Court orders arrest of Nollywood actress, Monalisa Chinda over tax evasion

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A bench warrant was on Monday renewed for the arrest of Nollywood actress and producer, Monalisa Chinda Coker, over a tax evasion charge, by a Lagos State High Court sitting in Igbosere.

Justice Adedayo Akintoye renewed the order for Monalisas arrest following her failure to appear in court for trial, allegedly since 2017.

At Mondays proceedings, neither Monalisa nor her lawyer was present in court.

According to the Prosecution counsel Babatunde Sumonu, the bench warrant was yet to be effected.

The bench warrant is to continue, Justice Akintoye held while adjourning the matter till July 5.

The judge made the original order for Cokers arrest on January 21, following an application by the Lagos State Ministry of Justice.

The state alleged that Coker repeatedly failed to honour a court summons.

The application for her arrest stems from a two-count charge accusing Coker of failure to file annual tax returns and pay income tax in respect of her company, Monalisa Code Productions, for six years.

Monalisa Code Productions carries on its business from Lekki in Lagos.

Tribune Online recalls that on January 21, prosecution counsel, Y. A. Pitan told Justice Akintoye that Monalisa had not appeared in court since 2017 when the charge was filed against her.

The defendant has been served with hearing notice. The proof of service is in the courts file, Pitan said.

Count one of the charges, marked LD/5712c/2017, 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).

The particulars of the count stated that 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.

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