Illegal Benue Tax Collectors Waylay Palliative Trucks, Steal N200,000

The Acting Executive Chairman, Benue Internal Revenue Service (BIRS), Mr Emmanuel Agema, said hoodlums posing as Benue revenue collectors intercepted two trucks loaded with palliative materials from Adamawa to the eastern parts of the country and stole N200,000 from one of the drivers.

“The hoodlums stopped the vehicles, broke their windscreens and stole N200,000 from one of the drivers at an illegal tax collection point they mounted at Gwer East Local Government Area of Benue.

“They also injured one of the drivers,’’ Agema said on Monday in Makurdi.

He said the preliminary investigation showed that some prominent Benue citizens were behind the hoodlums mounting illegal revenue checkpoints and warned that the BIRS would not be used for political patronage as was done in the past.

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Agema stressed also that the BIRS had terminated all revenue-collection contracts and that more than 35 illegal tax collectors had been arrested and were being prosecuted since he assumed office six months ago.

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“Since I assumed duty as acting Chairman of BIRS, my biggest challenge is the activities of illegal tax collectors and so far 35 persons have been charged in court,’’ he said.

He added that Gov. Hyacinth Alia had directed the Department of State Services to carry out a full investigation into the issue of illegal revenue checkpoints in Benue.

News Agency of Nigeria quoted Agema saying that the BIRS had automated 95 per cent of its tax collection duties and had blocked more than 85 per cent of leakages found.

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