The Federal Government has directed all account holders in the country to obtain and fill self-certification forms in line with the Income Tax Regulations 2019.
The directive contained in a series of tweets on Thursday stated that each account holder must submit the filled forms in their respective financial institutions.
“This is to notify the general public that all account holders in Financial Institutions (Banks, Insurance Companies, etc) are required to obtain, complete, and submit Self – Certification Forms to their respective Financial Institutions.
“Persons holding accounts in different financial institutions is required to complete & submit the form to each one of the institutions,” it stressed
The government, however, stated that the exercise is part of due diligence exercise mandated by the banks and other financial institutions in line with the Income Tax Regulations 2019.
According to the directive, the forms have been categorised into three: Form for Entity, for Controlling Person (Individuals having a controlling interest in a legal person, trustee, etc); and form for individual
The directive by the government warned that “failure to comply with the requirement to administer or execute this form attracts sanctions which may include monetary penalty or inability to operate the account.”
The Socio-economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the leadership of the National Assembly to withdraw its directives to some banks to unfreeze bank accounts belonging to the former wife of President, Patience Jonathan.
The group in a statement on Sunday said the directives amount to the mingling of the executive and judicial powers in the National Assembly which might lead to a branch of government growing too strong.
“The directives to banks to unfreeze Mrs Jonathan’s accounts amount to the mingling of the executive and judicial powers in the National Assembly. Checks and balances should ideally help contribute to the rule of law and strengthening our democratic dispensation but if one branch of government grows too strong and overreaching the country might be in trouble.”
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The statement which was signed by the organisation’s Deputy Director, Timothy Adewale says further that, “It’s an affront to our constitutional democracy for the National Assembly to turn itself into a tool for checkmating the country’s justice system, especially the prosecution of grand corruption.
“Rather than helping Mrs Jonathan’s desire to achieve justice for what she may consider being violations of her human rights, such directives are doing exactly the opposite and politicising the criminal justice process.”
The Senate had last week ordered that Mrs Jonathan’s accounts should be unfrozen, saying some of the accounts including in eight banks were frozen based on some administrative lapses.