The Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Babatunde Fowler, has been dragged before the Federal High Court sitting in Kano State over his extended stay in office after the expiration of his tenure.
Presiding judge of the High Court, Justice Lewis Allago, summoned Fowler to appear before the court on October 7, 2019 to give reasons he should not be sacked for overstaying his tenure which expired on August 18, 2019.
After hearing the plaintiff, Stanley Okwara’s counsel, the judge ordered that the defendant be served in Abuja and file their defence within five days.
In the case with suit number FHC/KN/CS/141/2019 presided over by Justice Lewis Allagoa, the plaintiff sought to know whether the continued stay of Fowler in office “was not illegal” having regard to the combined provisions of sections of the FIRS (Establishment) Act, 2007.
The plaintiff, in the suit filed on September 18, 2019, also joined the Attorney General of the Federation as the second defendant.
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In the originating summon, the two defendants were given 30 days to explain why Fowler who was appointed on the 20th of August, 2015, had not ceased to hold office as the Chairman of FIRS after the 20th August, 2019 in accordance with the “decision of the Supreme Court…and having regard to the combined provisions of Sections 3(2) (a), Section 4(a) and Section 11 (a)” of the agency.
The plaintiffs also sought to know whether the continuous stay of Fowler in office “is not illegal in view of the decision of the Supreme Court in Ogbuinyinya & Ors. vs. Obi Okudo & Ors. (1979) All N.L.R. 105 and having regard to the combined provisions of Sections of the FIRS [Establishment] Act, 2007.
In the same vein, Okwara in the suit filed through Johnmary C. Jideobi & Co, sought other reliefs including: “A declaration that the 1st Defendant has ceased to hold office as the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service after the 20th of August, 2019”; and that his continuous stay in the office is illegal.
He further sought “an order barring the 1st Defendant from further holding himself out as, laying claim to or exercising the powers and functions of, the Executive Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service unless he is re-appointed by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“An order directing the 1st Defendant to return forthwith to the Treasury Single Account of the Federation all the salaries, emoluments and such other kindred monetary benefits he has been drawing on the purse of the Federal Inland Revenue Service and file an affidavit of compliance within 14 days after the delivery of judgment in this suit.”
The plaintiff also asked that Fowler be caused to obey any other decision that the court may deem fit to make in the entire circumstances of the case.
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