The Tax Appeal Tribunal sitting in Abuja on Friday, gave permission to the counsel to Mr Joe Daudu, SAN, to tender documents from the bar, in order to avoid further delay in the matter.
Daudu, a former president of NBA, instituted a suit against the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) over an allegation of N1.2 billion error in assessment of his Withholding Tax (WHT), Personal Income Tax and Value Added Tax (VAT) for the period from 2010 to 2017.
The Chairman of the Tribunal, Mrs Alice Iriogbe, gave the permission when the matter slated for mention could not continue for the second time, as a result of the petitioner’s absence due to ill health.
The matter had not proceeded since it was instituted because the appellant had not appeared before the Tribunal to adopt his Statement on oath.
Hence the Chairman’s advise for the counsel to tender documents from the bar to enable the matter to proceed instead of waiting until the appellant can be at the Tribunal.
On the last adjourned date, the counsel to the appellant, Mr Adedayo Adedeji had brought to the notice of the Tribunal an affidavit affirming medical excuse for the appellant.
He therefore requested for an adjournment in September.
However, at the resumed sitting on Friday, another counsel for the appellant, Mr Hygenius Ibega prayed for another adjournment as the appellant was still absent.
The respondent’s counsel, Mr Abdulbasit Abdulmalik conceded to the adjournment, but he however urged the Tribunal to strike out the matter pending when the appellant will be medically fit to file a fresh suit.
In response, the chairman said in light of the above the appellant would be given a last adjournment.
She therefore adjourned the matter until Oct. 10 for hearing.
The appellant in his Statement of facts had specifically expressed dissatisfaction with the decision to assess him with respect to WHT and VAT in the sum of N 1. 2 billion.
The appellant claimed that it was a misnomer for him, who operated a law firm as a legal practitioner and did not deal in primary goods, to be assessed on Withholding Tax (WHT).
FIRS in its argument said that its assessments were not in error and that it was discovered that the appellant did not deduct and remit WHT on some of the expenses and payments made under the period in review.
The service, therefore, prayed the Tribunal to declare that the notices of assessments issued on the appellant for 2010 to 2017 assessment were right.
It also urged the tribunal for an order mandating the appellant to pay the total sum of N1.2 billion being the appellant’s liability for WHT, Personal income tax and VAT for 2010 to 2017 years of assessment.
FIRS stated that it rightly assessed the appellant, in accordance with the law and by collaborating with EFCC on non-declaration of income as well as tax evasion.