Nigeria: Court Orders Jay Jay Okocha's Arrest

Jay Jay Okocha.
21 February 2019

A Lagos Division of the Lagos State High Court in Igbosere has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of former Super Eagles star, Austin Okocha, over tax evasion charges.

Mr Okocha - or Jay Jay Okocha as he is popularly known - has repeatedly failed to appear before the court to answer why he allegedly failed to pay his income taxes.

Adedayo Akintoye, the judge, issued the warrant for the arrest of the former Eagles captain on January 29 and thereafter adjourned until February 19.

However, on February 19, the prosecution had not effected the arrest forcing the judge to, again, adjourn till April 15 and ordering that the warrant be executed by then.

The football star is facing a three-count charge instituted by the Lagos State Ministry of Justice bordering on failure to furnish his income returns and nonpayment of tax.

The state filed the charges through its prosecutor, Jide Martins, in June 2017 and the suit began four months later.

The defendant, however, had failed to appear in court.

After several adjournments without Mr Okocha appearing despite having been served the court papers, Mr Martins prayed the court to issue a bench warrant for his arrest.

According to the prosecutor, Mr Okocha had failed to furnish his income returns for tax purposes to the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service.

Mr Martins also said that the defendant had failed to pay his income taxes.

He said the offences contravened Sections 56 (a) and (b) of the Lagos State Revenue Administration Law No. 8, 2006 and Section 94 (1) of the Personal Income Tax Act Cap P8, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

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