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Government seals 10 banks in Nasarawa State

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10 branches of three banks have been sealed off by the Nasarawa State Internal Revenue Service, NSIRS over alleged failure to remit taxes deducted from customers in the state.

Usman Okposhi, Chairman of NSIRS, told journalists in Lafia on Wednesday that four branches each of Skye Bank and Unity Bank, and two branches of Keystone Bank were affected by the closure.

He said that the action was backed by Section 104 of the Personal Income Tax Act that mandates tax authority to reconcile with the banks the level of compliance of the tax payers.

“The recent closure hinges on the failure on the part of the banks to comply with appropriate directive as provided by the law.

“In the matter at hand, banks are not our tax payers. The customers in the banks are our tax payers.

“But they are the agents empowered by law to make deductions but they are withholding tax on dividends, withholding tax on fixed deposits and other relevant taxes.

“When we demanded for documents to review their level of compliance, the banks refused,” the NSIRS chairman said.

Mr. Okposhi said that NSIRS was compelled to use legal means in sealing the banks since the institutions failed to comply with the law after several demand notices.

He said that the state got a motion ex parte order from the State High Court to seal all the branches of the three banks in the state until they complied with NSIRS directive.

“After giving them several notices, we gave them reminders, we gave them warnings, we even served them an ex parte order from the court but they still refused.

“So, we had to go to court again to get another order to seal up their branches in the state.

“I don’t know what they are hiding. They are supposed to open their documents for us to verify what they deducted from customers and should remit to the state government.

“By refusing, they are sending us signal that they have something to hide,” the NSIRS boss said.

Mr. Okposhi appealed to customers of the three banks to exercise patience while the matter was being resolved.

“It is unfortunate the customers are on the receiving end but it’s not our fault. We are doing it statutorily.

“The law allows us to take this step and statutorily the banks are supposed to comply but once they fail to comply, the law descends on them,” he added.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that all efforts to speak to managements or staff of the affected banks in Lafia proved abortive.

Source : (NAN)

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Lai Mohammed Denies Announcing N5m Hate Speech Fine

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Minister Of Information, Lai Mohammed, Denies Announcing N5m Hate Speech Fine

Lai Mohammed

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has denied that he announced the increment of the speech fine from N500,000 to N5 million.

He made this known in a counter-affidavit in response to a suit filed against him at a federal high court in Lagos.

Recall that some months ago, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) announced an amendment to the broadcasting code, where the increment of the new fine was announced.

Recall that weeks after the announcement, NBC fined Nigeria Info FM for alleged hate speech after interviewing Obadiah Mailafia, former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), who alleged that a northern governor is one of the leaders of Boko Haram.

However, Human Rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong proceeded to the court to challenge the fine.

Also Read: BREAKING: NBC Fines Radio Station N5m For Hate Speech

However, in the affidavit deposed by Sunday Ojobo, an official of the Information ministry, the minister said he never announced the increase of the hate speech fine.

“Paragraph 19 is denied. The 2nd defendant (Mohammed) did not announce an increment in any fine for hate speech from N500,000 to N5,000,000 or any other because there is a governmental body or institution mandated to regulate and enforce the Nigerian Broadcasting Code,” an affidavit deposed to by a Litigation Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Sunday Ojobo, reads.

The minister further stated that the constitution allows for human rights to be suspended for the sake of national interest.

He wrote, “The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provides for derogation from fundamental rights in the interest of public safety, public order and for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedom of other persons.”

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‘Nothing To Forgive:’ Soyinka Speaks About Relationship With Gowon

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‘Nothing To Forgive:’ Soyinka Speaks About Relationship With Gowon

Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka

Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka has commented on his relationship with former Head of State Yakubu Gowon.

Soyinka was in August 1967 arrested and placed in solitary confinement just as the Civil War started under Gowon’s regime.

Speaking about their relationship, Soyinka explained that there is no bad blood between him and Gowon and he does not think there is anything to forgive him (Gowon) about.

“We communicate whenever possible, he came for my birthday in Abeokuta here. And when he started to apologise – he made a public apology – I said, ‘There is no need for it,’” the playwright who was detained by the Gowon government for two years, in the wake of the Nigerian Civil War, told Channels Television.

Also Read: Gowon: AfDB President Adesina Warns Against Misinformation

Soyinka also revealed that General Gowon had on various occasions made efforts to meet him so they could talk.

He added; “He even asked the former ambassador to locate me so that anytime he was passing – I was in Europe and America then – so we could meet and talk. And I said, ‘any time’ but there is really nothing much to talk about.”

The playwright further disclosed that they later met at a conference and they talked about the Nigerian Civil War.

He said; “We hit it on very well and we joked. The ice was broken and since then, we have been friends.”

“The war, for me, is over.’ The ones I find difficult to forgive are those who lied against me. I don’t like liars; I just cannot stand liars.”

The former Head of State has been in the news in recent days over allegations that he embezzled half of the money in the Central Bank of Nigeria during his regime.

 

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Fake News Triggered #EndSARS Carnage – IGP

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Fake News Triggered #EndSARS Carnage – IGP

IGP Mohammed Adamu

Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu has expressed that the carnage that followed the #EndSARS protests across the country was triggered by fake news.

The IGP spoke on Thursday in Akure while addressing officers of the Ondo State Police Command as part of his tours of states affected by the #ENDSARS protest.

He maintained that those behind the protest were armed with the sinister motive to destabilize the government.

Also Read: #EndSARS: UK Parliament Does Not Speak For British Govt – FG

While urging the officers to return to work, Adamu pointed out that no nation could survive without policing even as he informed them that the Buhari administration has taken various steps to reform the Nigerian Police.

According to him, “The government has approved an extension of health scheme to retired police personnel. The police salary structure has been reviewed affecting all ranks.

“Your job is important. Without you coming out, there will be chaos and you are special.”

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