A Federal High Court sitting in Kano will Friday rule on whether Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr Babatunde Fowler should continue to occupy his coveted seat till December or go home because his tenure lapsed last August.
On Monday, the court heard the originating summons of a lawyer, Mr. Stanley Okwara seeking the sack of Mr. Fowler as the chief tax man.
After hearing all the parties including the preliminary objections and counter affidavits of the defendant, the presiding Judge, Justice Lewis-Allagoa, adjourned to Friday for ruling.
The FIRS Chairman was represented by Chief Paul Erokoro, SAN while the plaintiff was represented by Johnmary C Jideobi.
The Court had last week ordered Fowler to appear before it today show cause, why he should not be sacked for overstaying his tenure which expired on August 18, 2019.
In the originating summon with Suit No FHC/KN/CS/141/2019, the FIRS Chairman was dragged to Court over his continued stay in office after the expiration of tenure.
The Plaintiff filed the suit against Fowler on September 18, 2019 and 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 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 is also seeking 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, is seeking a “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 is also seeking “an order barring Fowler 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 Fowler 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.”
Okwara also asking the court to cause Fowler to obey any other decision that the Court may deem fit to make in the entire circumstances of the case.