I have No Tax Payment Issue ..Abia Guber Candidate Ikpeazu

The Abia State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has debunked rumours making the rounds that he is having issues with tax payment, describing the report as false and the handiwork of his detractors, who are afraid of his pedigree.

The PDP governorship candidate who addressed journalists at his campaign office in Umuahia, said that having been in public office in the past 12 years where he held various appointments with the Government of Abia State, said that payment of tax for him is not a choice, but a compulsory, since it was deducted at source through the Pay As You Earn system (PAYE) before his salary gets to him.

His words: "Let me use this opportunity to debunk the false publications circulating in some section of the media that I have issue with my tax. There is nothing like that. In fact such rumor has exposed those behind as people who are ignorant of the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax system and have refused to be educated on the issue.

"Since 2002 when I left Enugu State University of Science and Technology, where I was Head, Department of Biochemistry, I have held different political appointment with the Abia State Government. As an appointee of government, payment of tax is not a choice to me, but a compulsory. It is something I must do, whether I like it or not, because the government deducts all deductibles through the PAYE system before my salary comes to me at the end of ever month. So how I can then be accused of having issue with payment of tax?"

Dr. Ikpeazu also explained that one of those he defeated at the PDP primaries, Mr. Friday Nwosu, sponsored three persons who filed imported the tax papers of one Chief Okezie Ikpeazu, a businessman also from Obingwa who bears the same name with him and went to a Federal High Court in Abuja, thinking that he was the one involved.

According to him, the plaintiffs lost the case in court, with a N100,000 fine that was awarded to him. Ikpeazu stressed that he has no business going to any tax office to negotiate, adding that those peddling the rumour are making mockery of themselves as the tax matter is a non issue.

He said that those spearheading the rumour are doing so because they see him as a threat and pointed out that his vision for the state include looking for alternative ways of funding projects as well as enhancing the internally generated revenue base of the state.

According to him, he is lucky to be enjoying the support of the Governor of the state, Chief Theodore Orji and major stakeholders in the state and stated his commitment to consolidate on the achievements of the Governor.

Dr. Ikpeazu maintained that what should occupy the minds of people at this point is not tax but how to move the state higher.

In his speech, a member of the legal team of the Okezuo Abia campaign organization, Barr. Teddy Eruba, who represented Dr. Ikpeazu in court over the issue, disclosed that Dr. Ikpeazu does not have any tax issues that will disqualify him from running for the governorship position, saying that it is infantile for any person to consider tax default as one of the conditions likely to disqualify Dr. Ikpeazu or any candidate from running for governorship position.

In a related development, the President of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) Mr. Chidi Ajaegbu, who is an expert in tax issues, has also said that Dr. Ikpeazu has a current tax clearance certificate which expires 31st December 2014.

According to him, the tax certificate contains his tax history for the past three (3) years covering 2011, 2012 and 2013 year of assessments.

His words: "Going by section 3 subsection b of the Personal Income Tax (Amendment) Act 2011, tax is to be collected on all income received by a tax payer from employment, investments, business and other sources of income subject to consolidated relieves, statutory deductions such as National Housing fund, Pension, National social insurance trust fund, National Health Insurance Scheme granted by the Act and non income earning receipts by the tax payer.

"It is believed that the Tax payer sole income is from employment and such employment incomes were fully disclosed. The Employment income includes Basic salary and all other allowances.

"Bank statements, payslips and employment letter are documents to prove the completeness of the income.

"Employers operating Pay as you Earn PAYE are Agents of the State Internal Revenue Service, they deduct taxes from the remunerations of employees and remit same on their behalf.

"It is believed that Abia State passenger Integrated management and safety Scheme operated a PAYE and the PAYE was deducted and remitted from the emoluments of Dr Okezie Ikpeazu who then was a General Manager.

"Section 20 of the amendment Act stipulates that tax returns of a year of assessment must be done within 30days of the following year unlike the principal Act which required returns to be filed within 90days of the following year.

"The PAYE receipts showed that PAYE were remitted within the stipulated time of the law."

It will be recalled that Justice Abdu Kafarati of the Federal High Court Abuja struck out suit no: FHC/ABJ/CS/94/2014 filed by the following: Hon. Dr. Bernad O. Orji, Barr. Ugochukwu Ndubuka and Mr. Chidi Nwosu, who are cronies of Mr. Friday Nwosu.

Justice Kafarati in his ruling said: "plaintiff suit struck out same having been discontinued. However, I awarded N100,000 cost to the 3rd defendant (Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu) against the plaintiff."


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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