Court Remands Emefiele In Kuje Prison

Mohammed Shosanya
Justice Hamza Muazu of High Court of the Federal Capital Territory has remanded the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, in Kuje prison pending the determination of his bail application.
He ordered that Emefiele be kept in prison custody until November 22, when the court will deliver a ruling on his bail motion.
The order was sequel to the objection to the bail application raised by Rotimi Oyedepo, counsel to the Federal Government.
Emefiele’s lawyer, Mathew Burkaa SAN, moved the bail application at Friday’s sitting.
After taking arguments for and against the bail application, Justice Muazu said a bench ruling could not be delivered in view of the plethora of authorities cited by the two parties.
The Judge said he needed a time to study the authorities and peruse through the exhibits supplied by Emefiele to support his request for bail.
IBEDC Ranks Kwara Highest  In Power Facility Vandalism    

 Mohammed Shosanya
Kingsley Achife, Managing Director/ and chief executive officer, Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company, IBEDC,says Kwara ranks tops among states where the company recorded highest rate of vandalism of its facilities.
He lamented poor attitude to payment of bills in the state.
The power company covers Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Kwara and parts of Niger, Ekiti and Kogi States in terms of electricity supply.
Achife,who spoke on Thursday during the commissioning of 1x15mva, 33/11kv injection substation at Budo-Osho along Taoheed Road, Ilorin,disclosed that the new installation has the capacity to power 16, 000 urban roads or an equivalent of 25, 000 rural households.
He explained that the new infrastructure is part of IBEDC’s  ongoing efforts to enhance power supply infrastructure in its service areas.
The injection substation will play a pivotal role in ensuring reliable electricity supply to Ilorin’s GRA suburbs like  Ebudo-Esho, F-Division, Tanke, Bubu, Oke-Odo, and the Basin,he said.
He expressed  displeasure that many staff of the company have suffered series of unfortunate incident like kidnapping, harassment among others.
He said the company also recorded highest number of vandalism in Kwara State.
According to him,”Kwara State is a place we record the highest number of vandalism. A lot of security incidents have been recorded.  Places like New Bussa, Pategi and part of Kogi State.
“We suffered kidnapping, harassment of our workers, and beating, that need to stop. Last month alone, we recorded about 20 cases of vandalism”.
“We want the communities to help us in this regard, energy theft is something that actually does a lot of harm to all us because it keeps the government to force to increase the tariff.
“So, if we can stop that and more people willing to participate, instead of stealing it, then the cost of energy will come down”
He also explained that power Distribution Companies (DISCOs), by their agreement with federal government, are not allowed to charge high tariffs from customers.
He added that IBEDC is committed to provide a reliable and standard electricity to boost economy of the state and make life meaningful to the people.
Court Sacks  Zamfara Governor      

Mohammed Shosanya
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has declared the March 18, Governorship election in Zamfara State which produced Dauda Lawal as the elected governor, inconclusive.
In a judgement on Thursday, a 3- man panel of Justices of the appellate court unanimously voided and set aside the declaration of Lawal of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP as the lawfully elected governor.
In a lead judgement read by Justice Sybil Nwaka Gbagi, the panel ordered that fresh election be conducted at Maradun Local Government Area of the State and in other areas where elections were either cancelled or did not hold at all.
The  court maintained that the use of IREv information to declare Lawal as governor in the absence of polling units results “were unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional.
Court Remands Three Monarchs Over Alleged Involvement In Murder Of Rivers DPO            

Mohammed Shosanya
A Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has remanded the king of Igbu Akoh Kingdom, His Majesty, Eze Cassidy Ikegbidi, two other monarchs in the area, as well as other defendants.
Their detention follows the  murder of a former Divisional Police Officer of Ahoada East, SP Bako Angbashim.
 Justice Sika  Henry Apirioku,who denied an oral bail application by the defendants’ counsel, ordered that all defendants  be remanded in the Port Harcourt maximum correctional centre, before adjourning the matter till November 21 for plea and bail consideration.
The defendants,who faced several charges bordering on murder, conspiracy to commit murder, cultism, kidnapping among others, were arrested by the Police in connection with the killing of SP Bako Angbashim.
The former Ahoada East DPO, Angbashim, was killed in Odiemudie community forest by a wanted cult kingpin known as David Gift aka 2baba and his gang in September 2023.
