Court fixes Oct 10 in Lagos, Nollywood actress suit over alleged tax evasion

A Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere, yesterday fixed October 10 to resume the trial of Nollywood actress and producer, Monalisa Chinda-Coker, for alleged tax evasion.

The state had dragged the actress to court on two-count charge of failure to file annual tax returns and pay income tax in respect of her company, Monalisa Code Productions, for six years.

The charge against her marked LD/5712c/2017, states that Monalisa Code Productions carries on its business from Lekki in Lagos.

Count one reads in part: “Failure to furnish and file annual tax returns for the purpose of personal income taxation with the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) contrary to Section 94(1) of the Personal Income Tax Act 2004 (as amended).”

At the last hearing of the matter on April 1, Justice Adedayo Akintoye renewed a bench warrant for Chinda-Coker’s arrest, following an application by the Lagos State Ministry of Justice.

The state alleged that Chinda-Coker repeatedly failed to honour a summons ordering her to appear in court for trial since the case began in 2017.

On March 5, the actress, in a statement through her lawyers, Emeka Odikpo & Associates, refuted allegations of tax evasion, adding that all businesses from which she earns income are based in Port-Harcourt, Rivers.

The statement said: “Mrs. Coker further states that it is only her foundation known as Arise Monalisa Foundation that is based in Lekki, Lagos. The said body is a non-profit organisation and thus does not pay tax by law.

“Mrs. Coker states that sometime in 2016, when Lagos Inland Revenue Service, LIRS officials were dropping tax assessments around the premises of Arise Monalisa Foundation at Lekki, Lagos, they visited the premises and were told by the staff that only a non-profit organisation was operational there.

“Based on the advice, she approached a bank and on self-assessment basis paid N100,000.00 for two years to the LIRS. She was also issued a tax card.”

“Mrs. Monalisa Coker hereby restates for emphasis that Rivers State Government is the appropriate body that she is compelled by law to make income tax returns to.

“She has therefore instructed her lawyers and Tax Consultants to approach Lagos State Inland Revenue Service with this information for necessary clearance.”