An Igbosere High Court in Lagos on Monday renewed a bench warrant for the arrest of a former Super Eagles captain, Augustine Okocha, over alleged tax evasion.
Justice Adedayo Akintoye extended the warrant, earlier issued on Jan. 29, following an application made by the Lagos State Prosecutor, Mr Yusuf Sule.
Sule told the court that Okocha was yet to settle out of court a 2017 alleged income tax evasion charge.
The prosecutor said that Okocha had also failed to appear in court since Oct. 5, 2017, when the case first came up.
However, Okocha was not in court and was not represented by any lawyer.
Sule also said that Okocha had made contact with the Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS).
He said: “The defendant is trying to settle, but is yet to make any payment.
“In the circumstances, we will be asking for a further date.”
Granting the application, Justice Akintoye ruled: “Bench Warrant is to continue against the defendant.
“Case is adjourned until May 28 for further directions.”
Earlier, the prosecutor had filed a three-count charge against Okocha on June 6, 2017, accusing him of:
“Failure to furnish return of income for tax purposes with the LIRS, and failure to pay income tax.
“The offences contravene Section 56(a) and (b) of the Lagos State Revenue Administration Law No. 8 of 2006 and Section 94 (1) of the Personal Income Tax Act Cap P8 Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004 (As Amended)”.
Meanwhile, some Nigerians have taken to social media to react to the arrest warrant.
Tax Evasion is a serious matter, it's like working against economic growth of a nation. Big players including Neymar, Ronaldo & Messi have had their shares of Tax Evasion litigations, Jay Jay Okocha should go and clear himself in the court. We love you Okocha, but clear yourself.
— PRAIZ CODEZ (@ally_praiz) April 15, 2019
|Re: Team Okocha Vs Team Carles Puyol Today At 2pm In Uyo. by LordCenturion(m): 5:57am|
Nobody is above the law,instead of him to go sort out the issue,he just dey behave as if “wetin they want do”, this is why Nigeria is not a country yet, they jail many celebrities that commit crimes in advance country,but celebrities here dey enjoy the power of immunity,go to ordinarily South Africa them dey jail any celebrity that Bleep up,both poor and rich people should have equal treatment,if federal government take action against rich people that commits crime,some tribes will stand up,saying nah witch hunt… If okocha get case for Europe,if they born him well, may he no show up for court…. Nonsense
|Re: Team Okocha Vs Team Carles Puyol Today At 2pm In Uyo. by flejnr2: 5:48am|
MAke dem no come arrest okocha for the stadium o
|Re: Team Okocha Vs Team Carles Puyol Today At 2pm In Uyo. by correctyourself(m): 6:29am|
Lagos Govt. Has no powers to arrest him another in state considering the offence, its just a state thing, just like when you fight your friend without injury and he call for your arrest in Lagos and nest day you’re in Uyo because the offence was not committed in Uyo though it depends on the offence.