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IGP squad allegedly invades Benue State tax office, manhandles head

The headquarters of Benue State Board of Internal Revenue Service (BIRS) was reportedly invaded yesterday by men of IGP X-Squad team, demanding the release of tax evaders.

Led by ACP Olu Kayode Ayilara, the police formation, according to information, has a N10 million target to meet. The invasion, according to investigation, attracted the disenchantment of youths and passers-by.

A board member, who pleaded anonymity, told The Guardian that quarrel ensued when ACP Ayilara insisted on the release of the tax offenders.

According to him, the team leader allegedly assaulted and manhandled the board’s executive chairman, Mrs. Mimi Orubibi, in her office, a development that resulted to tension.

Narrating her ordeal in Makurdi, Orubibi said the crisis began when ACP Ayilara allegedly attempted to forcefully release the offenders and the woods impounded from them.

She claimed that the police chief had led his team to her office last week Thursday, but did not meet her, noting that when he returned yesterday, Ayilara banged into her office, demanding for the release of the woods and offenders.

According to the BIRS chairman, the ACP told her that she had no right to impound the woods, saying they were following the order of the IGP who had given a N10 million revenue target.

Orubibi alleged that the X-Squad had been helping traders in the state to evade tax as well as arrest BIRS agents and demand N300 to N500 for their release.

She claimed: “Besides, on Monday this week, they collected N200,000 from our staff, which they usually do not allow to be paid through the banks.

“When he (ACP Ayilara) came today (yesterday) he said that we don’t have a right to impound wood, I questioned him whether the wood belongs to him. Then, he started hitting his hands on the table, threatening that he will deal with me. He called me a harlot and said he was going to finish me.

“Look at my buttons. He jacked, tore my top buttons and slapped me. He told the agents that the IGP said he should bring N10 million.

“But I know that the IG would not have asked him to do that. I have interacted with the IGP and I know his stand on this issue. The IGP can never tell him to do that.”

Briefing newsmen after a meeting with police chiefs, Governor Samuel Ortom said the command had set up an investigative panel to probe the incident.

The governor said he was informed by DIG Joshak Habila that the Police Commissioner, Fatai Owoseni, would constitute the committee to ensure justice.
Ortom expressed faith in the force to ensure rule of law at the end of the day.



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