Justice Adedayo Akintoye of a Lagos High Court in Igbosere has renewed a bench warrant for the arrest of a former Super Eagles star, Austin Okocha, popularly referred to as Jay Jay Okocha, over alleged tax evasion, Nigeria news live reports.
The warrant order which was earlier made on 29th January, 2019, was renewed yesterday following an application for adjournment by a lawyer from Lagos State Ministry of Justice owing to Okocha’s absence.
At Monday’s proceedings, prosecution lawyer, Yusuf Sule, instructed the judge that Okocha is yet to settle the case out of courtroom, despite the fact that he had made contact with the Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS).
He mentioned: “The defendant (Okocha) is trying to settle, but he’s yet to make any payment. In the circumstances, we shall be asking for an extra date.”
After listening to the lawyer, Justice Akintoye while adjourning the matter to 28th May, 2019 for additional hearing, additionally ordered the renewal of the Bench warrant issued against the defendant.
“Bench Warrant is to continue towards the defendant. Case adjourned until May 28, 2019 for further instructions”, the judge held.
The Lagos State Government has filed a three-count charge against Okocha on sixth June, 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 Revenue Tax Act Cap P8 Legal guidelines of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004 (As Amended).
“Failure to pay earnings tax opposite to Part 56(a) and (b) of the Lagos State Income Administration Legislation No. eight of 2006.
“Failure to furnish return of Earnings for tax functions with the Lagos State Inner Income Service opposite to Part 94(1)of the Personal Revenue Tax Act Cap P8 Legal guidelines of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004 (As Amended).”
The prosecution alleged that Okocha had additionally failed to look in court since 5th October, 2017, when the case first came up.
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