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FIRS Apologises To CAN, Christians Over Easter Message

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The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has apologised to Christians over its Easter message which has stirred controversy among adherents of the faith.

In its Easter message to Christians in Nigeria, the FIRS had shared a flier showing a Point of Sale (PoS) machine with the caption, “Jesus paid your debt, not your taxes”.

The message triggered an outpour of condemnation with the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) leading the way and asking for an apology.

While the post was later deleted, FIRS has now apologised for the move.

“We wish to offer our unreserved apologies for this misinterpretation,” the agency said in a late Tuesday statement by the Special Adviser (Media) to the FIRS Chairman.

But the agency said it “did not put out the flier purposively to denigrate Jesus Christ or detract from the huge sacrifice He made for humanity”.

“The unintended meaning/insinuation being read into the post was not what we were out to communicate as an agency,” the statement read.

“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,” FIRS said.

“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.”

READ THE FULL STATEMENT BELOW

We Will Never Denigrate Jesus Christ—-FIRS

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.


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. 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.

Signed

Dare ADEKANMBI

Special Adviser (Media) to the FIRS chairman

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Ondo guber: I’m Confident Of Picking APC Ticket — Gov Aiyedatiwa Boasts

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The Governor of Ondo State, Lucky Aiyedatiwa has said that contrary to rumours of fake certificates making the rounds in some quarters, his certificate was genuine and authentic.

Aiyedatiwa disclosed this on Friday at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja after he was cleared by the Screening Committee to contest the primary election.

The governor further declared there was no vacancy at the government’s house.


His words: “Questions were asked and answered and at the end of the day, I have been cleared that there are no issues. Especially the issue that has to do with the certificate that a petition was written, today that has been put to rest.

“My certificates are genuine and authentic. I think it is just a kind of mischief by some other aspirants who find me to be an aspirant to beat, trying to look for a way to discredit my person but that has been verified and put to rest.

“I think the issue really regarding that was a school they claim was established in 1980 and how come I was able to write my WASSCE in 1982. If you are a student of history you will recall that in 1979, when the Governor of Lagos State at the time, Lateef Jakande became Governor of Lagos State, most private schools were taken over and schools were built for the communities. And Ikosi High School that I attended is one of the schools that were built by the regime of Lateef Jakande in 1980. So, it is on record that the school was established in 1980 and at that time I was already in Form ‘3’ in a private school.

“New Nation is in Ikosi while Royal Comprehensive High School is in Ajegunle Ikorodu very close to Ketu. So all of us were moved to both New Nation and Royal Comprehensive High School and some other schools that were affected by flood. We were all moved into Ikosi High School Ketu that was built by the government and that was how we wrote our WASCE in 1982 because we were in the first set. I was in Form ‘3’ at the time, it used to be five years, not now that you have six years for Secondary school.

“So their question, the petitioner is how can a school be established in 1980 and we have a first set in 1982 that the first set was supposed to be in 1985 but he didn’t take time to look at the history. So investigation has been conducted, the schools are still there, WAEC office is there where you can actually verify the subject that I took and the year that I graduated and the school. You just need to buy a scratch card and go to the website of WAEC, it will be there – Ikosi High School Iketu and my name will be there with the subjects that I took and the various grades. So it is clear to everybody that my certificate is authentic and I actually graduated from that school in 1982.”

Asked what his advice was for those trying to pull him down, Aiyedatiwa said there was no vacancy in the Ondo State government house.

The governor added: “I should just advise them to repent and try to go to the field and work. If they are interested in the seat and the seat Is not vacant, that is why they’re trying to do all that they are doing.”

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‘Good Riddance To Bad Rubbish’, Nigerians React As High Court Sentence Bobrisky To Six-Month Imprisonment

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Nigerians have taken to microblogging platform, X (formerly known as Twitter) to express their thought on the court judgment, which saw cross-dresser, Idris Okuneye, popularly known as Bobrisky, sentenced to six months imprisonment.


Recall that Bobrisky, on Friday, was sentenced to six months in jail with no option of a fine.

The judgement was passed by Justice Abimbola Awogboro of the Federal High Court in Lagos.

Recall that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Thursday, April 4, filed six-count of money laundering and abuse of naira against him.

On Friday, April 5, the EFCC arraigned Bobrisky in court on six charges, including Abuse of the Naira and Money laundering.

The court, however, dismissed the money laundering charges but convicted him of Naira Abuse after he confessed to the crime.

Some Nigerians, reacting to the court judgement, saw the ruling as an injustice against the cross-dresser.

Others wondered which section Bobrisky will be in jail because of the controversy around the gender he aligns with.

See some reactions below:

@brodamike07 wrote, “If this is true, the judgment is harsh and should be condemned by all.”

@Grachidex wrote, “So is it gonna be the male or female prison?”

@iamkelechiO wrote, “I honestly don’t feel sorry for him. He’s a bad influence in the society.

“Good riddance to bad rubbish.”

@_konfam wrote, “This is not right at all, they’re sentencing him over what everyone is guilty of?”

@IamKonrade wrote, “I hope this sets precedence and that anyone who violates the naira, politicians inclusive, is sentenced.”

@JoyMart14 wrote, “May we not offend people wey no deh accept apology ”

@Iamlexprince wrote, “Ok, now this is pure wickedness and jealousy. Bobrisky is the least of our problem in this country. If they channel that same energy to the right people, we for no dey complain for this country.”

@divfee wrote, “This country funny, is she the first to spray money like this in naija??

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Junior Pope: Police Recover Three More Bodies From Boat Mishap

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Police authorities in Anambra State have recovered three more bodies from a boat accident involving a movie cast.

Nollywood star Junior Pope Odonwodo was part of the crew that drowned in the boat mishap two days back.

While some crew members were yet to be found following the boat tragedy, the spokesperson of the Anambra State Police Command Tochukwu Ikenga said three more bodies of members of the movie cast have been recovered.

“Marine Police of Anambra State Command has recovered bodies of the three remaining victims of the unfortunate boat accident involving a movie cast,” he said in a Friday statement.

“Two of the bodies were recovered yesterday 11th April, 2024 while the last was washed in by the tide this morning.”

The bodies have been deposited at a morgue in Asaba, Delta State while authorities of the guild of actors have also been informed about the recovery.

The spokesman quoted the state’s police commissioner Aderemi Adeoye as advising water commuters to be safety conscious while in transit.

According to the commissioner, the police are fast-tracking the investigation into the accident.

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