Jay Jay Okocha is in trouble: a judge has ordered his arrest for non-payment of taxes to Lagos state government [technically for not submitting documents for government to know how much he will pay on taxes!]. With no standard football pitch in any major Nigerian prison, it will be a nightmare for Austin Okocha. The taxman is awake in Nigeria as that is the only productive unit in government – the revenue is growing at double digit.
A Lagos Division of the Lagos State High Court in Igbosere has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of former Super Eagles star, Austin Okocha, over tax evasion charges.
Mr Okocha – or Jay Jay Okocha as he is popularly known – has repeatedly failed to appear before the court to answer why he allegedly failed to pay his income taxes.
Adedayo Akintoye, the judge, issued the warrant for the arrest of the former Eagles captain on January 29 and thereafter adjourned until February 19.
However, on February 19, the prosecution had not effected the arrest forcing the judge to, again, adjourn till April 15 and ordering that the warrant be executed by then.
The football star is facing a three-count charge instituted by the Lagos State Ministry of Justice bordering on failure to furnish his income returns and nonpayment of tax.
Yet, as government does its work, many things are changing. It follows those popular Chinua Achebe words: “Eneke the bird says that since men have learnt to shoot without missing, he has learnt to fly without perching.” Simply, some companies are restructuring, moving headquarters to Mauritius.
Today, nearly all the investing companies in Nigeria (venture capital firms, private equity firms), have moved headquarters to Mauritius. Yes, they are no more Nigerian companies even though 100% of their operations are done in Nigeria.
Tax. Tax. Tax – I said the three-letter word, three times! Jay Jay needs not dribble here: he should allow Nigeria to score.