Two MTN staff docked for court order breach in Ondo

By OreOluwa Akintunde, Akure 

Two staff of MTN Nigeria, Akinboboye Segun (66) and Akinrinlola Akintewe (47) have been docked by a Chief Magistrate Court in Ondo town, Ondo West Local Government Area of Ondo State. 

 

The two suspects were arraigned on three count charges before Chief Magistrate Gbenga Awodeyi for breaking into the sealed premises of the company by Ondo State Board of Internal Revenue (OSBIR) through a court order in December 2015. 

Before the close of last year, the board had enforced a court order to seal off MTN’s state office, Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) and mast sites located all over the state for defaults in the payment of N458, 585, 743.12 unremitted total tax liabilities for the years 2010-2013. 

Akinboboye and Akinrinlola, who are under the company’s service to fuel the generators with diesels, were arrested for despising the court order to carry out their duties the penultimate week. 

According to the prosecutor, Sgt. Benard Olagbayi: “That you Akinboboye Segun (m) and Akinrinlola Akintewe (m) and othersat large on the 16th January, 2016 at about 4:30 am at Okelisa Street and Agbogbooke area, in the Ondo magisterial district did conspire together to commit offence to wit contempt of court and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 5 (i) (a) of the Criminal Code Cap 37, Vol. I Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria 2006. 

“That you Akinboboye Segun (m)  and Akinrinlola Akintewe (m) and others at large on the same date, time and place, in the aforementioned magisterial district did disrespect court order given on suit number AK/62M/2015 by breaking into MTN mast sites to carry out operation having been awarded, served and received court order sealing the masts and thereby commited an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 133 (9) of the Criminal Code Cap 37 Vol. I Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria 2006. 

“That you Akinboboye Segun (m) and Akinrinlola Akintewe (m) and others at large on the same date, time and place, in the aforementioned magisterial district did wilfully damaged chains and padlocks used to lock the MTN mast sites on the order of the court and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 458 (a) of the Criminal Code Cap 37 Vol. I Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria 2006.” 

The Chief Magistrate, Awodeyi, in his ruling, granted the accused a bail of N500, 000 each with viable sureties; and he adjourned the case to February 15, 2016. 

Meanwhile, the chairman of OSBIR, Akin Akinsehinwa mentioned that the board has been “trying as much as possible to create a tax-friendly environment in the state. 

According to him: “And this is why we have been talking to people, we want the situation where there will be voluntary compliance to payment. Of course people know their responsibilities under tax payment obligation.” 

He said that OSBIR has embarked on several initiatives and measures that will make tax payment convenient for the people, however, some still shirk away from such civic responsibility. 

“But the truth is that no matter what you do, some are still very obstinate: they will not bother. Some prefer to evade tax, saying that even if we don’t pay, what are they going to do?” 

He described the enforcements on MTN offices and properties as “an unfortunate situation because a company with such international reputation that is supposed to be a highly responsible corporate organisation getting involved in such criminal activity.” 

The OSBIR boss pointed out that the communication company has not been cooperating with the state government in revenue generation as it blatantly evade tax payments, especially in the security sector and diesel supply to their sites. 

His words: “For MTN, we have been on this issue for two years. We started precisely in March, 2014 when we wrote to them, audited them, did a detailed assessment. I asked for some specific taxes which one of them is the security personnel manning their masts. 

“We have our information, we know how many of the personnel they have there. But they said they were not owing us, at a stage, they even lied. They mentioned one company and said it was the company handling their security. We said no problem, we can work with the company.

“So, we wrote to the company but the company denied them. It is an anomaly for a company of such status,” he said.

The chairman disclosed that MTN was invited to “series of meetings that if they have superior evidences, we were prepared to scale down the bills we gave to them. So when it was obvious that they were not able to bulge, we headed to the court.”

However, the chairman stated that the board is not witch-hunting any person or organisation but on top gear to improve on the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), which has shoved up from N7b to N11.7b. He noted that the laudable projects embarked upon by the state government to provide social infrastructure and amenities for the benefits of the people require huge money from IGR. 

Facebook Comments

Check Also

Photos: 16-year-old girl given out in marriage to an older ‘demented’ man from a wealthy family in Anambra

An angry woman has slammed the marriage between a young girl said to be 16 ...

Man Kills Huge Python In Bayelsa, Finds Big Eggs Inside

A man has become the cynosure of all eyes after he showed off a huge ...

%d bloggers like this: