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Plateau battles tax evaders in court

Plateau Board of Internal Revenue (BIR) yesterday continued her revenue drive in  a Jos Federal High Court haven sued some institutions over  N244 million evaded tax.

The board accused the National Veterinary Research Institute, Vom of evading N147m, University of Jos Demonstration School and Centre for Continuing Education of N27m and N70m respectively.

When the case came up before Justice Ayo Emmanuel, Federal High Court II, the boards counsel, Mr. Philemon Dafi, said that the three institutions and Nigerian College of Forestry deliberately refused to remit all collected monies in their possession to the board.

“My Lord, these un-remitted monies are the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) already deducted from salaries of their employees for some years now but which were deliberately not forwarded to the board. We have no option but to seek redress from this honourable court; several meetings and persuasions could not yield any positive result,” he said.

Responding, Mr. S. T Panwal, Counsel to Natioanl Veterinary Research, said his client had stated the process of Payment before they were sued in court. “My Lord, the research institute has made a part payment of N14 million as sign a of remorse and willingness to offset the said debt.”

Panwal produced the receipt of the amount paid, which was consented to by Dafi.

He pleaded with the court to transfer the case to general cause list for an amicable settlement.

But Dafi objected to the application asserting that the board had earlier exploited that option but did not work, saying, “we don’t believe that option will help matters“.

Emmanuel, after listening to the two parties, adjourned the case to May 2, 2013 for ruling.

Similarly, Mr. Nindin Denden, counsel to the two institutions of the University of Jos, filed a motion asking for an extension of time to file defendants notice of intention to defend out of time.

Dafi, who did not object to the application, applied for permission to move the substantive application.

When the application was argued and responded to, Denden alleged that the centre for continuing education had made some payments to the board.

But when he was asked to produce a proof like the National Veterinary Research Institute did, Denden could not do so.

Emmanuel also adjourned the case to May 2, 2013 for continuation of hearing.

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