By ADEROGBA GEORGE
ABUJA- The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on Wednesday urged the Tax Appeal Tribunal sitting in Abuja not to accept an appellate’s witness as expert in tax transaction.
At the resumed hearing, FIRS through its counsel, Mr Daniel Onukun, submitted that the appellant’s witness, Mr Martin’s Aroke was just an interested party in the matter and not an expert in tax transaction.
The appellant, the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) PLC, dragged FIRS, the respondent before the tribunal over alleged miscalculation on its Value Added Tax (VAT) to the tune of N4.5 billion.
Aroke while being cross-examined by Onukun identified himself as an expert in tax matters and people service division of AEDC Plc.
Onukun in respond however told the tribunal that the witness did not have expertise knowledge to determine figures that were arrived at in tax transaction.
The counsel in addition argued that FIRS had more than 400 fellows from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) who were grounded in tax transaction matter.
He further averred that any of these professionals ought to have been consulted instead of the witness who was not an expert.
In addition, Onukun stated that the witness was in the matter as a mere interested party on behalf of the appellant and urged the tribunal to disregard the testimony the witness had earlier given.
Earlier, while giving his testimony led by the appellant counsel, Mr Olatoye Akinboro, Aroke said that AEDC Plc appointed his office as tax adviser in Oct. 2013.
He added that by virtue of his position, he was privileged to know every tax transaction of the appellant.
He thereafter proceed to urge the tribunal to admit his written statement filed in Aug. as evidence in the matter.
The Chairman of the tribunal, Mrs Alice Iriogbe, having listened to submissions of the counsel and witness, adjourned the matter until Dec. 6, for continuation of hearing.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the appellant had approached the tribunal dissatisfied by the decision and action of the respondent’s assessment on its VAT in the sum of N4.5 billion.
NAN also reports that the tribunal also adjourned until Dec. 6, another matter with FIRS as the appellant and Flexible Insurance Brokers Limited as the respondent, for adoption of terms of settlement.
Another matter between the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Limited and FIRS slated for Wednesday did not come up as the parties in the suit were not present. (NAN)