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BIG STORY

FIRS Goes After 6,700 Billionaire Tax Defaulters

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The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has identified more than 6,772 billionaires’ tax defaulters whose bank accounts have been screened.

The tax agency would soon go after the bank accounts of defaulting taxpayers who are raking in billions in Nigeria and are not paying taxes.

Mr. Tunde Fowler, FIRS Chairman, said on Sunday in Lagos that all banks in the country would do a substitution on accounts for such identified taxpayers.

“There are over 6,772 of such defaulting billionaire taxpayers that have been identified by the FIRS, leveraging on banks data,” Fowler said.

He noted that most of such taxpayers, who have between N1 billion and N5 billion in their accounts have no Taxpayer Identification Number, TIN, or have TIN and have not filed any tax returns as taxpayers.

“What we have done is what we call ‘’substitution‘’ which also is in our laws which empowers us to appoint the banks as collection agents for tax.

” So, all these ones of TIN and no pay and no TIN and no pay, to the total of 6772 will have their accounts frozen or put under substitution pending when they come forward.

” First, they refused to come forward in 2016, they refused to come forward under VAT and are still operating here.

” So, we are putting them under notice that it is their civic responsibility to pay tax and to file returns on these accounts,” Fowler said.

He explained that all businesses, partnerships, corporate accounts that have a minimum turnover of N1 billion per annum for the past three years were considered.

He said that the law stipulated that before you open a corporate account, part of the opening documentation is the tax I.D.

” From the 23 banks, we have analysed so far, we have 31,395 records, out of which effectively minus duplications we had 18,602.

Some of them have had banking turnover of over N5 billion and have not paid one kobo in taxes. Now the total number of TIN and no pay is 6772.” Fowler said.

He noted that FIRS is also paying closer attention to Audit.

The tax chief warned his staff to be honest in dealing with taxpayers.

He did not spare the FIRS either, even though it had made over N1 trillion over its 2017 collection between January to August by N1 trillion.

(NAN)

BIG STORY

I’II Announce My Next Plan Soon, Ize-Iyamu Speaks After Saturday’s Loss To Obaseki

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The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has said he will soon announce his next line of action after the declaration of Governor Godwin Obaseki the winner of the Saturday poll.

Ize-Iyamu, who trailed the winner with over 84,000 votes, said he was still studying the results and he would make known his plan very soon.

He said this on his Facebook page.

It read, “I hereby thank and appreciate my teeming supporters, who have had to endure many evils including being prevented from exercising their franchise, for their support and determination during the election process.

“I assure you all that I am studying the results along with other party members and will announce the next line of action soon. God bless you all.”

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BIG STORY

14-Year-Old Girl Sent On Errand Raped To Death In Ogun

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A 14-year-old secondary school pupil, Fathia Ojewoye, has been raped to death at the Agbeloba-Oriyonrin area of Abeokuta, Ogun State.

The teenager had on Wednesday been declared missing by her parents, but her corpse was found three days after with some of her personal effects in an uncompleted building in the area.

A source in the area told our correspondent that Fathia was sent on an errand by her mother to refill the gas cylinder around the area, but she did not return home.

The teenager was reported to have been last seen with a young man, while she was going to the gas station.

The young man, who lives around the area, was said to have run away, apparently to avoid arrest.

It was gathered that her corpse was found in an uncompleted building near her grandmother’s residence.

She was reportedly defiled in a brutal way and later murdered by a yet-to-be-identified person(s).

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi, confirmed the incident.

Oyeyemi said an investigation into the brutal killing of the teenager had commenced.

He gave an assurance that the command would ensure that the perpetrators were apprehended soon.

The police spokesman said the corpse had been deposited in the morgue of the State Hospital, Sokenu, Abeokuta.

Oyeyemi added that arrangement was being made to conduct an autopsy on the corpse.

Meanwhile, the Ogun State Child Protection Network, a coalition of non-governmental and civil society organizations, has condemned the incident.

The network, in a statement by its Coordinator, Alfred Soleye, expressed shock over the brutal murder of Fathia.

It urged the police to carry out detailed investigation and accurate forensics on exhibits recovered from the crime scene to ensure that the perpetrators were brought to justice.

