Catholic church sues Ekiti state governmrnt over tax

– Catholic Diocese of Ekiti has filed a suit restraining the Ekiti government from imposing levies on pupils in its primary and secondary schools

– Diocesan Bishop Most Rev. Felix Ajakaye said he is concerned about the propriety of imposing any development levy on pupils in Catholic mission schools in Ekiti State

Governor Ayo Fayose

In a stop the Ekiti state government’s plan to impose levies on pupils in its primary and secondary schools, the Catholic Diocese of Ekiti has filed a suit restraining the Ekiti government from further demand of the levy.

According to The Nation newspaper, the Church wants the court to determine “if every child of primary school and junior secondary school age in Ekiti State is not entitled to free and compulsory basic education and also determine if “the imposition of education development levy or any tax or levy on pupils and schools in Ekiti State, including the claimants’ schools, by the defendants, does not violate Section 2 of Compulsory Free Universal Basic Education Act 2004 and Section 19 of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) Law.”

The originating summons also wants the court to determine if the defendants could impose education development levy or tax on pupils and schools “without a law validly passed by the House of Assembly”.

Speaking at a press conference over the weekend in Ekiti, Diocesan Bishop Most Rev. Felix Ajakaye said he was “concerned about the propriety of imposing any development levy on pupils in Catholic mission schools in Ekiti State, moreover when our schools are paying various levies and taxes demanded by both the local and state governments”.

Ajakaye expressed dismay at the closure of seven Catholic schools even as some of them are preparing for their NECO examinations.

“The affected pupils are writing exams and government is closing down their schools. That is insensitivity.” The cleric said as a law abiding body, the Church was taking steps to seek judicial resolution of the matter.

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