The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) has issued a rebuttal to the “critical misrepresentations” that are supposedly contained in a notice to members sent out by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) over a court case, as reported by Nairametrics.
Recall that ICAN had informed its members that Justice S. A. Onigbanjo of the High Court of Lagos State ruled in their favour by striking out “Suit No. LD/3288GCM/19 – CITN VS ICAN” which was filed by CITN. In the suit, CITN had, among other things, prayed the court to restrain ICAN members from filing tax returns with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) unless they have a CITN license.
CITN’s position: Now, in its rebuttal to ICAN’s claims concerning the court case, a copy of which was sent to Nairametrics, CITN clarified the following points:
- The Ruling of the Hon. Justice S. A. Onigbanjo of the 2/7/2020 in LD/3288GCM/19 did not invalidate the MOU and TOS because it did NOT address the issues in the substantive suit, itself. However, since ICAN has resiled from the MoU and ToS it freely entered with CITN, the CITN will not stop ICAN from walking away.
- The Judge only struck out the suit based on the Preliminary Objection of ICAN to the effect that the suit was an abuse of court process because the issues in it were the same as the issues in FHC/L/CS/125/2019 – ICAN VS FIRS & 1 OTHER which was earlier decided in favour of CITN. However, the issues in the two suits are completely different and distinct as has now been explicitly admitted by ICAN in its Notice under reference when it said: “The earlier ruling at the Federal High Court in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/125/2019 did not make pronouncement on the memorandum and terms of settlement between ICAN and CITN.”ICAN having admitted that the judgment in FHC/L/CS/125/2019 did not make any pronouncement on the MOU and TOS (and this is a fact), how then could issues in that suit be the same as those in LD/3288GCM/2019 (decided by Justice Onigbanjo) which only asked for judicial pronouncement on the MOU and TOS?
- Regulation 5 of the Tax Administration (Self-Assessment) Regulations, 2011, was categorically annulled by the Hon. Justice Liman in the judgment delivered in FHC/L/CS/125/2019 on 21/11/2019. None of the lawyers to the parties (including ICAN) can deny hearing the annulment of Regulation 5 during delivery of the judgment. It is unfortunate that ICAN is jumping the gun in a case with a pending post-judgment application.
- In the judgment delivered in FHC/L/CS/1480/2018 – CHIEF IGBAROOLA & OTHERS VS FIRS & OTHERS on 21/5/2019, the Hon. Justice A. O. Faji, declared: “CITN Act is thus superior to ICAN Act on the issue of tax practice. The Self-Assessment Regulations being in conflict with the CITN Act is null and void. The Plaintiffs cannot practice as tax agents without first being members of the 2nd Defendant.”
- In the Court of Appeal judgement of 2013 between ICAN v. CITN, it was held that the power to regulate and control the tax profession, to the exclusion of any other body, in Nigeria lies with CITN.
- It is, therefore, now firmly settled from all the relevant judgements at the Lagos High Court, Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal, which have all upheld the primacy of the CITN Charter, that no member of ICAN can practice taxation without first being a member of CITN.
- For the avoidance of doubt, no ICAN member, who is not registered with CITN, has been permitted by any law or court decision to practice taxation. The law has made it clear about the professional body that can regulate tax profession in Nigeria and CITN reserves the right to invoke the relevant provisions against any person that violates the provisions of its charter.
The backstory: The disagreement between ICAN and CITN dates back to 2015 following a misinterpretation of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Terms of Settlement (ToS) between the two organisations. Due to the disagreement, CITN took legal actions in a bid to basically make the MoU and ToS binding on ICAN members.
Sanwo-Olu speaks on need to resolve community’s agitations for tank farms relocation
Sanwo-Olu called stakeholders to come together in order to provide a lasting solution to the issue.
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has listed conditions that must be met, in order to bring a lasting solution to the dispute between petroleum tank farm owners at Ijegun-Egba area of Amuwo Odofin and the residents of the host community.
One of these conditions is that tank farm owners and petroleum tanker drivers must subscribe to operational regulations that limit the loading of tankers beyond their weight capacities. Also, all Federal Government’s regulatory agencies operating in the area must stop working at cross purposes with the state’s agencies, in the bid to address the environmental degradation in the area.
The governor also stressed that both the federal and state authorities should collaborate on the regeneration efforts of road and infrastructure in the area.
This disclosure was made by the Lagos State Governor on Thursday, August 13, 2020, in Marina, while receiving members of the House of Representatives Ad-Hoc Committee on the Relocation of Tank Farms. The Committee, which was constituted by the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, was also intended to investigate and make recommendations on the issue.
The Hon Sergius Ogun led Ad-Hoc Committee had initially gone on a two-day inspection to Ijegun before sharing the findings with the Governor.
During the meeting, the governor pointed out that the regeneration of Ijegun-Egba was as important to the community as smooth transportation of petroleum products was important to the tank farms’ owners. He warned that the country could not afford to allow the host community’s agitation to hinder the operations of the tank farms, which, he said, supply 45% of petroleum products consumed in the country. The governor said:
“The Ijegun-Egba tank farms are strategic national assets created by the private sector to serve the whole country. Between 40 to 45% of the entire petroleum products that go across the country pass through that corridor. Even if it is to cater for our own need, we must take care of those assets, because they are like a strategic reserve for us as a nation.
“The rudiment of the problem in the area is a logistic issue, which is to ensure the movement of oil tankers in and out of the area without affecting the wellbeing of the community members. We have had to contend with environmental issues and the extent of the bad road network on the corridor is glaring. We have seen how small-capacity tankers are carrying up to 70,000 litres of petroleum products when they should be taking only 30,000 litres. This has exerted great pressure on the roads and the officers that are supposed to monitor them look away.
