Northern Nigerian Breaking News

Court dismisses FoI application on Internal Revenue Generation in Kano


By Muhammad Muhammad

The federal high court sitting in Kano has dismissed the Freedom of Information (FoI) application seeking accountability and transparency on the management of public funds being generated by the Kano Internal Revenue Service (KIRS).

The application sought the order of the court directing the Kano state revenue generating agency to supply the plaintiff with sharing formula of commission on IGR between tax consultants and KIRS.

Delivery judgment on the application, Justice Jane Inyang dismissed the application filed by one Ibrahim Garba Maryam on the premise that the court lacked jurisdiction to rule on the subject matter.

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Ibrahim Garba Maryam , well known as IG Maryam, a civil society activist, who had queried the “reckless” management of the state IGR, applied for the FoI act to the Kano Internal Revenue Service (KIRS), demanding detail of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with tax consultants in Kano.

The plaintiff who explained that KIRS paid over N2 billion commission to the said tax consultants as quoted in the state annual financial report 2019 and 2020, claimed the deduction was against the provision of the state extent laws on revenue.

According to the plaintiff, the annual commission paid to tax consultants which amounted to 12 percent of total IGR, should not be more than eight percent as specified under the revenue amendment law, Kano, 2017.

The revenue board was said to have ignored the FoI application submitted by the plaintiff, a development that prompted the complainant to approach the court to compel the KIRS to comply with the FoI request.

Reacting to the court judgment, IG Maryam lamented that, if the Federal court denied jurisdiction to rule on the Act signed into law by the Federal government, doubted if any state court would prevail on such law, especially those that are yet to domesticate same.

He, however, regretted receiving a meritorious award on transparency and accountability from a private organization working on FoI in Nigeria, when citizens could not access the public documents through the FoI Act.

Nigeria’s Federal of Information (FoI) Act was signed into law on May 28, 2011, after a long legislative debate that lasted for 12 years in the country, intended to hold public office holders accountable.

The law was passed to enable private individual access to government information to ensure transparency and accountability. Although the Act is not limited to official documents, the provision of the Act covers drafts, emails, notes, recordings of telephone conversations, and CCTV recordings.

Kano Internal Revenue Generation

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