When the defendants were arraigned in court by the Police on Thursday in the suit marked PHC/3208/CR/3023, counsel for the 1st to 10th defendants, Uchechukwu Igbegiri, prayed the court to grant the defendants bail.
The prosecuting counsel and acting Police O. C. legal, SP Enyiyepere Sikpi, opposed the bail plea by the defendants’ counsel, stating that the charges were grievous.
The charge sheet sighted by our correspondent contained His Majesty, Eze Cassidy Ikegbidi as the 1st Defendant, while two other monarchs, His Royal Highness Eze Kilvine N. Amugwo and His Royal Majesty Dr. Felix E. Otuwarikpo were the 37th and 38th defendants respectively.
The acting Police O. C. legal and prosecuting counsel, SP Enyiyepere Sikpi, told journalists outside  the  courtroom that the defendants were remanded following the prosecution’s opposition to their oral bail application.
He said:”What transpired in Court today was that the defendants were arraigned and their bail application was raised and we opposed it, the court seeing reasons refused the bail and remanded the defendants.
“The case is adjourned to 21st of November, 2023 for trial, the defendants were charged for attempted murder, murder, cultism and two other offences.”
Counsel for the 1st to 10th defendants, Uchechukwu Igbegiri, said he was going to perfect the defendants’ bail application before the next adjourned date
He added:”This is a high court and an application cannot be done orally, especially when the charges are serious like murder, robbery and cultism.
“So we have to go and file our bail applications for the accused persons, this is a High Court, a court of superior jurisdiction, so seeking for bail will be by way of motion and that is what the court has advised us to do and that is what we are going to do.”
Senate Rejects Bill Seeking To Legalize Constituency Projects For Lawmakers           

Mohammed Shosanya
The Senate has rejected  a bill seeking to provide an Act to provide for constituency and other special projects in the annual budget of the Federation and for Related Matters.
It however  advocated an increase in the amount given to lawmakers as funds for the Constituency Projects.
The contentious bill which was sponsored by Senator Babaginda Hussaini (APC, Jigawa North-West) was stopped  at plenary as it failed to scale through to second reading.
Leading the debate, Senator Hussaini explained that the constituency project is not peculiar alone to Nigeria, as according to him, it was an effective way of ensuring equitable distribution of development across the country.
He added that it helps to draw governance and the dividends of democracy closer to the grassroots.
The lawmaker explained that: “The provisions of this Act shall apply, as more specifically Object and purpose of the Bill provided for in the Act, and shall ensure that specific portions of the Federal Annual Budget are devoted to the  constituencies for infrastructural development, wealth creation, social development and the fight against poverty at the Constituency level.
“The list of proposed projects to be covered by this Act shall include only Projects on either the Exclusive List or those on the Concurrent List to obviate against any breach of Constitutional Provisions.
“The member shall submit the project proposal to the Appropriation Committee for input into the Budget.”
Senators,who supported the bill include Wasiu Eshinlokun (APC, Lagos Central) and Kawu Sumaila (Kano South).
Senator Mohammed Monguno said: “As a member of the House of Reps, I got 100m which cannot do anything with the level of inflation ongoing in the country. In some places like Kano, lawmakers don’t get up to N70m because of their numbers.
He added:“I am now in the Senate, and I don’t know how much I will get, some people said I will get 100m/200m, I don’t even know but that amount is grossly inadequate.
“I fully align myself with the fact that a part of the constituency would be budgeted for constituency projects.”
Senator Abdul Ningi (PDP, Bauchi Central) corroborated the argument, explaining that the Constituency Project was one of the reasons why many lawmakers didn’t return to the National Assembly.
On his part, Senator Victor Umeh (LP, Anambra Central) insisted that the issue of constituency projects is not within their purview as lawmakers and that it is the duty of the executive.
Umeh warned that if the lawmakers wanted a legal framework for the constituency project, they would be required to amend the constitution.
He said, “I know that this bill would be popular among members because, among the constituents, we have been erroneously judged by what governors or executive can do in the states and constituencies.
“This bill seeks to infringe on the constitution which is very clear on the functions of all the arms of government.
“To do this, we would have to alter the constitution because this is not one of the functions of the legislature.”
“It is because of the pressure we have been subjected to and due to the understanding of the law, we have been able to agree on what we call the Zonal Intervention Project.
