Lagos State Government has declared its intention to drop a charge pressed against former Super Eagles captain, Augustine Okocha, over alleged income tax evasion.
The position of the state government was made known by a counsel from the State Ministry of Justice, Mrs Y A Pitan.
Mrs Pitan who appeared as the prosecuting counsel in the charge preferred against Okocha before Justice Adedayo Akintoye of the State High Court, Igbosere, told the court that the defendant had done the needful and there was no need again for his prosecution.
According to her, Okocha was accused of income-tax evasion since 2017, but had finally settled with the Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS).
She said that the LIRS informed them that the defendant visited their office and reconciled his accounts.
Pitan, however, prayed the court for an adjournment to enable her file a notice of discontinuance of the charge preferred against Okocha.
Justice Adedayo Akintoye, consequently, withdrew the warrant of arrest earlier issued on the defendant.
The court adjourned further hearing until November 14, to enable prosecution file a notice of discontinuance of the charge.
The state government filed a three-count charge against Okocha on June 6, 2017, accusing him of: “Failure to furnish return of income for tax purposes with the LIRS, and failure to pay income tax.
“The offences contravene Section 56(a) and (b) of the Lagos State Revenue Administration Law No. 8 of 2006 and Section 94 (1) of the Personal Income Tax Act Cap P8 Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004 (As Amended).”
Due to failure of Okacha to appear before Justice Akintoye, the judge, issued the warrant for his arrest on January 29 and adjourned until February 19.
On February 19, due to the prosecution to effect the order of arrest of the defendant, the judge renewed other order again.