Nollywood Actress, Monalisa Chinda, might be in hot soup, as the Lagos High Court has ordered her arrest over tax evasion and failure to appear in court.
The Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja has ordered the arrest of Nollywood star actress, Monalisa Chinda, following her failure to appear in court since her trial commenced in 2017.
When her case was called on Monday for hearing, neither Monalisa nor her lawyer was present in court.
The prosecuting counsel, Babatunde Sumonu, however informed the judge that the bench warrant served the Rivers State born actress is yet to be effected.
"The bench warrant is to continue," said Justice Akintoye, after listening to the prosecuting counsel. Recall the judge had, on January 21, 2017, ordered her arrest following a suit filed by the Lagos State Ministry of Justice.
But since then, Monalisa has refused to appear in court, which prompted the judge to renew the order on Monday.
Monalisa's offence is coming on the heels of her failure to pay income tax in respect of her Lekki, Lagos based company, Monalisa Code Productions, for six years.
Emeka Odikpo, a lawyer, while speaking on behalf of the actress, noted that it is only her foundation, known as Arise Monalisa Foundation, that is based in Lekki, Lagos.
He added that the body is a non-profit organization and thus does not pay tax by law. Explaining further, the lawyer said that in 2016, the staff on duty informed the Lagos Inland Revenue Service when they visited the premises for assessment that only a non-profit organisation was operational there.
The lawyer stated:
They advised that although the business is non-profit, but the head of the outfit should pay some tax based on self assessment.“Based on the advice, she approached a bank and on self assessment basis paid hundred thousand naira for two years to the LIRS. She has been issued a tax card.
Mrs Monalisa Coker hereby restates for emphasis that Rivers State Government is the appropriate body that she is compelled by law to make income tax returns to.