A Lagos high court, sitting at Igbosere has renewed a bench warrant issued for the arrest of an actress and producer, Monalisa Chinda Coker, over tax evasion.
The presiding judge, Adedayo Akintoye, renewed the order for her arrest following her failure to appear in court for trial, since 2017.
She adjourned further proceedings till June 5.
When the case was mentioned, neither Coker nor her lawyer was present in court.
The prosecuting counsel Babatunde Sumonu reminded the court that the bench warrant issued for her arrest is yet to be executed.
Consequently Justice Akintoye ordered that “the bench warrant is to continue.”
The judge made the order for Coker’s arrest last January 21, following an application by a prosecutor from the Lagos State Ministry of Justice.
The prosecutor alleged that Coker repeatedly failed to honour court summons.
The application for her arrest arose from a two-count charge accusing Coker of failure to file annual tax returns and income tax in respect of her company, Monalisa Code Productions, for six years.
Monalisa Code Productions carries on its business from Lekki in Lagos.
On January 21, prosecuting counsel, Y. A. Pitan told Justice Akintoye that Coker 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, while making an application for the bench warrant to be issued.
Granting the application, Justice Akintoye adjourned further proceedings till February 2. However on February 2, the court heard that the bench warrant is yet to be executed.
Count one of the charge in suit number LD/5712c/2017, stated that: “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 tax 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.”