A Lagos State High Court sitting in Igbosere on Monday renewed a bench warrant it issued on a former Super Eagles player, Austin Okocha, popularly known as Jay Jay Okocha, for allegedly refusing to honour several summons to appear before it to answer why he has allegedly failed to pay his income taxes.
The football star was dragged before the court by the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, on a three-count charge bordering on failure to furnish return of income.
Justice Adedayo Akintoye extended the arrest warrant, originally made last January 29, following an application by the Lagos State Government.
Prosecution counsel, Yusuf Sule told the judge that Okocha had yet to settle out of court, the 2017 income tax evasion charge.
Okocha, who was not in court, was not represented by any lawyer.
The government alleged that Okocha had also failed to appear in court since October 5, 2017, when the case first came up.
At the resumed hearing of the matter on Monday, Sule said Okocha had made contact with the Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS).
He said, “The defendant (Okocha) is trying to settle, but he is yet to make any payment. In the circumstances, we will be asking for a further date.”
Granting his application, Justice Akintoye ruled: “Bench Warrant is to continue against the defendant. Case adjourned till May 28, 2019 for further directions.”
The government 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 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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