N50bn tax case gets messy as RIRS initiates contempt proceedings with jail risk against NDDC top 4

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The N50bn tax case between the Rivers State Internal Revenue Service (RIRS) and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) seems to have got messy as contempt proceedings have begun in Port Harcourt to commit top members of the interventionist agency to jail for contempt of court.

The NDDC was accused of unsealing its premises without court order whereas the sealing was done with court order over N50bn tax demand. The initiation of contempt proceedings confirmed to BusinessDay by the RIRS executive chairman, Adoage Norteh, is part of Suit No. OHC23//2019: RSBIR vs NDDC, Prof. Nelson Brambaita, acting managing director, Chris Amadi (acting executive director finance and administration), Adjogbe Samuel (acting executive director project), and Kaltungo Moljengo, director of legal services.

Contempt breaches do not carry fine but jail sentences. This may become an issue in a case between a PDP state and the APC-controlled federal agency. There is already feisty relationship between the Rivers State government and the NDDC, but the executive chairman has always appealed to observers to divorce the tax matter from politics.

Details available to BusinessDay indicated that following an application by the Rivers State Board of Internal Revenue (RSBIR), the High Court of Rivers State has granted the service of Form 49, order of committal on Brambaifa, the Ag MD; Chris Amadi (acting executive  director, finance and administration); Adjogbe Samuel (acting executive director, project); and Kaltungo Moljengo (director, legal service), all of NDDC by substituted service over alleged disobedience of the order of the court.

According to the affidavit filed by RSBIR earlier, Form 48, notice of consequence of disobedience of order of the court had been served on the Acting MD and the other three officials of NDDC and the events that gave rise to the contempt proceeding are as … Read More...

Rivers sets July 1 rollout date for informal tax drive

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Rivers State Internal Revenue Service (RIRS) has set July 1, 2019 as a final plan and rollout date for the rollout of the state’s much-talked about informal sector tax drive. The state has also completed tax delineation of the state into tax zones.

The executive chairman of the RIRS, Adoage Norteh, who broke the news weekend at a full meeting with stakeholders at the Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, said the Nyesom Wike administration had made it clear in launching the tax drive in the informal sector. The executive chairman said he was determined to make Rivers State move into informal tax regime without violence and chaos.

He announced the formation of a committee to join the RIRS and review the policy and make suggestions.

Speaking at the meeting, Norteh told the over 300 tax group leaders that the market and business unions would help to make the drive seamless and without rancour. He said the members would represent the opinions of the informal business people and may help in collection by submitting list of their members.

He announced that the union leaders might get some commission for their effort instead of giving the money to tax consultants.

He however made it clear that the RIRS would not concede the task of tax assessment and collection to touts or untrained groups. He asked for collaboration instead.

The RIRS at the meeting forged an alliance with trade groups to fight touts. Norteh said he was determined to reduce or eliminate revenue touting in the state. He marvelled at the lamentations of groups who recounted encounters with touts that had since printed RIRS receipts and collected money in the name of the government using youth bodies, councillors and others.

He educated them once again on critical issues that … Read More...