Truck drivers sue AGF, 36 states over alleged excessive taxation

Heavy Duty and Haulage Transport Association of Nigeria has asked the Federal High Court to compel the Attorney-General of the Federation to stop roadblocks and collection of tax, levies or fees from their members.

The association equally wants the court to compel the 36 states as well as the Federal Capital Territory to stop same.

The association filed the suit on Tuesday in Abuja through its counsel, Mr Abel Ozioko.

Joined as defendants in the suit are the 774 local government areas in Nigeria through the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) and the National Freight Haulers Association.

The truck drivers are asking the court to determine whether, by the provisions of items 59, 62(a) and 63 of Part 1 of the Second Schedule of the 1999 Constitution and Sections 2 (2) and 3 of the Taxes and Levies Act, the states and local governments are prohibited from mounting roadblocks for the purposes of tax collection.

The truck drivers attached newspaper publications which decried the extortion and harassment of its members on the highways.

The publication also talked about the rising food crises as a result of difficulty faced by their members in conveying food to the various parts of the country.

They are seeking a declaration of the court that the defendants are by the provisions of Sections 2 (2) and 3 of the Taxes and Levies Act, prohibited from mounting roadblocks in any part of the country for the purpose of collecting any form of tax, levy or fee from heavy-duty vehicles and haulage drivers.

“A declaration that by Section 2 (2) and (3) of the Taxes and Levies Act, the defendants are not empowered to collect any form of taxes, levies or fees from heavy-duty vehicles and haulage drivers on any federal highway or federal trunk roads in Nigeria.

“A declaration that the association is entitled to monitor the trucks of its members transporting goods and produce on several highways in Nigeria, to ensure their compliance with all traffic regulations and to avoid diversion of their trucks.

They are further demanding an order restraining the defendants or their agents from multiple taxation or further stopping or hindering the movement of their members in any part of the country.

No date has, however, been fixed for hearing.

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