A disagreement ensued between officials of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and staff of Premier Lotto Limited, a popular lottery firm owned by Kessington Adebutu, a businessman known as “Baba Ijebu”.
According to a statement received by TheCable, staff of the company prevented officials from sealing the premises over N789.6 million tax liabilities.
The FIRS team, led by Anita Erinne, had arrived the office, located at 112 Funsho Williams Avenue, Surulere, Lagos, with a distraint warrant.
“We are not owing and you cannot close our company,” the statement quoted a man identified as Adebutu’s son to have said.
“As the drama wore on, the lotto magnate, accompanied by a bevy of security aides arrived the scene. He told the FIRS team that he was not aware that his company is owing. The FIRS team leader revealed the debt profile to him after which Adebutu gave the go ahead for the FIRS to execute the distraint warrant.
“Mrs. Erinne then ordered the staff to vacate the premises, but a man, who identified himself as the accountant, told the staff to ignore the FIRS team leader.
“As the FIRS officials made to leave, Adebutu’s son proposed that the company would pay N10 million out of the debt, something Erinne rejected out of hand because the figure was too little.
“In a bid to avoid an escalation of the situation, the FIRS team left the premises.”
According to the statement, the team also shut the office of Costain West Africa at 174, Funsho Williams Street, Ebute-Metta, over a tax debt of N2 billion.
“A similar fate befell Niger Insurance Limited, as its office located at 48/50 Odunlami Street, Lagos, was sealed. The insurance firm owes N526.8million in taxes.
“Equally affected was Goldlink Insurance Plc situated at 6, Immanuel Street, Maryland, Ikeja, Lagos. The company has tax liabilities of N244 million.
“It officials pleaded for more time to enable the company pay up, but the plea was rejected. The team also sealed off Trancit Ventures Limited situated at 50, CAPPA Avenue, Palmgrove Estate, Ilupeju, Lagos over a tax debt of N25.3 million.”