By Chijioke Kingsley
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The North Central zone of Tax Appeal Tribunal sitting in Jos, has been commended for digging out relevant laws and requisite authorities to resolve the tax dispute between the Jos Electricity Distribution Company (JEDC) and Plateau State Internal Revenue Services (PSIRS).
The commendation was given by counsels to parties after the delivering of judgment during the sitting of the tribunal in Jos yesterday.
Chairman of the tribunal, Hon. Richard Umar Bala, led the 5-man panel to deliver a four hour long judgement which has been rated as one the longest judgement in the existence of the tribunal.
Counsel to PSIRS, Barr A G Yirvoms in his remarks after the judgement applauded the tribunal for going extra miles to bring fundamental constitutional bases to decide on the disputed areas.
While Counsel to the JEDC, Barr Daniel Agabi also 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.
Agabi 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.
Earlier in his judgement, Hon. Bala said the case was filed in March 2021 by PSIRS against JEDC in which the power 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.
However, 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 contract between 2015 and 2016.
Our correspondent reports that original tax liabilities demanded by the appellant stood at about N1.4 billion. But the tribunal ordered the payment of N128 million.
The tribunal ordered JEDC to pay the said amount within a period of 30 days counting from the day of judgment, and warned that if JEDC failed to pay the tax within 30 days the penalties and interest will be applied.