Local Govt Chairman Bags 7-year Jail Term For Stealing Tax Revenue
A High Court in Maiduguri, Borno state capital has sentenced the Chairman of Munguno Local government area, Mallam Shugaba Umar and a staff of Borno State Board of Internal Revenue, Alkali Iman to a-7 year jail term for allegedly conniving to defraud the state of tax revenue running into N1.5 million.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission ICPC, had earlier arrested, investigated and charged the accused to court on the strength of evidence detailing how the crime was perpetrated.
The local government chairman, first accused/convict, had allegedly approved and released the release the sum on February 16, 2005, payable to Borno State Board of Internal Revenue as withholding tax.
He had allegedly received the said money on the pretext that he would pay same to the Board of Internal Revenue in Maiduguri.
According to his case file, the local government chairman had met the 2nd accused/convict and through conspiracy issued a receipt No. BO 537977 for the sum of N1.5m to him, whereas, the duplicate copy of the said receipt bears the sum of N125.00.
By an act considered as fraudulent, the said withholding tax was not paid to Borno State Government, as it was conferred upon the local government chairman who subsequently refused to pay the money while he used the said receipt to retire N1.5m to Monguno Local Government Council.
Both were subsequently charged to Borno State High Court Maduguri on a five count charge for the offences of conferring corrupt advantage, false return, conspiracy contrary to sections 19, 16 and 26(1) (c) and 26 (i) of the Corrupt Practices and Other related offences Act, 2000 respectively.
While delivering its judgement, both the accused were sentenced to 5 years imprisonment without option of fine, on a first count, while on the second count charge, the two were convicted and sentenced to 5 years imprisonment without option of fine.
On the third Count, The 2nd accused person was convicted and sentenced to 7 years imprisonment without option of fine, just as the 1st accused person was convicted and sentenced to 7 years imprisonment without option of fine on the fourth count charge.
On Count five however, the 2nd accused person was convicted and sentenced to 7 years imprisonment without option of fine.
All the terms of imprisonment are to run concurrently with effect from 2007 when the accused were charged to court, according to the judgement.
The ICPC Resident Commissioner on Media and Public Affairs, Mr Folu Olamiti confirmed the Judgement by the Maiduguri High Court.| Article source