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BIG STORY

Family Accuses SARS Officers Of Raping, Killing 28-Year-Old Daughter Four Days After Her Introduction In Abuja, Petitions IGP

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The family of a 28-year-old graduate of the Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu, Ifeoma Abugu, has been thrown into mourning after she was allegedly sexually assaulted and killed by the personnel of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Federal Capital Territory Command, Abuja.

It was gathered that three policemen on September 10, 2020, around 5 pm, stormed the residence of Ifeoma’s fiancé, Afam Ugwunwa, at Wumba village in the Lokogoma area of Abuja to arrest him.

It was learnt that in absence of Ugwunwa, the policemen arrested Ifeoma and took her away.

Our correspondent learnt that all efforts to know the police station she was being taken to proved abortive as she was not found until Ugwunwa got a call the next day that Ifeoma had died and her corpse had been deposited in the morgue.

Ifeoma’s brother, Alex, who spoke to our correspondent on the telephone, said she had just concluded her National Youth Service Corps and was arrested and killed four days after she had her introduction with Ugwunwa in Enugu State.

He said, “I was in Lagos when one of my junior brothers called me that he learnt that SARS arrested our sister and she died in detention. I just came to Abuja today (Sunday) and I have asked some of my uncles, who have been to the police station, and they said that the policemen alleged that they met my sister unconscious on the bed and they carried her to hospital, where she died.

“When I asked my sister’s fiancé what happened, he said he went out and someone called him on the telephone that SARS had arrested my sister and when he came back, he called someone he knew at the SARS office to help in facilitating her release, but the person was unable to do it that night.

“The following morning, he gave the woman money to help facilitate the release, but the woman called back to tell him that Ifeoma was dead. When my uncles saw the picture of her corpse, they saw signs that she was sexually assaulted. We’re waiting for the result of an autopsy to come out to ascertain what happened to her.

“My sister was arrested four days after her introduction in the village and her wedding was slated for December. We want the killers to be brought to justice.”

When our correspondent contacted Ifeoma’s fiancé, he said he was too distraught to talk.

The family’s lawyer, Ifeanyi Mamah, who spoke to our correspondent on the telephone, urged the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to order a proper investigation into the matter.

He said, “She (Ifeoma) had just finished cooking that day, while her fiancé and her friend had finished eating and the friend left, while the fiancé went to see a friend in one of the neighbouring estates, when he received a call from a neighbour that the police had come to arrest his fiancée and she had been taken away and he received another call from Ifeoma that she was been taken away by SARS, but she didn’t know where they were taking her to.

“Ifeoma’s fiancé called a friend of his to help in looking for her and secure her release, but she was not found, only for the fiancé to receive a call the next day that she was dead and her corpse had been deposited in the morgue.

“The family of the deceased have not seen the corpse; the picture we have is the one the IPO snapped and sent to us when she went to the hospital, where her corpse was deposited; from the picture of the deceased, it appeared she was sexually assaulted before her death.

The SARS officers alleged that they met Ifeoma in an unconscious state and that when they got there, there was cocaine on the table and that they only helped to take her to hospital, where she was examined and pronounced dead, but they forgot that people witnessed when she was being taken away.

“We want justice to be served; we want the matter to be thoroughly investigated and assigned to good investigating officers because the IPO that has been handling this matter is not erudite enough; that is why we do not have confidence in them. The officers, who perpetrated this act, must be brought to justice.”

Mamah’s petition to the IG read in part, “The IPO, Inspector Bullus, and DPO Usman informed us at the police station on September 15, 2020, in explanation that the deceased was met in an unconscious state by the officers. This explanation is contrary to the information from residents and our clients are not confident with the way the matter is being handled at the Apo Police Station.

“The SARS operatives, who did the arrest, are still not yet arrested and are freely walking the streets of Abuja. Our clients are not confident that the division will do justice in the matter, and the deceased body is still lying lifeless at Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital. Sir, we appeal that you use your highly esteemed office to ensure that proper investigation is carried out, that the culprits be brought to book and justice done.”

Our correspondent learnt the matter was first reported at the Apo Police Station and later transferred to the FCT Command.

When contacted by our correspondent, the FCT Police Public Relations Officer, Anjuguri Manzah, said he was not aware of the matter and urged the family of the victim to come to the command for further investigation.

“I’m not aware of this incident, but give me time to make enquiries. You can also link me up with the family of the victim so that they can come to the command,” he stated.

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