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ENUGU GOVT DRAGS UNN TO COURT OVER TAX

By NBF News
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Enugu State Government through its Board of Internal Revenue has dragged the authorities of the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) to court for alleged failure to remit 2009 PAYE tax amounting to over N845 million.

In a case filed at an Enugu High Court, the Board of Internal Revenue, which is the Plaintiff claimed to be the statutory body of the Enugu State Government charged with the responsibility of assessing and collecting taxes in the state.

The Enugu government agency noted that the defendants, have failed, ignored or neglected to remit PAYE tax deductions owed by the institution for the year 2009.

The University however failed to appear in court or send a legal representative when the case came up.

It however, filed a Conditional Memorandum of Appearance through its counsel, Ejike Ume (SAN) claiming that as a federal institution, it could only be sued at a Federal High Court.

The UNN counsel argued that the suit is incompetent as the State High Court lacked the jurisdiction to adjudicate in any matter concerning the defendant.

But the legal team for the Board of Internal Revenue, which included Ngozi Onyia alongside Bamiyii Adejo and Akintunde Akinola opposed the stand of the university, arguing that PAYE tax is for employees both in private and public sectors of the economy, 'pursuant to Personal Income Tax sections 81 and 82 Cap P8 Laws of the federation of Nigeria 2004.

Presiding Judge, Justice Oluedo noted that the issue of jurisdiction is a fundamental one, pointing that the plaintiff's counsel ought to have put her oral argument in writing and adjourned the matter to April 18.