An Abuja-based activist, Sesugh Akume, has filed a suit before a Federal supreme court within the nation’s capital, asking it to compel states that outlawed the sale of alcohol to refund the sums received through Value Added Tax imposed on alcoholic beverages.
About 12 states practice shariah in Nigeria. they’re Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Borno, Yobe, Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Zamfara, and Niger. supported shariah, a number of the states prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages and typically hold public events where bottles of alcoholic drinks are destroyed while gambling is additionally illegal.
However, all the states receive VAT collected from alcoholic beverages sold in other states that let the sale of the merchandise.
In an originating motion brought pursuant to Section 1(3), 4(5), 162(3), (4) and 163 of the constitution and Section 6(1) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act, the lawyer put four issues before the court for determination.
Listed as respondents are the Attorney-General of the Federation and therefore the EFCC.
In the case with suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/275/2021, Akume asked the court to work out if the wilful destruction of alcohol bottles wasn’t economic sabotage.
He also asked the court to work out whether it’s a contradiction to destroy bottles of alcohol while taking advantage of VAT from an equivalent product.
Akume also sought six reliefs including an order that the assembly, transportation and sale of alcoholic beverages aren’t forbidden in Nigeria by the Nigerian constitution which any law criminalizing it’s unconstitutional.
The activist is additionally seeking an order compelling the EFCC to work out and publish the extent of the monetary loss incurred by the destruction of alcoholic beverages.
He is also seeking a declaration that, “retaining and utilising any allocation, VAT or any funds distributed by the federal isn’t mandatory as any recipient – state or government – may refund same to the federal or give to others.”
In a supporting affidavit deposed to by the applicant, Akume stated that Nigeria generates huge funds from the assembly and sale of alcoholic drinks, adding that it constitutes the 4th highest VAT revenue within the country.
Akume said between January and September 2019, N31.8bn in VAT was generated from breweries.
He added, “Some states within the country are notorious for destroying alcohol bottles, wasting the content. The Kano Hisbah Board as an example, on Friday March 12, 2020, destroyed 34,000 bottles of various alcoholic beverages.
“The practice continued and on September 27, 2013, it destroyed 244, 151 bottles of alcohol.”
He said besides Kano, Jigawa had also engaged in such practice.
Source:- Punch Ng