Tax evasion: Appeal Tribunal orders JEDC to pay Plateau Revenue Service N128 million liabilities within 30 days


The North Central Zone of the Tax Appeal Tribunal sitting in Jos, the Plateau State capital, has ordered the Jos Electricity Distribution Company (JEDC) to pay the Plateau State Internal Revenue Service (PSIRS) the sum of N128 million as tax liabilities.

The Appeal Tribunal also said the aforementioned amount must be paid within a period of 30 days, counting from the day of judgment, and warned that if JEDC fails to pay the tax within 30 days, the penalties and interest will be applied.

Delivering a four-hour-long judgement, Hon. Richard Umar Bala, who led the five man panel, said the case was filed in March 2021 by PSIRS against the Jos Electricity Distribution Company in which the company is accused of tax evasion.

However, JEDC challenged the jurisdiction of the Tax Tribunal to entertain the case and also challenged the competency of the appeal by PSIRS.

After the argument and counter-arguments of Counsels to both parties, the Tribunal dismissed the argument of Counsel to the respondent JEDC who claimed that the Tribunal has no jurisdiction to hear the appeal.

Bala said he relied on various authorities obtained from constitutional provisions, relevant Acts of the national assembly as well as authorities it obtained from decided cases by apex court to draw its judgement on the case.

The Tribunal also said the argument of the respondent that the appeal of PSIRS be dismissed for lack of competent has also failed because the Tribunal found the claims of the appellant very valid.

The Tribunal therefore held that the appellant is entitled to judgement;
“JEDC is hereby ordered to pay the sum of N128 million to PSIRS as tax liabilities drawn from PAYE, Withholding Tax on contracts and supply, purchase of energy and other contracts between 2015 and 2016.

Saga Gist recalls that the original tax liabilities demanded by the appellant stood at about N1.4 billion; but the Tribunal ordered the payment of N128 million.

Meantime, immediately after the judgment, both Counsels have commended the Tribunal
for digging out relevant laws and requisite authorities to resolve the tax dispute between the JEDC and PSIRS.

Counsel to PSIRS, Barr. A G Yirvoms applauded the Tribunal for going extra miles to bring fundamental constitutional bases to decide on the disputed areas.

Also, Counsel to the JEDC, Barr. Daniel Agabi, remarked that even though the decision of the Tribunal did not go in favour of his client, the efforts put in by the Tribunal to arrive at the judgement is quite commendable.

He said he is satisfied with the judgement considering the extensive research done by the Tribunal to gather all the legal backgrounds that guided its decision on the disputes.

Meanwhile, other cases pending before the court was adjourned to 19th and 20th of October 2021 for hearing.

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