Chairman of the Benue Inland Revenue Service (BIRS) Mrs. Mimi Azadpe Orubibi has demanded the arrest and prosecution of the Managing Director of MC Development Company, Mr. Joseph Orih and the recovery of N150m allegedly collected from various revenue collection points along highways in Ogbadibo local government area of the state.
This decision came following complains and evidence from various quarters on the illegal activities of Orih in the area.
The Benue Internal Revenue Service had on 7 September appointed a new consultant to collect haulage revenue on her behalf in Benue South (Zone C axis) with effect from the 1st October 2016.
However, Orih reportedly prevented the genuine revenue collectors from carrying out their lawful business in Ogbadibo.
He had reportedly collected over N150m, in the last three years, which the state government now wants him to cough out.
Earlier, the Ogbadibo Local Government Council had asked the company to vacate the area on the ground that his acclaimed contract entered with the local government contravenes the relevant extant state and local government laws, and therefore illegal.
The letter signed by the Director General Services and Administration (DGSA) of the council, Clement Idoko and copied to security agencies and the Chairman of the Benue State Internal Revenue Service among others asked Orih to vacate the area without delay.
The letter noted that Governor Samuel Ortom recently inaugurated the 23 local government councils in Benue with a Benue State Board of Internal Revenue as a joint committee for the collection of Revenue throughout the state, and only the state government has the sole prerogative and powers to appoint revenue consultants in the category Mr. Orih operates.
It added that the revenue point that MC Development Company is operating fall under the Benue State Board of Internal Revenue and not the right of the local government council under Section 12(subsections 16 and 8) of the state internal revenue administration law 2015.
It said the law states that the appointment of consultants be made only by the BIRS, Board, inclusive of the MDAs.
The state government has asked Orubibi to work with security agencies to ensure the accused provides the money.
Mr. Orih is alleged to have been using local thugs in harassing genuine consultants appointed by the state government.
Several efforts to reach Orih for comments proved abortive as his phone was switched off as at the time of filing this report.