A Lagos High Lagos in Igbosere has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of a former Super Eagles captain, Austin Okocha, popularly known as Jay Jay Okocha.
Justice Adedayo Akintoye made the order on January 29, following an application by the Lagos State Ministry of Justice after Okocha allegedly failed to appear in court for a 2017 income tax evasion charge.
The ministry filed a three-count charge against Okocha on 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 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).”
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 said 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.
The judge adjourned further hearing till last February 19.
When the case came up on February 19, the prosecution had still not effected the warrant, following which the court ordered that on the next adjourned date the order should have been executed.
Akintoye adjourned further hearing till April 15.