Court sacks Abia councillor for delay in tax payment

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Ogbonnaya Ikokwu, Umuahia

An Abia State High Court sitting in Okpuala Ngwa has sacked the councillor representing Amapu Ntigha Ward 8A, Mr. Chidozie Nwachukwu, for his failure to pay his taxes for 2013, 2014 and 2015 as and when due.

The court perpetually restrained the Abia State Independent Electoral Commission and Nwachukwu’s party, the Peoples Democratic Party, from recognising him as a councillor.

The court gave the order when delivering judgment in a pre-election matter brought before it by one Mr. Jude Nwaogwugwu, also of the PDP.

Nwaogwugwu had, in his suit, contested Nwachukwu’s eligibity to contest the party’s councillorship primary having failed to remit his taxes as and when due.

Justice C.U. Okoroafor nullified Nwachukwu’s election, holding that Nwaogwugwu, who came second in the primary held on November 9, 2016, was the only qualified candidate, since Nwachukwu did not appropriately remit his taxes.

Speaking on the judgment, Nwaogwugwu’s lawyer, Chief Amara Onubuogu, commended the judiciary for living up to the expectations of the people.

He said, “The judiciary is at work. I have hundred per cent faith in the Nigerian judiciary.”

Also speaking after the judgment, Nwaogwugwu said, “The judgment is wonderful and very detailed. You know, from the beginning of the judgment, the nitty-gritty, the crossing of the ‘t’ and the dotting of the ‘i’, were all involved. Honestly speaking, it is a good thing and I dedicate everything to God Almighty who saw me through all this while.

“Every good candidate of the party should pay his/her tax as and when due, as it was enshrined both in the guideline and constitution of the PDP. Unfortunately, the person contesting with me did not pay his tax as and when due, then I decided to cash in on that and brought the matter to the law court.

“The only thing about this judgment is that it has given a boost to the political class. If you want to contest an election now, you will look at yourself and ask, ‘have I paid my tax as and when due?’

“Anyone who wants to contest the 2019 election and has not paid by now, definitely, there is nothing you can do, except that you will say ok, let me just work towards it and then start now to pay and of course the BIR will have to be very careful because the tax invoices have their dates and numbers.”

From the judgment, it was gathered that Nwachukwu, who was absent in court, paid his tax for 2013, 2014 and 2015 around September 2016.

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