Government Must Endeavour to Protect the Country’s Tax Regime

In Alleged Jaffer Zeghir’s Tax Evasion Scheme…

Skewed reports have been unjustly insinuating that Leonoil Company is flouting court orders, painting a misleading picture of the company’s compliance with legal obligations. These assertions are not only baseless but also maliciously twisted, aiming to tarnish Leonoil’s reputation. Contrary to these claims, Leonoil has upheld legal standards and vehemently denied any wrongdoing in its dealings with SKM Enterprise’s CEO, Jaffer Zeghir.

The genesis of this controversy traces back to an allegation of tax evasion related to a fuel purchase transaction between Leonoil and Jaffer Zeghir. In this transaction, Jaffer procured 430,000 liters of fuel from Leonoil but only collected 230,000 liters, leaving behind a substantial portion of 200,000 liters. Despite repeated requests from Leonoil, Jaffer adamantly refused to collect the remaining fuel, leading to a price difference owing to Government-mandated price adjustments.

It is crucial to note that this price difference is not profit for Leonoil but rather constitutes tax payable to the Government of Sierra Leone through the National Revenue Authority (NRA).

Instead of resolving the matter in adherence to standard industry practices, Jaffer chose to pursue legal action against Leonoil. Regrettably, the court ruled in Jaffer’s favor, seemingly overlooking the broader implications of their decision on tax laws, effectively condoning a form of tax evasion.

In response to this ruling, Leonoil promptly filed an appeal, emphasizing its standard operating procedure that mandates buyers to cover price differences resulting from Government-imposed adjustments. This protocol is universally applied, extending even to Governmental entities, including State House and Foreign Embassies.

As a matter of fact it is imperative for the public to know that the notion propagated against Leonoil that it is willfully flouting court orders is totally incorrect and misleading. The reality is that an appeal is currently pending and the Appeals Court has yet to commence adjudication on the matter.

Leonoil reiterates its steadfast commitment to compliance with legal obligations, including fulfilling its tax liabilities to the Government without any form of discrimination.

It has also been alleged that Jaffer Zeghir has been making disparaging remarks against some Government officials, including the Ministers of Finance, Trade and the Financial Secretary, often posted on social media and published.

His persistent behaviour of dodging payment of  tax raises the question about whether he has an ulterior motive and could be undermining the efforts of the Sierra Leone Government if not brought to book.

To crown it all it is essential for a separation of fact from fiction and to gain a comprehensive understanding of the true events underlying the dispute between Leonoil and Jaffer Zeghir.

And it must be noted that despite the unwarranted bashing by certain outlets, Leonoil remains unwavering in its dedication to legal compliance and fair business practices.

Leonoil is calling on the Judiciary, the NRA and other relevant stakeholders to do all within their ambit to uphold and protect the country’s tax regime.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here