An Adamawa High Court Â presided over by Justice Bamare Bansi, has ordered the Bureau for Public Â Â Â Enterprise (BPE) to pay Adamawa revenue board N73.71 million as tax. The sum was tax that accrued to Savanah Sugar Company, Numan, in Adamawa between 2002 and 2008 when BPE bought over the company and later resold it to Dangote Group of Companies.
Under the agreement, BPE was to inherit all liabilities of the sugar company and offset same before re-selling it to Dangote. Records made available to NAN at the Sugar Estate in Numan, revealed that BPE failed to offset the liabilities when it sold the company to Dangote in 2008. Delivery judgment in a suit filed by board against BPE, Bansi said the amount included the N32.90 million as Pay as You Earn (PAYE), withholding tax and development levy.
He announced that the balance of N40.80 million was the interest that accrued between 2002 and 2008 when the company was under the management of BPE.
â€œThe case has undergone a lot of court procedures, including efforts to arrive at an out-of-court settlement but it failed,â€™â€™â€ the chief judge observed. The Judge, however, said that it was at the discretion of board to give a waiver if BPE requested for leniency. Abdullahi Abubakar, Executive Chairman, Adamawa State Revenue Board, described the judgment as an â€œexample of boldness of Bansi in granting the entire prayers of the boardâ€.
Abubakar recalled that in March 22, 2004, BPE having bought over the company invited the board to Abuja and discussed the matter but on Aug, 27, 2004, BPE wrote the board requesting 60 per cent reduction of the total sum. He explained that on Sept. 14, 2004 the board wrote to BPE rejecting its request for reduction of 60 per cent in line with Sect. 82 of Personal Income Tax Act (PITA).
The chairman said that when BPE failed to pay up the liabilities in spite of several entreaties by the board and well-meaning people, the board filed a suit before a Yola Federal High Court, which it declined jurisdiction. He said that on July 31, 2008 the board then sued BPE before Justice Bansi court which granted all the requests made by the board.