OCTEA And The Sierra Leonean Blind Justice System.
Edited by Pormasu Takorfai….
OCTEA evades Sierra Leonean taxes under the watchful eyes of Anti-Corruption Boss, Joseph Kamara. They are operating a Mafia-style organization in Sierra Leone. The country’s High Court Justice Alhadi says, OCTEA is not a registered company in Sierra Leone and therefore not obliged to pay taxes but were encouraged and authorised to register in Sierra Leone.
They operate an office on Wilkinson Road in Frretown, Sierra Leone, but Justice Alhadi pointed out that there wasn’t enough levelled-taxes against them.
Justice Bintu Alhadi of The Fast Track Commercial Court ruled yesterday in Freetown that the Octea Group Limited is not a registered company in Sierra Leone and does not own a mining license to operate in the country nor is it liable to pay property tax to the Koidu City Council.
She gave this ruling in the case between Koidu New Sembehun City Council (KNSCC) and Octea Group Limited as first defendant. The company is registered in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), an offshore haven, and is operating three subsidiary companies registered in the country.
The three subsidiaries, according to Justice Alhadi, are Koidu Limited, Tonguma Limited and Boroma Limited. OCTEA has not established a place of business in the country and the 84 Wilkinson Road office in Freetown is the office address of Koidu Limited and not OCTEA, she said.
To emphasize that OCTEA has no presence in the country, the judge noted that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did not issue license to OCTEA but to Koidu Limited.
“OCTEA is a separate legal entity from Koidu Limited,” she said. Justice Alhadi said that the plaintiff failed to provide any evidence indicating that OCTEA owns a mining license. She asked that OCTEA should consider registering as a company in Sierra Leone.
The agreement has not obligated Koidu Limited to pay property tax to the Koidu City Council. The agreement is valid until the 22nd July 2030, she said. OCTEA is not the owner or occupier of any building in koidu. The companies are exempted from paying all forms of taxes to Koidu City.
The mining lease agreement called Koidu Kimberlite Agreement was signed in 2005. It was subsequently amended and ratified by parliament in October 2010. This agreement gives Koidu Limited a lot of tax exemptions including payment of property tax to koidu City.
The Local Government Act of 2004 stated that companies should pay property tax in the area of operation. But parliament overlooked this and wholly ratified Koidu’s agreement.
Saa Emerson Lamina, the sacked Mayor of Koidu City Council, who sued OCTEA, said after the ruling that anything is possible in Sierra Leone, and Lawyer Saffa Abdulai who represented Koidu City nodded in agreement. This is the second case in the High Court of Sierra Leone establishing that OCTEA is not a registered company in the country and therefore cannot be sued.