FIRS: Court To Decide Tunde Fowler’s Fate Oct 11

Dr. Tunde Fowler

The originating summons of Lawyer, Stanley Okwara seeking to remove Dr. Babatunde Fowler from office as the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), was on Monday heard by the Federal High Court sitting in Kano.

Subsequent upon hearing all the parties including the preliminary objections and counter affidavits of the Defendants, the presiding Judge, Hon. Justice Lewis-Allagoa, adjourned the matter to Friday, October 11 for Rulings and final judgment.

The FIRS boss was represented by Chief Paul Erokoro, SAN while the Plaintiff was represented by John-Mary C Jideobi.

Fowler was last week ordered by the Court to appear before it Monday to show cause he should not be sacked for overstaying his tenure, which expired on August 18, 2019.

In the originating summons with Suit No FHC/KN/CS/141/2019, the FIRS Boss was dragged to Court over his continued stay in office after the expiration of tenure. The Plaintiff, Mr. Stanley Okwara, in a suit filed on September 18, 2019 also joined the Attorney General of the Federation as the second defendant.

The two defendants were given 30 days to explain why Fowler who was appointed on August 20, 2015, has not ceased to hold office as the Chairman of FIRS after August 20, 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 Plaintiff also sought to know whether the continued stay of Fowler in the 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.

Okwara, also in the suit filed through John-Mary 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/ordered to obey any other decision that the Court may deem fit to make in the entire circumstances of the case.

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