Court reserves judgment in CSOs alleged double taxation suit




An FCT High Court sitting in Kubwa on Friday reserves judgment on the alleged double taxation suit filed against the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Mohammed Adamu.

The two Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), who are the plaintiffs are Pro Tax Pro Nigeria Initiative and Centre for Prevention of Corruption and Human Rights Abuse Initiative.

Also joined in the suit as co-defendants are Department of Outdoor Advertisement and Signage (DOAS) and Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC).

The CSOs are alleging that the collection of tax from businesses and individuals by DOAS was an illegal act as this amounted to duplication of functions, which AMAC also performed.

The CSOs further argued that the function of collection of taxes was supposed to be handled by AMAC, the original body, which was saddled with such responsibility by the law.

The CSOs quoted Section 2(1) of the Taxes and Levies Act to justify their arguments which says “no person other than the appropriate tax authority shall assess or collect on behalf of the government any tax or levy listed in the act.

The CSOs further aligned itself with the law, saying “the appropriate tax authority are the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Local Government Revenue Committee.”

The CSOs prayed the court for an immediate termination, withdrawer and scrapping of DOAS in the FCT to avoid the continuation of further taxation of people.

The CSOs also supported it prayers by quoting Section 7(5) of the 1999 Constitution, fourth schedule which spells out the powers of local government in the areas it could generate revenue.

Meanwhile, at the resumed hearing of the suit on Friday for the court to deliver its judgement on the matter, Justice Kezziah Ogbonnaya informed the parties that the judgment was not ready.

The Judge however said that the parties’ lawyers would be communicated whenever the judgment was ready. (NAN)

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