Political parties take action against Buhari over 7.5% VAT increase, lament refusal to handover govt to Osinbajo

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The Coalition United Political Parties, (CUPP) has dragged President Muhammadu Buhari to the Federal High Court over what it described as the obnoxious tax regime and hiking of all the prices payable by citizens for government services.

The Federal High Court presided over by Justice Ekwo of Court 5 has since commenced hearing in the matter, which the political parties said is aimed at bringing succor to the already traumatized and impoverished Nigerian citizens who are daily being punished by President Buhari alleged incompetent APC led Federal Government.

CUPP also lambasted Buhari for leaving for the country for Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom without handing government to Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, his Vice, wondering who is going to be taking decisions till next month ending when the President returns.

“We have asked the Federal High Court to determine three questions and which we are optimistic that they all will be answered in our favour as they are all issues of law and public interest,” CUPP’s National Publicity Secretary, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, said in a statement sent to  EO blog on Tuesday.

“For a government to clearly go outside the direct provisions of the law just to suffer citizens and tax them out of existence is condemnable, arbitrary, undemocratic, tyrannical, capricious, oppressive, cruel and indeed must be rejected and resisted.

“Is it not worrisome that a government that has failed for six months to implement a new minimum wage regime which would have barely lifted the purchasing power of workers has since that time increased VAT, agreed to return toll gates, embarked on unbridled borrowing, increased electricity tariff without commensurate increase in electricity supply, uses a quarter of the budget to service debts and imposes other jankara economic policies and wicked taxes all aimed at tightening the economic space of the common citizen while they live in affluence and
extravagance including abandoning governance to unelected hands and junketing from one foreign country to another.

“Today while citizens are suffering and the security of the nation is facing serious challenge the president has left again for Saudi Arabia to attend a no impact seminar from where he will embark on a luxury private trip to the United Kingdom and didn’t deem it fit to hand over power to the Vice President

“We are concerned about Who is going to be taking decisions till next month ending when our Supreme majesty will return? The Nation has been pocketed and the leader behaves the way he likes because the citizens cannot muster the courage to question him. Now he has levied wicked taxes like ancient emperors to the already poor suffering citizens to raise money to cover the resources his incompetence wasted.

“The questions we posed to the Federal High court to determine are; Whether having regard to the combined effect of Sections 1, 4 and 38 of the Value Added Tax Act and Section 4(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended), the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Defendants(Federal Govt President Buhari, Minister of Finance, Federal Inland Revenue and Attorney General) have the powers to unilaterally amend or override any provision of the Value Added Tax Act as it relates to the imposition of chargeable tax rate without going through the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for an amendment of the relevant provisions thereof or the issuance of an Executive Order to that effect.

“Whether having regard to the combined effect of Sections 1, 4 and 38 of the Value Added Tax Act, the act or conduct of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Defendants in unilaterally amending, varying, modifying or increasing the chargeable tax rate of the Value Added Tax as it relates to the supply and consumption of goods and services in Nigeria to 7.5% without following the due process of law is not null void and of no effect whatsoever.

“Whether the 1st and 3rd Defendants in imposing, amending, varying and/or increasing the chargeable tax rate of the Value Added Tax as it relates to supply and consumption of goods and services in Nigeria is not under any primary constitutional obligation to consider the welfare and the wellbeing of the citizenry in line with the fundamental objectives and directives principles of the state policy; thereby making the present 50% increment in the chargeable rate of Value Added Tax obnoxious, capricious, mala fide and illegal. It is on this belief that we have asked the Court for the following reliefs:

“A DECLARATION that the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Defendants do not have the powers to unilaterally amend or override any provision of the Value Added Tax Act as it relate to the imposition of the chargeable tax rate without going through the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for an amendment of the relevant provisions thereof.

“A DECLARATION that the act or conduct of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Defendants in unilaterally amending, varying, modifying or increasing the chargeable tax rate of the Value Added Tax to 7.5% without following the due process of law is null void and of no effect whatsoever.

“A DECLARATION that 1st and 3rd Defendants is under a primary constitutional obligation to consider the welfare and wellbeing of the citizenry in line with the fundamental objectives and directives principles of the state policy in imposing, amending, varying and/or increasing the chargeable tax rate of the Value Added Tax as it relates to supply and consumption of goods and services in Nigeria.

“A DECLARATION that 1st and 3rd Defendants by failing in their primary constitutional obligation of considering the welfare and wellbeing of the citizenry before the imposition, amendment, variation and/or increment in the chargeable tax rate of the Value Added Tax to 7.5% acted unconstitutionally, capriciously, mala fide and illegally.

“AN ORDER OF COURT setting aside the 7.5% increment, amendment, variation or howsoever described in the chargeable tax rate of the Value Added Tax as it relates to the supply and consumption of goods and services in Nigeria.

“AN ORDER OF MANDATORY INJUNCTION restraining the Defendants, whether, by themselves, agencies, ministries, officers, agents or howsoever described from further implementing or in any other manner howsoever carrying out or giving effect to the 7.5% increment, amendment or variation in the chargeable tax rate of the Value Added Tax as it relates to the supply and consumption of goods and services in Nigeria.

“AND FOR SUCH other or further Orders as this Honourable Court shall deem necessary to make in the circumstances.

“We can only call on our dear citizens of Nigeria to bear with us a while as we wait on the Court to set aside this illegal VAT increase so that the prices of goods and services will come back to within affordable rates for citizens.

“This struggle is not about the opposition but about the welfare of the common man which President Buhari and his APC party care less about and have no capacity to fix their welfare. All citizens must join and show solidarity at the next adjourned date to show the world that we are united in action to stop this band of insensitive people from taxing our citizens to death.”

Updated: October 30, 2019 — 7:04 am

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