Law

Court orders arrest of ex-Super Eagles star, Okocha over tax evasion

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Justice Adedayo  Akintoye of the Lagos State High Court in Igbosere has renewed her order for the arrest of ex-Super Eagles’ captain, Austin Okocha.

In her ruling on Monday, the judge made the arrest order in favour of the Lagos State Government, which accused the retired football star of failure to pay income tax.

At the hearing, te prosecuting counsel for the state, Yusuf Sule, told the judge that Okocha had approached the government and was trying to settle but had yet to make payment.

Considering Okocha’s absence in court, Sule urged the judge to further adjourn the matter.

While granting the prayer for adjournment, the judge said the warrant, which she first issued on January 29, 2018 for Okocha’s arrest, subsisted.

“Bench warrant is to continue against the defendant. Case adjourned till May 28, 2019 for further directions,” Justice Akintoye held.

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In the three counts filed against Okocha before the court, the Lagos State Government accused 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).”

According to the state, Okocha failed to pay income tax contrary to Section 56(a) and (b) of the Lagos State Revenue Administration Law No. 8 of 2006.

He was further accused 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).”

The prosecution noted that since it filed the charges against Okocha in late 2017, the former football star had neither appeared in court and nor represented by any lawyer.

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