Court Declares Tenement Rate Collection by FCT Area Councils Illegal


Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
An Abuja High Court has declared illegal the collection of tenement rate by the six Area Councils of Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The judgment was delivered by Justice Valentine Ashi in the case of Planned Shelter Limited versus Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) and six others at Apo  High Court 28.

Justice Ashi declared as illegal the demand for tenement rates by the FCT Area Councils.
He said there was no Act of the National Assembly to back up their demand to collect tenement rate from residents of the territory.

Though he acknowledged the provision for it in the 1999 Constitution as amended,  Justice Ashi insisted there must be an Act of the National Assembly that defines the process for the assessment,  collection and enforcement of the tax.

He therefore ruled that in the absence of such an Act, the six FCT Area Councils erred in law to demand for collection of such tax.

Collection of tenement rate, which is used by state governments as well as the FCT  as revenue for the development and provision of infrastructure for residents  had been a sore issue between the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and the  six FCT Area Councils on who has the right of collection.

Speaking on the ruling,  Solicitor General FCTA, Yusuf H. Wodi,  described the judgment as appropriate.