PRESS STATEMENT: Delta State Government Appeal Is To Buy Time And Continue To Cover Up A Mischief

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Centre for the vulnerable & the underprivileged, (CENTREP).,
National Office:
Justice House,
No. 114, Udu Road,
Ovwian, Delta State, Nigeria.
E-mail: fjhd_rights@yahoo.com, centrep.rights@gmail.com
Web: www.oghenejaborikimi.info
GSM: 08023099637, 08036607603

PRESS STATEMENT

Gentlemen of the Press,

The High Court of Justice, sitting at Otor-Udu, Delta State and presided over by Hon. Justice C.E Achilefu (Mrs.) on Friday, the 28th day of April, 2017 declared the collection of the Passengers Welfare Scheme levy and the daily Motorcycle and Tricycle Taxes collected from operators of Motorcycle and Tricycle in Delta State as illegal since same is contrary to the provisions of Part II to the Schedule to the Taxes and Levies (Approved List for Collection) Act, 2004 (as amended).

The Court also declared the assessment and collection of taxes and levies by private tax consultants or private individuals or bodies as illegal as same contravenes the provisions of Sections 2 (1), 3 and 4 of the Taxes and Levies (Approved List for Collection) Act, 2004 (as amended) the Court further declared that the Delta State Government cannot collect any tax or levy not listed in Part II of the Schedule to the Taxes and Levies (Approved List for Collection) Act, 2004 (as amended).

Consequently my Lord, Hon Justice C.E. Achilefu (Mrs.) further restrained the
Delta State Government from further using private tax consultants or private individual or bodies from assessing and collecting Taxes and Levies on behalf of the State. The Court also went further to restrain the Delta State Government from further collecting Passenger’s Welfare levies from commuters in the State and Motorcycle and Tricycle taxes from Motorcycle and Tricycle operators in the State as same contravened the provisions of Part II to the Schedule to the Taxes and Levies (Approved List for Collection) Act, 2004 (as amended).

The Court also restrained the Delta State Government from further collecting taxes and levies from her Citizens which are not listed in Part II to the Schedule to the Taxes and Levies (Approved List for Collection) Act, 2004 (as amended). The above judgment no doubt is a landmark judgment and a victory for all Deltans.

The ratio of the said landmark judgment is reproduce thus:

The totality is that all the questions are resolved in favour of the claimants.

I accordingly hereby make the following orders:-

a. That the Defendants’ Passengers Welfare Scheme and the daily tax paid by operators of motorcycles and tricycles in Delta State are not in tandem with the taxes and levies approved for collection by State Government – “under part II of the Schedule to the Taxes and Levies (Approved List for Collection) Act 2004 (as amended).

b. That the Defendants cannot collect any tax or levy not listed in part II of the Schedule to the Taxes and Levies (Approved List for Collection) Act, 2004 (as amended);

c. That the assessment or collection of taxes or levies on behalf of the Defendants by private tax consultants or private individual or bodies is not in tandem with the provisions of Sections 2(1), 3 and

4 of Taxes and Levies (Approved List for Collection) Act 2004 (as amended).

d. Consequently, the Defendants are hereby restrained from further collecting Passengers Welfare scheme levies and motorcycle and tricycle taxes in Delta State as same contravenes Part II of the Schedule to the Taxes and Levies (Approved List for Collection) Act, 2004 (as amended)

e. The Defendants are hereby restrained from further collecting taxes and levies in Delta State that are not listed in Part II of the Schedule to the Taxes and Levis (Approved list for Collection) Act, 2004 (as amended).

f. The Defendants are hereby restrained from further using private tax consultants or private individuals or bodies for assessing and collecting taxes and levies on behalf of the Defendant in Delta State as same negates the provisions of Sections 2(1), 3 and 4 of the Taxes and Levies (Approved List for Collection) Act, 2004 (as amended).

Find attached to this press statement the above judgment of the High Court,

Otor-Udu delivered by Hon. Justice C. E. Achilefu (Mrs.).

However, I am aware that the Delta State Government has ;led a Notice and Grounds of Appeal against the said declaratory judgment and has also ;led a stay of execution. If I may ask, why is the Delta State Government trembling over the above landmark judgment which is declaratory in nature. What would it cost the State Government to put in abeyance the collection of motorcycle and tricycle taxes in the State or the collection of the Passenger Welfare Scheme levy in the State which the above judgment declared illegal.

Furthermore, why is the State Government panicking over the injunction placed on it by the above judgment from further using private tax consultants, group or individuals from assessing and collecting taxes and levies in the State, which the said judgment also declared illegal.

The State Board of Internal Revenue is the only statutory body allowed by law to assess and collect taxes and levies in the State. So why is the State Government uncomfortable with the use of her Board of Internal Revenue to assess and collect taxes and levies in the State.

Methinks that the above action of the State Government to appeal is merely an attempt to buy time and continue to cover up a mischief in the above regard, as the said judgment is both a victory to all Deltans and a victory over impunity and lack of probity, transparency and accountability in the State. Governance is transitory while Justice is eternal.

For crying out loud, it is criminal for a Government to empower political associates, cronies and relatives with the assessment and collection of taxes and levies in a State without recourse to her State Board of Internal Revenue charged with the statutory responsibility to so do. It is very sad indeed.

I can assure Deltans that at the end all the private tax consultants would be made to account for all the taxes and levies collected under the present administration or be prosecuted for any bene;ted derived from the above illegality. The above is my little quota at promoting good governance in the State and the Prosperity for all Deltans Slogan of the present administration.

Long live Delta State!

OGHENEJABOR IKIMI, ESQ.

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