Court orders Nollywood actress Monalisa Chinda arrested for alleged tax evasion

A Lagos State High Court sitting in Igbosere has renewed the warrant of arrest earlier issued against Nollywood actress, Monlisa Chinda-Coker for alleged tax evasion.

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

At Monday’s 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 to July 5.

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

The State alleged that the a actress repeatedly failed to honour a court summons.

The application for her arrest stems from a two-count charge accusing Monlisa 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.

Prosecution counsel, Y. A. Pitan, had on January 21 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 court’s 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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