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Alleged Tax Evasion: Again, Court Orders Arrest Of Former Super Eagles Captain, Jay Jay Okocha Wanted

By Francis Iwuchukwu, Lagos 

Justice Adedayo Akintoye of a Lagos State High Court sitting in Igbosere, Nigeria, today issued another bench warrant for the arrest of former Super Eagles captain, Austine Jay-Jay Okocha.

The judge arrived at the decision after entertaining arguments that the former Nigerian football star had yet to liquidate his alleged tax debt owed the Lagos State Government. 

Lawyer to the Lagos State government, Y. A. Pitan, intimated the court that Okocha had visited the Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) office, but failed to settle the 2017 income tax evasion charge out of court. 

This is the third time the judge is issuing a bench warrant against Okocha.

It would be recalled that the bench warrant was originally made last January 29.  

Like in previous proceedings, Okocha was neither in court, nor represented by a lawyer when the case was called. 

Pitan had then notified the court of steps the prosecution had taken to effect the arrest warrant. 

According to her, “The LIRS informed us that the defendant (Okocha) visited their office. 

“He went there to reconcile accounts. He hasn’t settled yet.”

Pitan begged the court for more time and this made the judge to adjourn till October 10, 2019.

The Lagos State government had informed Justice Akintoye that  Okocha has failed to appear in court since October 5, 2017, when the case first came up. 

It had instituted a three-count charge against Okocha on June 6, 2017, accusing him of: 

“Failure to furnish return of income for tax purposes with the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service contrary to Section 94 (1) of the Personal Income Tax Act Cap P8 Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004 (As Amended).

“Failure to pay income tax contrary to Section 56(a) and (b) of the Lagos State Revenue Administration Law No. 8 of 2006.Failure to furnish return of Income for tax purposes with the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service contrary to Section 94(1)of the Personal Income Tax Act Cap P8 Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004 (As Amended).”

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