Few days after donating more than thirty one 18-seater buses to the Akwa Ibom State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and his team were on Monday locked out of their NDDC corporate headquarters by the Rivers State Internal Revenue Services (RIRS) for tax evasion.
Mr Manson Endeboh, the RIRS Director who led the enforcement team, said that the tax agency sealed the gates of the NDDC headquarters for refusing to pay the Rivers State government withholding tax.
Mr. Endeboh said that the Commission had made a little payment, but explained that it came after they approached the court for an exparte order to seal the office.
It was not possible to get Mr Ekere’s immediate reaction to the embarrassing scenario, as he was said to be preparing for a political rally in Uyo taking place this weekend.
However, speaking on behalf of the NDDC Managing Director, Dr. Nsima Ekere, the Special Assistant on Media, Chijioke Amu-Nnadi, said the Commission was surprised by the development, “because the Commission had already begun paying the Revenue Service the arrears under question.”
Ekere who has allegedly spend huge sums of money for another reception by his supporters in Ikot Ekpene ahead of his governorship campaigns, is said to have abdicated his financial requirements as the NDDC boss for politics.
But Amu-Nnadi explained that, “About two weeks ago, the Commission met with the tax enforcement team and started negotiations to resolve all outstanding issues. We understand that there is a court order. But it’s important for us to state that the Commission, as a responsible corporate organisation, had begun to attend to all obligations as agreed.
“Last week, the Commission paid the first tranche. They will receive the next tranche this week. This is a sign of goodwill and commitment on the side of the Commission to meet these obligations.”
Mr. Amu-Nnadi expressed dismay at the actions of the RIRS officials, noting that blocking the premises of the Commission was an unnecessary embarrassment and does not match the Commission’s goodwill.