Federal Government yesterday filed 13-count criminal charges against five fake Inland Tax Operatives alleged to have swindled the country of huge sums of money through the issuance of forged tax clearance certificates to company owners.
The suspects; Batimehin Ojo, Atere Olutayo Ayodeji and Adegbite Adewale were former tax operatives with FIRS and Yusuf Olatunji and Mustapha Dodo were alleged to have impersonated a former Senior Tax Manager with the Federal Inland Revenue Services, FIRS, Mr. Nwogu Chris to issue fake tax clearance certificates to some unsuspecting tax payers.
In the charge date November 18, 2015 an filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja, the suspects among others, were alleged to have in November 2011, conspired and forged companies Income Tax clearance certificates with Serial No: 05329283 covering tax years 2008, 2009 and 2010 in favour of Release Auto Garage Company Ltd.
The forged tax certificates were purportedly issued by the former Senior Tax Manager contrary to section 516 of the Criminal Code Act Cap C38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2010.
They were alleged to have presented the forged tax papers to one Simeon Oluwafemi Babatunde for the verification of tax clearance of the Auto Company contrary to section 43(a) of the Federal Inland Revenue Service Act 2007.
The suspects were also alleged to have forged a seal of the FIRS which they appended on companies Income Tax Clearance Certificates to secure a tax clearance certificate for the said Auto Company contrary to section 43(d) of the FIRS Act.
Assistant Director and Head, Criminal Prosecution Unit, Legal Department, FIRS headquarters, Mr. James Binang filed the charge on behalf of the federal Government.
Although, the suspects were to be arraigned before Justice Abdulkadir Abdulkafarati yesterday, the arraignment could not however, hold due to the absence of the Judge in court occasioned by his official assignment outside Abuja.
The suspects may be docked today before a Federal High Court in Abuja.