A Lagos High Court in Igbosere on Thursday fixed October 10 to resume the trial of Nollywood actress and producer, Monalisa Chinda-Coker, for alleged tax evasion.
The trial should have resumed on June 5 but proceedings were stalled due to the Eid-el-Fitr holiday.
Chinda-Coker is facing a two-count charge of failure to file annual tax returns and pay income tax on her company, Monalisa Code Productions, for six years.
According to the charge, Monalisa Code Productions operates its business in Lekki, Lagos State.
Count one reads: “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).”
The particulars of the count stated that Chinda-Coker “of Monalisa Code Productions, being a taxable person in Nigeria and carrying on business at… Lekki… failed to furnish and file tax returns on your personal income for the years 2011 to 2016.”
Count two reads: “Failure to pay income tax, contrary to Section 56 of the Lagos State Revenue Administration Law of 2006.”
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 and Associates, refuted allegations of tax evasion.
She said all businesses from which she earns income are based in Port-Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
The statement added: “Mrs Chinda-Coker further states that it is only her foundation, known as Arise Monalisa Foundation, that is based in Lekki, Lagos. The body is a non-profit organisation and thus does not pay tax by law.
“Mrs Chinda-Coker states that sometime in 2016, when 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 workers that only a non-profit organisation was operating there.
“They advised that even though the business is non-profit, the head of the outfit should pay some tax based on self-assessment.
“Based on the advice, she approached a bank and on self-assessment basis paid N100,000.00 for two years to the LIRS. She has also issued a tax card.
“Mrs Monalisa Coker hereby restates for emphasis that the 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 LIRS with this information for necessary clearance.”