Appeal Court orders retrial of Ekiti Catholic Church education levy suit
The Appeal Court sitting in Ado-Ekiti yesterday ordered the Chief Judge of Ekiti State to reassign the suit filed by the Catholic Church challenging education tax imposed on pupils by the state government for retrial.
It set aside the judgment of an Ekiti High Court, which struck out a suit filed by the Incorporated Trustees of Catholic Diocese of Ekiti against education tax on technical grounds.
Justice Cornelius Akintayo of High Court 2 had on October 13, 2016, struck out the case on grounds that the claimants brought the case by way of Originating Summons rather than Writ of Summons.
Dissatisfied with the judgment, the Catholic Church filed an appeal against it, arguing that it was unconstitutional for the Ekiti State government to impose education development levy on pupils in public and private schools in violation of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) Law.
The appellate court in a judgment delivered by Justice Paul Elechi yesterday held that the appeal was meritorious and set aside the judgment of the lower court.
Elechi ruled that the High Court was wrong to have struck out the case on grounds of technicalities without considering the contentious issues brought before it.
He, therefore, ordered that the case file be returned to the Chief Judge and be re-assigned to another judge for expeditious hearing in a proper way of filing a Writ of Summons.
He held that the appropriate way to initiate the case was by Writ of Summons, saying that the court will look at the reliefs to determine whether the case at hand was by Originating Summons or Writ of Summons.
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