“These are part of the issues we need to resolve with the stakeholders. If we can let these people run their businesses within the confines of regulations, part of the solutions would have been achieved in the process. Also, there is a need for total regeneration of the roads in the area. We want the environment to be conducive for business, but we must do that in line with the safety of lives and property. We have talked with tank farms’ owners and we all need to come together. It is important for the Federal Government’s agencies to have an agreement and we are ready to play our own part.”
The committee was set up following the agitations and demands by residents of Ijegun Egba Satellite Town for the immediate relocation of the tank farms in the residential area. This, according to the residents, would help to prevent further environmental degradation and loss of lives and property in the area.
The host community accused tank farm owners of disrupting the drainage system, damaging roads within the community, and even converting roads to parking lots for their tankers.
The Governor stressed that genuine solution would be achieved if the entire network of infrastructure in the host community was cleaned up and regenerated. He, however, revealed that the new regeneration design that the state came up with could not take off because the federal authorities had not agreed with the plan.
Furthermore, Sanwo-Olu noted that it is high time for all the stakeholders to come together in order to provide a lasting solution to the issue.
“After your thorough assessment of the situation, I hope you would be able to call all relevant stakeholders and agencies of Government together on the discussion table. We are committed to any effort that’ll bring a permanent solution. We know how much of investment we have in the area, but businesses have to be done under a safe and controlled environment. We want every stakeholder to play their roles,” he said.
Making his own remark, the Chairman of the Ad-Hoc Committee, Hon Ogun, admitted the inability of the Federal authorities to work collaboratively with the Lagos State Government was part of the reasons the community’s agitation festered. He, however, promised that the House would prevail on the federal agencies to close ranks with stakeholders and bring about lasting solutions.
Guinness warehouse in Lagos on fire
The warehouse was said to be used in storing plastic crates.
A warehouse that is reportedly owned by Guinness Nigeria Limited, along the WEMPCO Road, Ogba, has been gutted by fire.
The warehouse was said to be used in storing plastic crates.
READ MORE: Why Guinness is a stock to pick – RenCap
Director-General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, explained that emergency responders, including the LASEMA response team and official of the state fire service, were on ground to salvage the situation, adding that the immediate cause of the fire could not be ascertained.
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He said, “On arrival at the scene of the incident at 0430am, it was observed that a warehouse storing plastic crates which appears to belong to the Guinness Nigeria Limited and used to store plastic crates, had been burnt.
“The immediate cause of the fire could not be determined. However, the agency’s responders and LASG Fire Service officials are on ground to carry out a dampening exercise to forestall any spread or secondary incident.”
READ ALSO: UPDATE: CAC headquarters in Abuja on fire
More details later…
NBC slams N5 million fine on Nigeria Info over Mailafia’s inciting comments
This was contained in a press statement which was issued by NBC on Thursday.
The Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has slammed a fine of N5m on a radio station, Nigeria Info, over the recent claim by a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr Obadiah Mailafia.
Mailafia, in an interview in one of the radio station’s programmes, claimed that some of the repentant Boko Haram militants confessed that one of the northern governors is the commander of Boko Haram in Nigeria.
This was contained in a press statement which was issued by NBC on Thursday, August 13, 2020, titled, ‘’The National Broadcasting Commission fines Nigeria Info 99.3 for Unprofessional Broadcast’’.
The NBC expressed its displeasure at the radio station for providing its platform to be used to promote unverifiable and inciting views that can lead to crime and public disorder.
The NBC’s statement reads, ”The National Broadcasting Commission has noted with grave concern, the unprofessional conduct of Nigeria Info 99.3FM, Lagos, in the handling of the Programme, “Morning Cross Fire”, aired on August 10, 2020, between 8.30 am and 9.00 am. The station provided its platform for the guest, Dr Mailafia Obadiah, to promote unverifiable and inciting views that could encourage or incite to crime and lead to public disorder.”
”The Commission, again, wishes to reiterate that Broadcasters hold Licenses in trust for the people. Therefore, no Broadcast Station should be used, to promote personal or sectional interests at the expense of the people.”
NBC noted that Dr Obadiah’s comments on the Southern Kaduna crisis, were devoid of facts and the broadcast of such by Nigeria Info 99.3 violates some sections of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code which include;
- No broadcast shall encourage or incite to crime, lead to public disorder or hate, be repugnant to public feelings or contain an offensive reference to any person or organisation, alive or dead or generally be disrespectful to human dignity;
- Broadcasting shall promote human dignity, therefore, hate speech is prohibited;
- The broadcaster shall ensure that any information given in a programme, in whatever form, is accurate;
- The Broadcaster shall ensure that all sides to any issue of public interest are equitably presented for fairness and balance;
- The broadcaster shall ensure that language or scene likely to encourage or incite to crime, or lead to disorder, is not broadcast;
- No programme contains anything which amounts to subversion of constituted authority or compromises the unity or corporate existence of Nigeria as a sovereign state;
- The Broadcaster shall not transmit divisive materials that may threaten or compromise the indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as a sovereign state.
The NBC further states, ”Consequent on these provisions and in line with the amendment of the 6th edition of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, Nigeria Info 99.3FM Lagos, has been fined the sum of N5,000,000.00 (Five Million Naira), only. This is expected to serve as a deterrent to all other broadcast stations in Nigeria who are quick to provide a platform for subversive rhetorics and the expositions of spurious and unverifiable claims, to desist from such.”
The NBC also stated that it will not hesitate to suspend the license of broadcast stations that continue to breach to breach the broadcast code.