The Court of Appeal sitting in Ado-Ekiti has ordered the retrial of a suit filed by the Catholic Church against education tax imposed on pupils by Ekiti State government.
The Appeal Court set aside the judgment of an Ekiti State High Court which struck out a suit filed by the Incorporated Trustees of Catholic Diocese of Ekiti against education tax imposed on pupils by the state government.
The court which refused to consider other grounds of appeal before it ordered parties to go back to the lower court to argue their case on merit.
Justice Cornelius Akintayo of High Court 2 on October 13, 2016, struck out the case filed by the Church on grounds that the plaintiffs/claimants brought the case by way of Originating Summons rather than Writ of Summons.
The church, which was dissatisfied with the judgment, filed an appeal which was anchored on five grounds.
The claimants had contended that it was illegal and unconstitutional for Ekiti State government to impose Education Development Levy on pupils in both public and private schools in violation of the Universal Basic Education Law.
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 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 that 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.
He, however, held that by not bringing the suit by way of Originating Summons was not enough to declare the suit incompetent.
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