by crossriverwatch admin
The Cross River State government has urged the Police to commence manhunt for one Mr. Xiao Bo, a Chinese national, for allegedly diverting government funds amounting to about N3.8 million to his private account.
Besides, a Chinese quarry company based in Akamkpa Local Government Area of the State, Messrs Brothers Quarry, which employed the runaway Bo has been asked to produce their employee to answer questions from the Zonal Intelligence Bureau of the Nigerian Police.
This disclosure was made by the Acting Chairman of the State Board of Internal Revenue Service and Special Adviser to the Governor on Budget, Dr. Peter Oti when he briefed newsmen in his office.
Oti said the Chinese company, using Bo as an arrow-head, defrauded the state government by not paying the Road Infrastructure Maintenance levy as required by law, and that the said Bo “actively perpetrated the fraud.”
Although Oti agreed that the company has remitted the amount to the coffers of government, he insisted that the company must release Bo “to answer questions over his alleged involvement on charges of fraud and diversion of government revenue.”
“For the purpose of clarity, the amount involved was meant for payment into government of Cross River State Revenue Account No. 2022111580 with First Bank of Nigeria Plc and it is not in doubt that the said Xiao Bo diverted the whole amount into his private account with First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Akamkpa branch.” Oti explained.
He further said, “As we have also noted, this amount even though had been paid back by Brothers Quarry, it is not enough to exculpate Mr. Xiao Bo, hence the request for his release to the Police to answer questions.”
The revenue boss also produced two First Bank Deposit Slips dated 26/03/2013 with account number 6612010017392 and 2022111580 respectively, all signed by the same Bo with N614,150 as the amount paid in.
Oti maintained that these irregularities were noticed by the audit team from his office and complained that the company was merely protecting Bo.
But in a telephone discussion, the Managing Director of Brothers Quarry who gave his name simply as Mr. Young and spoke very scanty English denied the allegation, explaining that his company has paid up and that Bo was back in China.
His word, “Yes, I am the Managing Director. We do not owe the government. Mr. Bo was my interpreter and he has gone back to China. I cannot get in touch with him and my company has paid the government.”
When contacted, the Zone 6 Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Tasiu Ibrahim said the matter was still being investigated.
Meanwhile, Oti has confirmed that four of his Revenue Enforcement Officers are currently standing trial for diverting government money.
Although he neither gave their names nor how much was involved, Oti said their trial shows that government was strengthening leakages that had hitherto existed in the system.
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