The Lagos state governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola has alleged that the Governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Jimi Agbaje is a tax defaulter.
The governor made the allegation at the eighth Annual Lagos State Taxation Stakeholders’ Conference in the Ikeja area and asked Lagosians to reject a serial tax evader as next governor of Lagos.
The governor said; All those who have paid their taxes have shown that they are lawful citizens. And anyone who has failed to pay tax is a bad citizen; he is also a cheat. Such person benefits from the roads, hospitals and other facilities provided with taxes paid by other residents.
“I know that you have to vote next month, but look at that candidate that will take over from me. And be careful of who to vote for. You will remember in 2007, Jimi Agbaje claimed that he was in Democratic People’s Alliance and later crossed to the PDP.
“You know that he manages a pharmacy called Jaykay Pharmacy, located at 9, Randle Close, Apapa. His pharmacy has not paid Land Use Charge for 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.
“They paid in 2013 and 2014 because they discovered that the election would be holding in 2015. His pharmacy owes this state N1, 629, 064.62.
“Let us do that mathematics to see how many facilities the funds would have provided in our hospitals and stationery in our schools. But this was the same person who complained that the state government spent three per cent of its budget on education. Local governments are responsible for the management of the primary schools and yet, he has withheld their taxes.
“This is the man who wants to be your next governor. I will advise that you avoid a deceiver and a tax evader.”
The Agbaje campaign organisation has come out to refute the claim and has stated that Jimi Agbaje is no longer in charge of Jaykay Pharmaceutical. Acording to the Director, Media and Publicity of the Jimi Agbaje Campaign Organisation, “Although he founded JayKay Pharmaceuticals, Mr. Agbaje left the directorship of the company in 2006, and this is on record with the state. He is no longer involved in the running of the company. And today, he is not even an Executive Director.
“We have a letter signed by Ayo Gbeleyi, the Commissioner for Finance in Lagos State, where Agbaje received commendations for fulfilling his tax obligations.”
The timing of Governor Fashola’s statements are thought to be little more than politicking in a bid to unsettle the opposition.