Education Levy : Court to Deliver Judgement on Catholic Church’s Suit August 31

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Olakiitan Victor in Ado Ekiti

A High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti will on August 31 deliver judgement in a suit filed by Catholic Diocese of Ekiti against Ekiti state government on the introduction of the N1,000 and N500 education development levy for pupils in secondary and primary schools in both public and private schools in the state.

Following the introduction of the levy, the Catholic Diocese of Ekiti, owner of Holy Child’s Nursery and Primary School and Saint Joseph’s Nursery and Primary School, had approached the court to seek the interpretation of the laws regarding the propriety of the Ayo Fayose
government’s action.

The claimant insisted that pupils in those cadres are not taxable as demanded by Taxes and Levies Approved List for Collection Act, Cap T2 Laws of the Federation 2004 and that the policy should be abrogated.

At Thursday’s sitting, the presiding Judge, Justice Cornelius Akintayo, heard both the notice of preliminary objection brought by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Owoseeni Ajayi, pursuant to Order 22 , Rule 1 of the civil procedure rule and the substantive suit .

In the preliminary objection, the Attorney General averred that the court lacks jurisdiction to entertain the case , saying it was already statute barred and has no cause of action owing to the fact that the government complied with every relevant laws before implementing the
policy.

The preliminary objection dated 9th May, 2016 also contained another further and better affidavit dated 16th May , 2016 supported by numerous exhibits, including a law passed by the House of Assembly empowering the state government to impose taxes and levies and to also
regulate same.

He said:”My Lord, by the time you peruse the written address attached to this preliminary objection and the avalanche of exhibits presented , you will come to irresistible conclusion that the court lacks jurisdiction to entertain this matter on merit”.

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