IMPLICATION OF A STATUTE SPECIFICALLY DONATING JURISDICTION TO A COURT
"The Adamawa State Board of Internal Revenue Law, 2007 Section 39 (1) provides:-
Without prejudice to any other provision of this Law or any other relevant Law, any amount due by way of tax shall constitute a debt due to the State and may be recovered by a civil action brought by the board before the State Revenue Recovery Tribunal.
The law is trite that where a statute had identified a Court and donated to it exclusive jurisdiction over a particular cause of action, the Jurisdiction of other Courts not similarly mentioned appeared to have been ousted. In Nigerian Bank of Commerce and Industry v. Dauphin Nigeria Ltd. (2014) 16 NWLR (Pt. 1432) 90 at 106 Para. B this Court Held that:-
Where a statute has identified a Court and donated to it an exclusive Jurisdiction over a particular cause of action, the jurisdiction of other Courts not similarly mentioned would appear to have been ousted – S.C.C (Nig.) Ltd. v. Sedi (2013) 1 NWLR (Pt. 1335) 230 at 244. Therefore the Federal High Court was not the right court to try the case. On this threshold alone, the claim is one that ought to have been struck out in the court below.
From the decision of the lower Court as shown at Page 188 of the printed record, it revealed that the lower Court read Section 39 of the Adamawa State Board of Internal Revenue Law and Section 78 of the Personal Income Tax (Amendment) Act, 2011 in isolation. This is because it imported an inapplicable statutory provision (the Act) to justify its assertion that the Magistrate Court has jurisdiction to entertain the matter, while the said Act which has been domesticated into a State law (Adamawa State Board of Internal Revenue Law) and which excluded both the High Court as Court of first instance and the Magistrate Court conferred jurisdiction on the Tax Recovery Tribunal. It is important to note that while the Personal Income Tax (Amendment) Act, 2011 governs Federal Taxations; the Adamawa State Board of Internal Revenue Board Law governs Adamawa State Pay as You Earn Tax and prescribes the Revenue Recovery Tribunal as the lawful Court to entertain such State matters."
PER A. M. BAYERO, J.C.A. IN TRANSMISSION COMPANY OF NIGERIA P.H.C.N V ADAMAWA STATE BOARD OF INTERNAL REVENUE
suit no: CA/YL/148/2018
Legalpedia Electronic Citation: (2020) Legalpedia (CA) 01819
Summary Of Fact:
By an amended Writ of Summons, the Plaintiff/Respondent in the Adamawa State High Court sitting in Yola, claimed against the Defendants/Appellants the following, among others: the sum of N18, 007,187.29, being the under deduction and unremitted pay as you earn PAYE of the defendant employees resident within the State for the period 2012-2013, the sum of N1, 800,718.72 being 10% statutory penalty per annum on the above sum. The sum of N23, 229,271.59, being the grand total of the claim; and cost of this suit. The Respondent’s application for summary judgment was moved but was overruled. Leave was granted to the Appellant to defend the suit on the merits.
Trial commenced and in the course of the trial the Appellantfiled a notice of preliminary objection challenging the competence of the suit and the jurisdiction of the court. It was overruled. Dissatisfied with the trial court decision, the Appellant filed this appeal.
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