A Lagos High Court in Igbosere has issued a warrant of arrest for former Nigeria international Austin Okocha, popularly known as Jay-Jay Okocha, for tax evasion.
This order was made by Justice Adedayo Akintoye on January 29, following an application by the Lagos State Ministry of Justice after the former Super Eagles captain failed to appear in court for an alleged 2017 income tax evasion charge.
The ministry filed a three-count charge against the former PSG midfielder in June 6, 2017, which accused Okocha of “Failure to furnish return of income for tax purposes with the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service contrary to Section 94 (1) of the Personal Income Tax Act Cap P8 Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004 (As Amended).
“Failure to pay income tax contrary to Section 56(a) and (b) of the Lagos State Revenue Administration Law No. 8 of 2006.
“Failure to furnish the return of Income for tax purposes with the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service contrary to Section 94(1)of the Personal Income Tax Act Cap P8 Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004 (As Amended).”
The Prosecuting Counsel Y. A. Pitan, who moved the application for the warrant on January 29, told Justice Akintoye that the case came up for the first time on October 5, 2017, but Okocha failed to appear in court, even though service had been effected on him.
He added that Okocha still didn’t appear after several adjournments.
In a bench ruling, Justice Akintoye granted the application and issued a bench warrant for Okocha’s arrest.
Akintoye made the adjournment for a further hearing scheduled until April 15.