Passenger Welfare Scheme: Lawyer drags Okowa, two commissioners to court

A Warri-based human rights lawyer and Executive Director of the Centre for the Vulnerable and the Underprivileged (CENTREP), Oghenejabo Ikimi, has dragged Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Finance Commissioner David Edevbie, and Attorney General Peter Mrakpor to court over what he called a passenger welfare scheme and the daily tax paid by operators of motorcycles and tricycles in Delta State.

Mr. Ikimi, the claimant, prayed the court to determine as follows whether the defendants’ passenger welfare scheme and the daily tax paid by operators of motorcycles and tricycles in Delta State are in tandem with the taxes and levies approved for collection by the State government under Part II of the Schedule to the Taxes and Levies (Approved List for Collection) Act, 2004 (as amended).

He further questioned whether the defendants could collect taxes and levies that are not listed in Part II of the Schedule to the Taxes and Levies (Approved List for Collection) Act, 2004 (as amended) in Delta State and whether the assessment or collection of taxes or levies on behalf of the defendants by private tax consultants or private individuals and bodies is in tandem with the provisions of Sections 2(1), 3 and 4 of the same act.

Provisions of the law sought by the claimant to be considered are Part II of the Schedule to the Taxes and Levies (Approved List for Collection) Act, 2004, Part II of the Schedule to the Taxes and Levies (Approved List for Collection) Act, (Amendment) Order, 2015 as well as Sections 2(1), 3 and 4 of the Taxes and Levies (Approved List for Collection) Act, 2004.

The claimant therefore prayed the court to make the following declarations:

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).

A declaration 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).

A Declaration that the assessment or collection of taxes or levies on behalf of the defendants by private tax consultants or private individuals or bodies is not in tandem with the provisions of Sections 2(1), 3 and 4 of the Taxes and Levies (Approved List for Collection) Act, 2004 (as amended).

Perpetual injunction restraining the defendants 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).

Perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from further collecting taxes and levies in Delta State that are not listed in Part II of the Schedule to the Taxes and Levies (Approved List for Collection) Act, 2004 (as amended).

Perpetual injunction restraining the defendants 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) and any other suitable relief or other orders the Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances.

We reliably learned that the defendants in the suit have been duly served with copies of each of the originating summons. At the time of publication, no date has been fixed for the hearing.

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