By Emma Amaize & Akpokona Omafuaire
WARRI- OFFICIALS of Delta State Board of Internal Revenue, DBIR, Warri, yesterday, sealed off four business outfits in the state, including Mega Hilton Hotel Limited, Ekpan, owned by a top politician and Joe Marine Institute of Nautical Studies and Research, for failing to pay taxes to the state government.
It also closed two car outlets, Joelisa Motors and Fide Global, for the same offence, with a stern warning to companies and organisations indebted to the state to pay up or risk the sledge hammer.
Mega Hilton Hotel Limited, was alleged to be owing N19.5million, while Joe Marine Institute of Nautical Studies and Research, was alleged to be owing N4.5 million. Joelisa Motors must pay the sum of N1million and Fide Global, N1.5m before their premises would be re-opened for operation.
According to a judgment of a Delta State High Court sitting in Warri, “Pursuant to the order 11 rule 5 (2) of High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2009, the defendant (Mega Hilton Hotel) is accordingly adjudged to pay to the claimant, DBIR, the sum of N19.5m, being outstanding liabilities for Pay As You Earn, PAYE, withholding taxes and development levy as stated in the demand notice with interest at the bank base lending rate of 20% from the date when the tax became payable until it is paid.”
Mega Hilton’s Manager, was not on hand to comment on the matter but some staff, who spoke with newsmen on condition of anonymity, said they were not competent to make comments.
Counsel to Joe Marine Institute of Nautical Studies and Research, Mr. Patrick Tobuye, who was called on phone, when the team from DBIR arrived, confirmed that they were liable to the said claim. He, however, said the company would liaise with DBIR to see how the money could be reduced.