From James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta
A Federal High Court sitting in Abeokuta; the Ogun State capital has ordered the seal off of Ewekoro Power Plant (EPP) for its failure to pay its outstanding tax liabilities amounting to N114 million.
Ruling on a suit filed by the Federal Inland Revenue Service, (FIRS), Justice P. F. Olayiwola also granted a prayer that a bench warrant issued by the court for the arrest of key officials of the company who evadedarrest.
The court gave the order after series of adjournments occasioned by the refusal of the company’s officials to appear in court in the case brought against it by the FIRS.
Justice Olayiwola ruled on FIRS motion on notice after hearing counsel to the service, Adeyeoluwa Mathew ordered “that an order for interim forfeiture of property of Corporate Head Office of Ewekoro Power Plant situate at Victoria House, 35/37, Isheri Road, Aguda Ogba area, Ikeja, Lagos State pending final liquidation of the tax liability of about N114 million is herby granted”.
“That an order for interim forfeiture of property of Ewekoro Power Plant situate at 3rd floor, Topaz floor, All Seasons Plaza, 24 Lateef Jakande Road, Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos State pending final liquidation of the Tax liability of N114 million is hereby granted.”
The seal up exercise was carried out by the court bailiffs, with a combined team of the FIRS officials and officers of the Lagos State Police Command.
Earlier, the FIRS approached the court to compel the company to meet its tax obligations but the company neither appeared nor represented in the court prompting multiple adjournments.
Dissatisfied with the company`s conduct, the court issued a bench warrant to compel appearance which the officials of the company equally evaded necessitating the sealing off of the company’s premises.