The Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State, Justice Ekaette Obot, has called for an end to the continuous crisis between the state government and local authorities on tax collection.
She charged the judges in the state to come up with insights on how to resolve such disputes and provide an overview of the legal framework for taxes collected by the two organs of government in the state.
Obot stated in Uyo while delivering a keynote address at a 3-day training on taxation for judges, organised by the state Internal Revenue Service in collaboration with the Akwa Ibom State Judiciary.
The keynote address themed, “Contemporary Issues in Tax Administration,” was held at Ibom Icon Hotel and Golf Resort on Wednesday.
“Here, I must say that there is a lot of disputes as to the collection of tax between the state and the local governments because a lot of them when they come to court, they will say, ‘No, it’s the right of the local government to collect’ in view of the constitution and the state will also say the same. So, I will like this to be ironed out at this training,” the CJ said.
She added, “The concept note before us outlines a well-curated training programme to enhance the understanding of statutory and constitutional frameworks governing taxation, empower judges with insights into mechanisms for resolving tax disputes, and provide an overview of the legal framework for taxes collected by state and local governments.
“As participants embark on this training journey, the knowledge gained will enable our judges and magistrates to adjudicate tax-related cases with fairness, impartiality, and adherence to the principles of justice.
“Through continuous training and retraining, we can collectively build a more robust and more efficient tax administration system in Akwa Ibom State.”
While thanking the state IRS for organising the training, the CJ urged resource persons to delve into effective mechanisms for recovery, explore options for tax prosecution, and equip judges with the rudiments of the power to distrain administrative and pre-judicial procedure.”
In his remarks, the Executive Chairman, Akwa Ibom Internal Revenue Service, Mr. Okon Okon, while appreciating the CJ for approving the workshop, noted that judges play a key role in interpreting the law and ensuring fairness in the application of tax regulations, through the justice delivery system.
He expressed optimism that the training will serve the purpose it was intended, as well as open windows for knowledge sharing and ideas on how to improve tax adjudication and administration in the state.
He said, “We have carefully chosen a team of tax experts and experienced professionals who will guide us through the principles of taxation, contemporary issues, precedents and legal procedures.”
“It is my conviction that they will do justice to the various topics slated for discussions in this stream and consequently improve overall justice delivery in tax matters,” Okon assured.