Monday, 29 November 2021

Court Nullifies C'River Tourism Laws, awards N500, 000 Fine Against Govt Over Closure of Mr. Biggs


 A state high court sitting in Calabar, Cross River State has rendered null and void, some sections of the Cross River State Tourism Development Laws enacted during Donal Duke's administration as governor of the state. Stating that the laws collided with some provisions of the Federal laws. 

In a judgment delivered recently, in suit No. HC /229/2019, between U.A.C ff Nigeria Plc ( which is carried out business under the name of UAC Restaurants – (Mr Biggs ) and five others; Government of Cross River State, Cross River State Board Of Internal Revenue, Attorney General/ Commissioner for Justice, Attorney General of the Federation and Federal Inland Revenue Service who are the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Defendants, the court ordered Cross River State government to pay the Sum N500, 000.00 to Mr. Biggs for illegally closing the fast food  in Calabar in 2007.

Also the court ordered the nullification of Section 2 of the Cross River State Tourism Development Levy as Amended. Law No 5 of 2008 thus making it. While setting it aside stating that the laws  usurps the powers conferred on the National Assembly under section 4 (1), (2), (3), (4), by both the Exclusive and Concurrent Legislative Lists Part 1and 2 of the Second Schedule to the 1999 Constitution ( as amended).

The court again ordered the 1st Defendant (Cross River State Government) 3rd Defendant,(Attorney General of the state and commissioner for justice) to refund the sum of N1, 600,000.00 which the Plaintiff/Claimant paid in protest to forestall distraining of its goods and chattels and closure of its premises anywhere in the state while setting aside Sections 2 and 4 (1) of the state Tourism Development Levy Law (amended ) and made order. 

Another order made by the court is the restraining of the 1-3 defendants, their agents, officers, servants or privies from harassing and intimidating the Plaintiff/Claimant or it's officers, servants in its restaurant or trespassing upon its properties and premises including closing down its operations in the state.