Two members of a fake tax collection syndicate, identified as Mr. Friday Emmanuel and Mr. Oyedeji Oyekunle have been arrested by officials of the Oyo State Board of Internal Revenue (OYBIR) in Ibadan.
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The duo were nabbed while carrying out their illegal operation around Agbarigo, Onireke Avenue, Ibadan in the branded jacket of the board on Friday by the officials of the state board of internal revenue led by Mr Bicci Alli, its Chairman.
The team was on a tour of the Bodija, Apata and Idi-Iroko markets in the capital city.
The identity cards displayed by the suspects were tagged ‘revenue collector’ with one Joint Tax Board (JTB) consultant.
Items found in their possession include copies of receipts bearing logo and name of the state revenue board, copies of consolidated certificates for trucks, buses, pickups, cars, operational permit clearance certificate, road taxes certificates, driver and conductor’s badges, road user’s permit, stage carriage revenue with JTB packet of used and unused receipts, among others.
The suspects disclosed that they were on appointment with a staff in one of the local government councils in Ibadan who pays them on a 50-50 remuneration basis of whatever amount they generated per day.
They added that they were not on an illegal operation but on appointment as consultants to the board, as reflected in one of the identity cards.
To prove their innocence, the suspects were told to make phone call to their employer, whose name was simply given as ‘Mr Bayo’ who they claimed works at an undisclosed local government in Ibadan, but the efforts were unsuccessful.
The said Mr Bayo initially failed to pick the calls but later told the suspect to come to the Ibadan North East LG.
However, other attempts to call the said Mr. Bayo for a confirmation of his location later saw his phone line not connecting as it was said to have been switched off.
The suspects said “we were employed around March/April 2018 to collect consolidated tax on behalf of the state by one Mr Bayo who we have been trying to put calls through to his line. Though we were not given any letter of appointment to that effect but we were told that we will get a letter from the Commissioner of Police. Up till now, we are yet to receive the letter.
“We are on 50-50 agreement. That means we take 50 per cent of whatever amount we collect. The receipt is N5,000, but it’s negotiable. In case we’re unable to make up to that amount, we have to ensure that we deposit the N2,500 percentage per receipt of the receipt sold.”
Alli after listening to them, the Board chairman ordered that they be handed over the to the police for further investigation.
He emphasised that the government did not send any agent to collect its revenue in whatever format, urging the people not to patronise such agent or make any payment to them. He added that all roadside tax collection was illegal and as such must not be patronised.
Alli urged the people of the state to desist from making any financial payment to any individual in the name of the state government, pointing out that revenue accruable to the state government were to be paid to designated banks.