I know the Senate President said that he would intervene in the funds available for what we call the Constituency project.”
Contributing to the debate, the Deputy Senate President, Jibrin Barau said “the Senate operated under our constitution and this constitution is very clear on the role of the National Assembly and this is not just peculiar to our system of government; we have a similar situation in the United States.
“They also have projects that are; they are allowed to take projects to their various zones, constituencies, and so forth.
“There is no law created outside the constitution because the power of the purse resides within the purview of the legislature.
“Now, what is needed here, and which has been done since 2007 is for the president and the legislature to have a compromise.
“Normally, the appropriation process is full of negotiations and compromises, so what is needed in every appropriation process is negotiation.
“Yes, we agree we have a certain amount of money that is being provided now, we need more, so we negotiate with the executive and the attitude of leaders is different.
“Former President Olusegun Obasanjo did not go with us initially but later, he saw reason and he began to soft-pedal on his stance.
“There was the period of the late President Yar’Adua, he agreed and saw reason and looked at the constitution very well and he understood the fact that the power of the purse resides in the National Assembly.
“Then, a certain amount of money was set aside and from then things have been going smoothly.
“When we had a problem with former President Buhari, he refused to release the money and the implementation was very poor.
“However, when the former Senate President, Senator Ahmad Lawant was elected and we had this very sound correlation with the executive, we had 100% implementation.
“As we speak, the present President has already approved for release; 100%. Yes, funds have been released, 100%.
“I don’t think we need this Act. Already, the power is given to us here. If you want it to be 200 billion, we can go and negotiate with the president and if the funds are available, so be it.
“Certain improvements have been made and we are doing very well. So, what I think we need to do is to sit down with the executive.
“Any time we want to make sure that the money is improved upon, we negotiate, not only this, but all  aspects of the budgeting process are based on negotiation, so we have no need for this law.
“Senate, however, had to rely on the institutional memories of the likes of the immediate past President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan who advised his colleagues to approach the issue with tact and wisdom -through dialogue and negotiations with the executive arm of government.
“While it is true that on paper lawmakers have the power of the purse, the execution of the project lies in the hands of the executive arm of government through various ministries, Departments, and Agencies that should be lobbied.”
Effectiveness Of Taxation As A Fiscal Policy Tool In Nigeria

By Zira Maigadi
Simply put, taxation refers to a compulsory charge, fees or levies imposed by Government on its citizens, and or corporations’ income and properties.
Traditionally, taxation is seen as source of revenue to the Government but is far more than that as it is one of the most effective fiscal policy tools used to stimulating growth and stabilization of the economy.
This paper is aimed at analyzing the effectiveness or otherwise of taxation as economic fiscal policy tool.
Taxation can be classified based on tax base, incidence and rate. Therefore, we can have such as Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax, Consumption Tax, Direct and Indirect Taxes, Progressive, Proportional and Regressive taxes.
As earlier mentioned, the role of taxation is broad and not limited to source of revenue as wrongly perceived. Some of its roles include:
• To raise revenue for government
• To regulate the production of certain goods and services
• To regulate the consumption of certain goods and services
• To control monopoly
• To curb inflation
• To reduce income inequality
• To correct balance of payment issues
• To protect domestic industries
• To control and influence economic and social behaviour
All the above have great impact on the economy as a whole and the ability to balance their competing demand will have a positive impact on economic stabilization.
To have proper understanding of tax imposition and collections, we need to know the basic principles of taxation which includes but not limited to the followings:
• Equality – Fairness in the distribution of tax burden among taxpayers
• Certainty-Tax payable ought to be certain and not arbitrary. The time, amount to be paid, basis of assessment ought to be clear to the tax payer or any independent person.
• Convenience of the mode and timing of payments
• Simplicity-Tax system should be simple, straightforward to understand. This reduces non compliances
• Flexibility- Should be flexible enough to adapt to changing economic environment.
For this paper, our attention will be on the effect of taxation as a fiscal policy tool on the economy. It is a well-known fact that tax is the financing side of fiscal policy.
When taxes are increased, the disposable income of individuals are reduced which leads to reduced aggregate demand and thus slows production due to low level of demand.
