El-Rufai Seals Off KEDCO Headquarters Over N464.5 Million Debt - IReporteronline
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El-Rufai Seals Off KEDCO Headquarters Over N464.5 Million Debt

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The Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service (KADIRS) has sealed off the Kaduna Electric Distribution Company headquarters on Ahmadu Bello Way, Kaduna, and other offices.

KEDC owes N464.5 million in tax debts.

The Kaduna government also sealed off KEDCO’s Kawo area office, NDA Bus Stop, Unguwan Dosa Service Centre, Kawo Service Centre, and offices located at Asikolaye and Turn Wada in Kaduna metropolis.

The Board Secretary and Legal Adviser, KADIRS, Aysha Mohammed, told journalists that the offices were sealed off because KEDCO defaulted on its pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) and withholding taxes from 2012 to 2018.

Ms Mohammed explained that apart from the withholding tax, the electric distribution company deducted PAYE from staff but did not remit to KADIRS as required by the law.

“We have been discussing with the management of the company since 2019 to pay the outstanding liability. But they refused. As such, we had no option but to seal off the offices.

“The headquarters and other sealed offices will remain close until the N464.5 million tax liability is settled,” she said.

The Head of Enforcement, Ado Garba, added that the agency sent seven notices to the firm, but it did no respond.

“This, therefore, left us with no option than to obtain a Warrant of Authority from the court to seal off the offices.

“This is in line with Section 104(1) and (4) of the Personal Income Tax Amendment Act 2011 and Section 37 subsection (3) and (4) of the Kaduna State Tax Codification and Consolidation Law, 2020,” he said.

(NAN)

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Nigeria Immigration Service Suspends Issuance Of Passports

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Between the 17th and the 31st of May 2021, the Nigeria Immigration Service has halted the issuance of new passports in order to clear the existing backlog.

At a media briefing on Innovations and Administration for Ease in Passport Issuance and Processing in Abuja, Comptroller General of the Service Muhammad Babandede revealed this.

Babandede also stated that during the two-week period, all passport offices in the country will be closed to the public, and that payment for new passports will resume on June 1, 2021, and will be done online.

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Ogun State governor Tuesday suspended his aide Abidemi Rufai, who was arrested in the United States on Friday for suspected wire fraud.

“Our position is that the law should take its course,” said Kunle Somorin, the chief press secretary to Governor Dapo Abiodun. ““Meanwhile, the governor has ordered his immediate suspension from office to answer charges against him.”

The newspaper said Rufai was suspended immediately the governor was briefed about his arrest.

Rufai, the founder and chief executive of Ecobet, was accused of stealing the identities of 100 residents of Washington to file fraudulent unemployment claims between March and August 2020.

He was also fingered in similar fraud scheme in Hawaii, Wyoming, Massachusetts, Montana, New York, and Pennsylvania. He faces up to 30 years in prison if found guilty of fraud relating to benefits paid in connection with a presidentially declared disaster or emergency.

Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman accused Rufai of using an alias, Sandy Tang, to steal over $350,000 in unemployment benefits from the Washington State Employment Security Department.

“Since the first fraud reports to our office in April 2020, we have worked diligently with a federal law enforcement team to track down the criminals who stole funds designated for pandemic relief,” said Gorman.

“This is the first, but will not be the last, significant arrest in our ongoing investigation of ESD fraud.”

The proceeds of his fraudulent claims were paid out to online payment accounts such as ‘Green Dot’ accounts, or wired to bank accounts controlled by “money mules.”

Some of the proceeds were then mailed to the Jamaica, New York address of Rufai’s relative. Law enforcement determined said more than $288,000 was deposited into an American bank account controlled by Rufai between March and August 2020.

“Greed is a powerful motivator. Unfortunately, the greed alleged to this defendant affects all taxpayers,” said Donald Voiret, Special Agent in Charge FBI Seattle.

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The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba, is currently leading union members to the Kaduna State Government House.

This is after Governor Nasir El-Rufai declared the labour leader and others wanted for “economic sabotage” and attack on public infrastructure.

Daily Trust reports that a large crowd, led by Wabba, is marching through Waff road in Kaduna and heading towards the government house.

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