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Niger Govt sues FG, power companies over ‘N138bn taxes’

Niger State Internal Revenue Service has dragged the Federal Ministry of Power and Nigerian Electricity Liability Management Company before the Federal High Court II, MInna, the state capital, over alleged invasion of tax amounting to N138.1bn between 2017 and 2022.

In two separate suits, the plaintiff asked the court to order the defendants to pay the amount due to Niger State as Ground Rents and Land Charges since 2017.

In the first suit with No. FHC/MN/CS/1/24, the Federal Ministry of Power and Nigerian Electricity Liability Management Company are first and second defendants while Kainji Hydro Electric PLC and Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited are third and fourth defendants respectively.

Subsequently, the second suit with No FHC/MN/CS/02/24 has Federal Ministry of Power and Nigerian Electricity Liability Management Agency as first and second defendants while Shiroro Hydroelectric Power PLC and North South Power Company are third and fourth defendants.

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In the first suit, the Counsel to the Niger State Revenue Service, Aliyu Ibrahim Lemu, SAN, told the court that the Federal Ministry of Power, Nigerian Electricity Liability Management Company, Kainji Hydro Electric PLC and Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited as first, second, third and fourth defendants owed the state the sum of N116,133,882,800 as Ground Rents and Land Charges yet to be paid since 2017.

However, the counsel for the plaintiff in the second suit, Mohammed Ndayako, SAN, said the Federal Ministry of Power, Nigerian Electricity Liability Management Agency, Shiroro Hydroelectric Power PLC and North South Power Company owed Niger State the sum of N21,970,920,100 as unpaid Ground Rents and Land Charges since 2017.

When the matters were mentioned for the first time, Lemu, the counsel for the plaintiff in the first suit, told the court that only the 4th defendant was present in the court.

The Counsel for the plaintiff in the second suit, Barrister Mohammed Ndayako, SAN, however said none of the defendants was in court.

Hearing on both applications, Justice Abdullahi Muhammad Dan-Ige, adjourned the matter till February 19, 2024 for further mention and ordered that defendants be properly served.

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