by crossriverwatch admin
The Cross River Internal Revenue Service (IRS) yesterday sealed up the premises of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Channel 9 Calabar for allegedly evading PAYE tax remittance which the Cross River state internal revenue claimed the broadcast station has owed from 2006 to 2012.
The sealing up was done in company of fully armed police men with IRS staff led by Mr. Ata Emmanuel, who said they were acting on the directives of the Revenue Court’s judgment.
Emmanuel, an Assistant Director in the state’s IRS said the court order No. RCT/MSC./6/2014, to seal the NTA premises, came from Cross River Chief Judge, Justice Okoi Itam.
Justice Itam’s “Warrant of Distrain’’, obtained by NAN directed that the warrant ought to be issued against the NTA Calabar’s goods, chattels, lands, premises or place, bonds and securities for non-payment of more than N42.5 million.”
It stated that the amount represented “outstanding tax liability payable by the Respondent to the Applicant under the PAYE deductions, and development levy for the period of 2006-2011’’.
But the station’s management told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Wednesday in Calabar that the exercise had largely embarrassed the management of the Federal Government-owned news organization.
The Station General Manager, Mr. Gbolahan Somuyiwa, said “The issue at stake has to do with tax liability’’.
“There were reconciliations, dialogue between us and the IRS and it came down to a particular amount. Actually the NTA headquarters had intervened in this matter.
“I do not know why it came to this when 48 IRS personnel and eight armed policemen came to shut down our operations. It amount to bravado that was not necessary.
“They were trying to force their way into our cash office and offices, policemen cocked their guns threatening to shoot. It is not necessary and not good for the amity between government agencies and the media. We do not carry arms.
“Definitely, I am going to inform our headquarters and relevant state officials including the Commissioner for Information,’’ he said.
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