As for corporate organisations, the higher the tax level, the lower the funds available for investment and expansion of production. In this case where the economy is hyper growing ( boom) and the need to control such growth for sustainability, tax increases as a fiscal policy could be used.
On the other hand,where the economy is in depression, expansionary fiscal policy is to be adopted through reduction in taxes leading to increased disposable income and aggregate demand.
Unfortunately, our tax system is arbitrary and on stand alone sole aim of raising revenue and getting as much as possible collection cost running into billions.
Burden of tax otherwise known as shifting of tax burden is so common in Nigeria such that aims of such taxes are eroded by the ripple negative effects on the citizens.
 A good example is the Vat tax, sales tax or even consumption tax. Once imposed or increased, producers and businessmen often pass on the entire tax to the final consumers. Where there is no substitute, consumers are forced to buy at a higher price resulting in a reduced purchasing capacity and welfare. It also widens the inequality in the society.
Multiple taxations- By far this is the most devastating effect on the economy. The regime of multiple taxation in Nigeria is better imagined than known. Some state Government do not even recognize tax clearance from another state and once you have any official transactions, you are required to pay a flat rate tax irrespective of the tax clearance you got from your state!
Equally too, Local Governments use thugs to harass and maim citizens even on federal highways in the name of raising revenue. This is prevalent even in the FCT. It is has even become a crime to use Hilux within Abuja as you must pay at least 35k to the Area Council.
Sadly, most of these funds raised are never accounted for. In some Local Government, the internally generated revenue is used by the Chairman as upkeep allowance
Rigid tax laws application: This is in respect to the Federal inland revenue services and the various State Revenue Boards. Nigeria has witnessed spiral inflation over the years. Example in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry, where price of PMS shot up from =N=N97 to =N=650 per liter while the margins are either reducing or at best constant.
However, the tax authorities will wickedly apply tax on turn over. Simple example will suffix. A trailer load of PMS 50,000 liters. The turnover at 97 is =N=4,850,000; with a taxable income of approximately =N=50,000. Tax at a rate of say 30% would be =N=15,000 (30% of 50,000) while on turnover at 0.5% is =N=24,250.00. the tax authorities will go for the higher which is calculated on turnover.
However, with increase in PMS price to=N=650, the new turnover in 2022-23 would be about =N=32,500,000 and minimum tax at .5% is=N=162,500! An increase of over=N=138,250 and the business could not make such profit. Tax authorities knowing this loopholes negotiate with taxpayers to the detriment of the economy and the business entity.
In accounting,there is a principle of inflation accounting that entails reflecting the current numbers in hyperinflationary business environment which would have taken care of the tax.
This is not done by the taxation authorities in Nigeria. While revenue to Government is increasing, businesses are grounded and if not well managed will lead to recession!
Collection of tax as a target driven process. All the Nigerian MDA involved in collecting revenue one way or the other have turned into commercial banks of yesteryears where deposit mobilization targets were given as a pre-condition for promotion. This contributed in no small in the collapse of the banks witnessed in 90s.
In the same principle, the rate at which MDAs and tax authorities drive tax and revenue collection have made useless the very canon and foundation of good tax system. Government should be increasing the tax base and not over taxing existing taxpayers to increase revenue!
In the main therefore tax system in Nigeria at all levels are geared towards raising revenue for government and individuals relegating to background the fiscal policy and stabilization role. This explains why monetary policies are not effective as the fiscal policies are counterproductive.
To mitigate against these serious situations the followings areas are recommended for consideration.
1. Targets for taxation and revenue generating authorities should be discontinued and let the tax laws be followed to the latter
2. Checkmating corruption and corrupt tendencies in the entire tax system applying instant punitive measure to erring staff.
3. The budget of tax authorities should be subjected to approvals by supervisory ministries or organ and not left to them
4. Tax education and sensitization
5. Taxation should be seen a potent fiscal policy tool and not just revenue source to government. Effort should be made to strike a balance.
6. The Joint tax Board should have an enlarged meeting with Governors in attendance and streamline various taxes to eliminate multiple taxes.
Though tax is a desirable source of revenue to Government, the negative impact of arbitrary taxes and multiplication of taxes have so far outweighed the benefits. Government should consciously balance the competing roles of taxation in the economy particularly its fiscal policy tool.
Zira Maigadi,was the former MD/CEO of African Petroleum Plc and Sahara Oil and Gas