Justice Adedayo Akintoye of a Lagos High Court in Igbosere has renewed a bench warrant for the arrest of a former Super Eagles star, Austin Okocha, popularly known as Jay Jay Okocha, over alleged tax evasion.
The warrant order which was earlier made on 29th January, 2019, was renewed yesterday following an application for adjournment by a lawyer from Lagos State Ministry of Justice owing to Okocha’s absence.
At Monday’s proceedings, prosecution lawyer, Yusuf Sule, told the judge that Okocha is yet to settle the case out of court, even though he 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.”
After listening to the lawyer, Justice Akintoye while adjourning the matter to 28th May, 2019 for further hearing, also ordered the renewal of the Bench warrant issued against the defendant.
“Bench Warrant is to continue against the defendant. Case adjourned till May 28, 2019 for further directions”, the judge held.
The Lagos State Government has filed a three-count charge against Okocha on 6th June, 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).”
The prosecution alleged that Okocha had also failed to appear in court since 5th October, 2017, when the case first came up.