In Kaduna Court dismisses suit challenging legality of Tax Law

Bello had argued that the enactment of the law contravened the provisions of Section 4 (2) and (7), paragraph (b) of the 1999 constitution as amended with respect to collection of taxes.

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Gwamnan Nasir El-rufai play

Gwamnan Nasir El-rufai

(Punch)
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A High Court in Kaduna on Friday dismissed a suit challenging the legality of the Kaduna State Tax Codification and Consolidation Law, 2016.

The judge, Justice David Wyom, held that the suit was defective.

He said name of the state, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, whom the matter affected directly, was not included in the suit.

The judge said it amount to abuse of legal process if the court had gone ahead to hear the merit of the case without listing the necessary parties in the suit.

“This court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain this suit. The suit is hereby dismissed,’’ he said.

The plaintiff, Malam Yahaya Shinko had on Jan. 12, dragged the Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service (KDIRS), its Chairman, Muhkar Ahmed and the Kaduna State House of Assembly to the court.

Shinko was the Interim Management Committee Chairman of Kaduna South Local Government Area from July 29, 2015 to Oct. 17, 2016, when he was removed over matters concerning financial management.

Mr Ibrahim Bello, the plaintiff’s counsel had asked the court to declare that the Kaduna State Tax Codification and Consolidation Law, 2016, and collection of Local Government revenues, fees, taxes, rates by KADIRS as unconstitutional.

Bello had argued that the enactment of the law contravened the provisions of Section 4 (2) and (7), paragraph (b) of the 1999 constitution as amended with respect to collection of taxes.

He had asked the court to declare that the collection of N1, 000 as shop fees by FAHAN Resources Ltd. on behalf of Kaduna South Local Government in cash was valid.

The counsel had hinged his argument on the provision of the Kaduna State Local Government Administration Law, 2012 which gave local councils power to charge or collect levies and fees.

However, Mr Francis Kozah, counsel to the first and second respondents had argued that the court lacked the requisite jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

He based his argument on the grounds that some necessary parties which included the state governor were not joined in the case.

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