The Nigerian Police Force, has been banned from harassing and arresting staff, members and agents of the Benue State Internal Revenue Service (BIRS) at designated inspection points with the state.
In a judgement delivered at the Federal High Court, Madurdi, by Justice Adam Onum, the court further directed the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, his X-Squad team or any police officer, to henceforth refrain from interfering with staff and consultants of the revenue board while performing their lawful duties.
The Judge said that, the police lacked the power to issue any executive directive contradicting or disobeying the laws of Benue State validly passed by the state’s House of Assembly, except where such had been repealed or nullified by a court of competent jurisdiction.
The BIRS, had dragged the Nigerian Police Force, the Inspector General of Police and the Benue Commissioner of Police to court, in Suit No. MHC/297/2017, urging the court to stop the police from preventing the board from carrying out its lawful duties under the state’s Internal Revenue Administration Law at designated inspection points.
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9NEWS NIGERIA recalls that, the Inspector General of Police had in May 2017, set up police special X-Squad teams and allegedly ordered them to arrest all tax revenue officials operating on federal roads across the country.
This development, according to the Executive Chairman, BIRS, Chief Mimi Orubibi-Adzape, has made the state loose billions of naira, as the activities of the police had consistently frustrated BIRS’ agents and drastically affected the state’s internally revenue generation.
She said, “In January, we generated N888m; in February, we generated N1bn; in March, N754m; April, N1.5bn; while in May and June, the board generated N500m and N362m respectively. So, the activities of the X-Squad police officers have affected our revenue generation.”
Her position was corroborated by the President, BIRS Consultants’ Forum, Chief John Akperashi.
According to Akperashi, the state government had lost about N5bn since the IGP X-Squad began operations two months ago.