government, we would like to say we did not put out the flier purposively to denigrate Jesus Christ or detract from the huge sacrifice He made for humanity. We are acutely aware that the essence of the Easter period is to celebrate this huge sacrifice.

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“The message was our way of uniquely engaging taxpayers and to remind them of the need to prioritise payment of their taxes as a civic obligation. Yes, we would say the message ruffled feathers in some circles.

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“The unintended meaning/insinuation being read into the post was not what we were out to communicate as an agency. Good a thing, this much is acknowledged by CAN in its statement wherein it said “We recognise that the intended message may have been to creatively engage taxpayers…” We wish to offer our unreserved apologies for this misinterpretation.

“FIRS, as a responsible agency, has no religion and will not bring down any religion or offend the sensibilities of adherents of various faiths in the country. Our goal is to assess, collect and account for revenue for the wellbeing of the Federation.

“We believe it is an investment in the progress of the country when citizens pay their taxes. Once again, we wish to apologise to CAN and Christians who felt offended at the unintended consequence of our message on Easter Sunday.”

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Emirship Tussle: Court Restrains Ado-Bayero, 4 Others From Acting As Emirs

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A Kano State High Court, on Monday, granted a perpetual injunction restraining the 15th Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado-Bayero, and four other dethroned emirs of Bichi, Rano, Gaya and Karaye from parading themselves as emirs.

The applicants are the Attorney General of Kano State, the Speaker Kano State House of Assembly and the Kano State House of Assembly, who through their counsel Ibrahim Isah-Wangida Esq, filed a motion exparte dated May 27.

The applicants sought a court order restraining Ado-Bayero, and Four other dethroned emirs of Bichi, Rano, Gaya and Karaye from parading themselves as emirs.

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The respondents are: Ado-Bayero, Alhaji Nasiru Ado-Bayero Bichi emir, Dr Ibrahim Abubakar ll, emir of Karaye, Alhaji Kabiru Muhammad-Inuwa, emir of Rano and Alhaji Aliyu Ibrahim-Gaya, emir of Gaya.

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Others are the Inspector General of Police, Director of State Security Service, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and Nigeria Army.

Delivering the judgment, Justice Amina Adamu-Aliyu, held that the Kano State House of Assembly had powers to amend and propose a bill for the peace and good governance of a state under section 4 rule 6,7(b) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

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The Kano State Governor has the right to ascent the proposed bill to law after being passed by the state assembly.”

The court also restrained the Police and other security agencies from violating, disobeying or tempering the Kano State Emirate (Repeal) Law 2024.

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The deposed Emirs shall surrender all movable and immovable properties in their possession that belong to the Kano State Emirate Council to the state government” Adamu-Aliyu said.

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She held that the first respondent legal counsel withdrawal without notice to other parties is unprofessional and that moving their motion is as good as not filing it since it has been abandoned.

The judge said the act of the 6th to 9 respondent for smuggling the first respondent to Kano after the enactment of the Emirate Repeal Law 2024 disregards what they have sworn for the protection of life and property.

Earlier, Counsel to the applicant, Mr Ibrahim Isa-Wangida, urged the court to discount the respondent’s affidavit of facts under order 39 rules 1 and 2 of the Court.

READ ALSO: Jubilation As. Oba Of Benin Receives Two Looted Artefacts, US Custodian Apologises

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Counsel to Ado-Bayero, Mr Abdul Muhammed SAN, informed the court that they have an affidavit of fact dated July 3, 2024, attached with a notice of appeal and a motion of stay of proceedings.

He urged the court to stay of proceedings pending the hearing and determination of the motion at the appeal court.

NAN reports that Ado-Bayero’s counsel on July 4, withdrew their legal services before the court.

Counsel to the 3rd, 4th and 5th respondents, Hassan Tanko-Kyaure, moved his application for an extension of time dated July 2 and counter affidavit in response to the originating motion.

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He urged the court to set aside the Kano State Emirates Council (Repeal) law 2024, adding that due process were not followed and urged the court to dismiss the applicant’s application with a cost of N1 billion.

Counsel to the Inspector/General of Police, Mr Sunday Ekwe, told the court that he had nothing to present.

NAN reports that the applicants, 3,4and 5th respondents moved their applications, for extension of time, notice of preliminary objection, setting aside exparte order, joinder application, examining deponent, application for the Judge to recuse herself and originating summon.

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NAN reports that the State House of Assembly on May 23, dissolved all the four newly created Emirate council’s in the state and Gov. Abba Kabir-Yusuf, reappointed Lamido Sanusi, as the Emir of Kano.

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Otuaro Repositioning PAP; Detractors Steer Clear – Rivers Monarch, Ateke Tom Cautions

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HRM Ateke Tom (left) and Dr Dennis Otuaro during the visit at the weekend

The king of Okochiri Kingdom in Okirika Local Government Area of Rivers State, His Royal Majesty, Ateke Tom, has cautioned detractors of the Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Dr Dennis Otuaro, to stop their distractive activities and allow him (Otuaro) to concentrate on his job.

The first-class monarch gave the warning when the PAP boss visited him at his palace in Okochiri at the weekend, according to a statement by Special Assistant on Media to the PAP Administrator, Mr Igoniko Oduma.

The Royal Father, while hailing Otuaro for the achievements so far in the PDP, stressed that the PAP boss had demonstrated that he has the capacity to pilot the affairs of the programme.

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He noted that Otuaro had quietly carried out well-thought-out reforms to reposition the PAP for better and quality service delivery.

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In his response, Otuaro, while describing Okochiri as an ancient kingdom in Ijaw land, explained that his visit to the traditional ruler was part of his ongoing consultations and engagements with critical stakeholders of the Niger Delta.

The PAP boss noted that King Tom was one of the major Niger Delta activists who was consistent with his advocacy for a better standard of living for the region.

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He thanked King Tom for his fatherly advice and words of encouragement, saying that he and members of his team were poised to continually render quality service in line with the renewed hope agenda of the President.

 

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Jubilation As. Oba Of Benin Receives Two Looted Artefacts, US Custodian Apologises

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It was a moment of jubilation and joy at the palace of Oba of Benin as Ewuare II on Monday, received two artefacts; a mother hen and a bronze plaque from the University of Iowa Museum, United States of America.

This would be the second time in two months that the monarch would receive returned artefacts.

On May 18, he received two artefacts from Germany which are among those looted from the palace in the 1897 invasion of the Benin Kingdom.

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The Oba, while receiving the items in his palace, said the immediate past president of the federation, President Muhammadu Buhari made the ownership of artefacts very clear through his gazette before he left office.

He alluded to some of the earlier ones returned to the palace which he said his forebears started the process but he was able to accomplish the feat when he ascended the throne.

The royal father said the artefacts were not just items but that they have spiritual implications which mortals cannot understand.

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He, therefore, appealed to the political leaders to help preserve the traditions and customs of the land.

Earlier, Mr. Cory Gundlach, the Curator, African Art of Stanley Museum, Iowa, United States of America, apologized to the Oba of Benin for using the artefacts as teaching materials in the University.

He also apologized on behalf of his other colleagues who have used the arts to teach thousands of students in the United States of America without the consent of the original owner.

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He assured the monarch of his determination to ensure that others that are kept elsewhere are returned to their original abode.

 

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