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Appeal Court Orders Retrial of Ekiti Education Tax Suit

The Court of Appeal in Ado – Ekiti on Wednesday ordered the retrial of a suit filed by the Incorporated Trustees of the Catholic Diocese of Ekiti against the education tax imposed on pupils by the Ekiti State Government.
The court ordered parties to go back to the lower court to argue their case on merit .

The church had argued that it was illegal and unconstitutional for the Ekiti State Government to impose Education Development Levy on pupils in both public and private schools in violation of the Universal Basic Education Law.

However , Justice Cornelius Akintayo on October 13 , 2016 , struck out the case filed by the church on the grounds that the plaintiffs /claimants brought the case through originating summons rather than writ of summons .

Dissatisfied , the church approached the Court of Appeal and anchored his appeal on five grounds .
The appellate court in a judgment on Wednesday delivered by Justice Paul Elechi 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 the grounds of technicalities without considering the contentious issues brought before it .
He ordered that the case file be returned to the Chief Judge and be re – assigned to another judge for expeditious hearing in proper way of filing writ of summons .

Elechi held that the appropriate way to initiate the case was by writ of summons , saying it is the reliefs that the court will look at to determine whether the case at hand was by originating summons or writ of summons .

The judge held that “there are serious issues of dispute in the suit at hand , ” hence it could not be initiated by originating summons .
The judge added that by not bringing the suit by way of originating summons was not enough to declare the suit incompetent.

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