Tax Evasion: Court Orders Jay Jay Okocha’s Arrest

Jay Jay Okocha
  • Tax Evasion: Court Orders Jay Jay Okocha’s Arrest

A Lagos High Court sitting at Igbosere has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of former Super Eagles Captain, Austin Azuka Okocha, popularly known as Jay Jay Okocha, for his failure to appear in court several times over alleged tax evasion charges.

The legendary footballer, was dragged before the court by the Lagos State Ministry of Justice for failure to present a return of his personal income tax.

The complaint against the former Super Eagles Captain, was said to be first filed on June 6, 2017, after which the case came up for the first time in court on October 5, 2017, but he failed to appear in court to answer questions on why he has allegedly failed to pay his income taxes.

After several adjournments without him appearing in court, the prosecutor, Dr Jide Martins, read the charges against him citing Sections 56 (a) and (b) of the Lagos State Revenue Administration Law No. 8, 2006, and Section 94 (1) of the Personal Income Tax Cap P8, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004; urging the court to issue a bench warrant for his arrest.

The Presiding Judge, Justice Adebayo Akintoye, had on January 29, issued a bench warrant for the arrest of the footballer and adjourned to February 19, 2019, for him to be produced in court.

The prosecution, however, failed to effect the arrest on the specified date, leading the court to order that the warrant should have been executed on the next adjourned date, April 15, 2019.

Okocha, who largely influenced the Super Eagles team to win the Olympic Gold at the Atlantic Games in 1996, is the first high-profile Nigerian footballer to be dragged before a Nigerian court on allegations of failure to remit personal income tax.

It is expected that if the case against Jay Jay Okocha pulls through, other Nigerians in diaspora who returned to the country, regardless of the number of pages they contributed to Nigeria’s success story, will face similar charges.

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