A High Court sitting in Osogbo, Osun State, on Wednesday noted constitutionally, the name, ‘State of Osun,’ does not exist.
The Osun State High Court stated that the state is known as ‘Osun State’ in Nigeria’s constitution.
Justice Mathias Agboola, in his ruling in a case brought before the court by a lawyer, Mr Kanmi Ajibola, against the state government over a personal tax of N5.3m that the state Internal Revenue Service asked him to pay, said it amounted to ‘artistic colouration’ when ‘Osun State’ is referred to ‘State of Osun.’
The lawyer approached the court for review over the tax demanded from him which he said was punitive because he usually held opposing views to those of the former governor of the state, Rauf Aregbesola.
He also called on the court to declare the law upon which the tax was based as illegal, since the law was passed by ‘The House of Assembly of State of Osun,’ a body unknown to the constitution.
The defence counsel. M. Popoola, in his pleading, called on the court to strike out the case for lack of jurisdiction.
Justice Agboola in his judgement noted that lawyers should be wary of legal implications of referring to Osun State as the “State of Osun”.
He, however, upheld the submission of the defence that Ajibola did not seek all necessary means of settlement before approaching the court.
He further held that Ajibola should seek redress through other necessary procedures laid down by the tax law, adding that should such failed, the plaintiff should return to court.