FIRS shuts Ekiti College of Education, arrests officers

The Federal Inland Revenue Service on Wednesday sealed the College
of Education, Ikere-Ekiti, and arrested its principal officers for not
remitting about N6.7 million tax arrears.

The arrested Principal Officers were the Provost, Prof. Francesca
Aladejana; Registrar, Mr. Gbenga Ojo, and the Bursar, Mr. Kayode Ige.
The enforcement team, led by Mr. Olugbenga Adepesoye, stormed the
institution and sealed it around 10:30 am in a joint operation with the
Ekiti State Police Command.

Speaking with journalists after the operation, the Ekiti State
Monitor, Mr. Olugbenga Adegoke, said, “We came here because of the
arrears of value added tax and withholding tax that the institution is
owing us.

“The assessment period is between 2002 and 2007. The reconciliation
was done around May 2008. It was about N12 million. Since then, the
institution only paid over N5 million. The outstanding is N6.7 million.

“We made a lot of entreaties and persuasions, we monitored them, on
several occasions we saw the provost, the bursar and the registrar. All
our entreaties fell on deaf ears. That is why we are here.”
Adegoke said the service had no immediate plans to prosecute the officials.

“Until when they make the commitment and the commitment is not
fulfilled, we may be tempted to refer it to the legal and prosecution
unit of the FIRS. They may likely face prosecution if they fail to pay
the outstanding,” he said.

The atmosphere became charged on arrival of the Provost who was not around when the enforcement team got to the institution.

She engaged in a hot argument with Adegoke, who insisted that she must go with the enforcement team to Ado-Ekiti.
Aladejana said the institution was making efforts to pay the arrears, while begging for understanding.

But Adegoke replied, “That has been said several times. The FIRS
wants a commitment, that is why we are here. We are not here to
intimidate anybody, we want a full commitment on when you will pay the
outstanding N6.7 million.

“We know this is a state institution but what we need is that the
provost, the bursar and the Registrar need to go with us to make
commitment.”
The three officials accompanied by their lawyer were
later released around 1pm after extracting commitments from them at the
FIRS State Office.
Adegoke confirmed their release to our correspondent.

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