Enforcement team of Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, yesterday in Makurdi, Benue State capital sealed off HAF Haven, a hotel alleged owned by Senator George Akume and his wife, Regina over unpaid tax.
Other properties which were also sealed off yesterday in Makurdi for failing to pay tax included, Treaties Bukka located at Old Otukpo road and Gwalina suits. Both owe N52million and N4million respectively.
The team, led by Chinazor Edeh said Sen Akume and his wife failed to pay N13, 518,493.00 tax to government since 2011, a development he said was unpatriotic.
The amount, Edeh said, was made up of unpaid/unremitted liabilities of the hotel in Company Income Tax, Education Tax, Withholding Tax and Value Added Tax between 2011 to 2016.
However, sealing off the hotel was a heavy task for the FIRS team as the management of the hotel led by Mrs. Margaret Hinger insisted that the company does not owe federal government such amount of tax liability.
Hinger admitted that the Hotel is aware of the tax liability, saying there was delay in the payment of the said VAT because the figures were duplicated by audit firm mandated to audit the hotel’s accounts, adding that they have already paid the sum of N700,000.00 to the tax office in Makurdi and appeal to the team to unseal the hotel as they are willing to pay the over N13 millions.
Several efforts by Hinger to stall the seal off failed as Mr. Edeh said: “I am ordered by my boss, the Chairman of FIRS, Mr. Fowler to seal off the hotel and am under instruction not to speak with anyone on phone.”
The team ordered the hotel to discharge its guests and the enforcement team locked up the gates, while workers of the hotel instantly closed for the day.
Meanwhile, a guest who identified himself as Mr. Chukwuemka Chikera disagreed with the FIRS team and refused to check out of the hotel since the action embarked upon by FIRS, according to him, was a violation of his human rights and infringement on his privacy.
It took the intervention of security personnel who are members of the team to bundle him out of the premises.


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