The Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has threatened to seal off Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) offices if they continue to “bully” organisations within the state over value-added tax (VAT) payment.
Wike made this known during an interactive session with corporate organisations in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
In August, the court had issued an order restraining FIRS from collecting VAT in Rivers and directed the state government to take charge of the collection.
After the judgment, Wike signed a bill on value-added tax (VAT) collection into law.
On Monday, the court also dismissed an application by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) seeking to stay of execution on the VAT controversy.
Despite this, FIRS asked taxpayers to continue to honour their tax obligations under the VAT Act until the court of appeal or supreme court gives a final verdict on the matter.
The governor had said the judgment of the federal high court had sufficiently addressed the illegality perpetrated by the FIRS.
“An agency of government cannot dictate to a state government. If they will ever dictate but not to a state like Rivers because certainly, we will not allow it, Wike said.
“People say that ‘let heaven not fall’, sometimes I believe that it is important that heaven should come down so everybody will rest.
“We have challenged it (VAT collection in court), and we have no apologies to anybody. And the problem in this country is that no one wants to come out.
“And all these bullyings by FIRS…they should mind the state they are bullying, they should be very careful. You don’t bully states like us.
“I have the political will to do a lot of things. I am not one of those governors that will shy away from this or that. If they continue to bully us… all their offices in the state, I will take them. You should know those that you bully, not states like us… don’t try it.
“I will not be a party to injustice, but let history be that some of us stood up and challenged the illegality. Until we leave May 29, 2023, I will continue to challenge what I think is not right.”
The governor also said that shares allocated to states from VAT collection are inequitable and unjust.
Senegal Records First African Win at Qatar 2022 World Cup
Senegal have become the first African country to win a game in the ongoing World Cup after a 3-1 win over the host nation, Qatar, on Friday.
With Senegal’s win, the hope of the host nation appears to be hanging, as their qualification to the next round is becoming really slim.
Goals from Boulaye Dia, Famara Diedhiou and Bamba Dieng were enough to beat Qatar, who will be eliminated if Group A leaders, The Netherlands, avoid defeat to Ecuador later on Friday.
Unlawful Imprisonment: Kanu Sues NIA DG, Demands N20bn
The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, has sued the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Abubakar, for imprisoning him (Kanu) in Kenya for eight days, before his extradition to Nigeria.
The special counsel to the IPOB leader, Alloy Ejimakor, disclosed this on Wednesday morning, via his Twitter handle, were he posted a pictures containing the suit filed, where he described Kanu’s detention in Kenya as “false imprisonment.”
Ejimakor said the suit was prompted by new evidence gathered implicating the DG beyond the “infamous extraordinary rendition.”
Ejimakor said, “Yesterday (Wednesday) I filed a suit against Ahmed Abubakar, the DG of National Intelligence Agency (NIA) for his eight days ‘false imprisonment’ of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in discovered evidence that implicated the DG/NIA beyond the infamous extraordinary rendition.”
According to the suit, the court gave Abubakar 14 days to appear or be represented in court, adding that failure to show up would mean that judgment would be given in the DG’s absence.
The suit filed in the High Court of Abia State reads in part, “You are hereby commanded that within 14 days after the service of this Writ on you inclusive of the day of such service, you do cause an appearance to be entered for you in the Umuahia Judicial Division of the High Court in Abia State in an action at this suit of Mazi Nnnamdi Kanu….and take notice that in default of your so doing, the claimant may proceed therein and judgment may be given in your absence.
“The claimant’s claim is for (i) A declaration of this Honorable Court that the defendant’s arrest of the claimant and his imprisonment of the claimant at said location in Nairobi, Kenya amounted to false arrest and false imprisonment.
“(ii) A declaration that the defendant acted in bad faith and/or abused his public office in falsely imprisoning the claimant at the said location in Kenya. (iii) An order of this Honorable Court directing the defendant to pay the claimant the sum of N20,000,000,000.00 (Twenty Billion Naira only) being general and exemplary damages…”
This comes just few days after Kanu’s N20bn suit against the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami was thrown out by the Federal High Court in Abuja.
The Story Behind Peter Obi’s Grounded Plane in Lagos
There was a mild drama at the Lagos airport on Wednesday when supporters of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party and some party chieftains were prevented from boarding a campaign plane for their rally in Ibadan, Oyo State capital.
The Deputy Director-General and Campaign Manager for LP Presidential Campaign Organisation, Oseloka Obaze, was the first to raise the alarm following a report that the plane had been grounded.
The former Nigerian diplomat took to his verified Twitter handle on Wednesday to tweet that the ‘Obi-dent aircraft’ was grounded by the ‘powers that be,’ citing “regulatory reasons.”
When contacted, the National Chairman of the party, Julius Abure, confirmed the report.
He said, “We have just finished our rally in Ibadan. It is true that the plane meant to convey our NWC and NEC members for campaign was grounded by the powers that be. But we were not deterred by the plane that was grounded.
“This is what we have been saying about this country. It is not the first time it is happening. They have been using every opportunity to ensure we don’t get to do anything in this country.”
Also, the Head of Media for Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Organisation, Diran Onifade, released a statement to express the PCC’s displeasure at the turn of event.
However, in their response, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority denied the allegations and explained that the plane belonged to a scheduled operator.
It said, “The so-called grounded plane belongs to a scheduled operator i.e. normal commercial flight. The flight crew of the said aircraft returned to the base on their own to check on an issue that developed soon after it took off. This is the normal and right thing to do. What they did is what we termed safety precautionary flight measures. NCAA was not involved in this decision.”
Meanwhile, Obi promised citizens that he would not build on tribalism and religion if elected in 2023 and assured them of his plan to secure the country and unite its citizenry.