Sunday, 30 July 2017

Court Bars IGP’s X-Squad From Interfering With Staff And Consultants Of BIRS

A High Court sitting in Makurdi, Benue State, has banned the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, and his men from harassing and arresting staff members and agents of the Benue State Internal Revenue Service at designated inspection points.

The court further directed the IGP’s X-Squad to henceforth refrain from interfering with staff and consultants of the revenue board while performing their lawful duties.

The presiding judge, Justice Adam Onum, who gave the order, 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or disobeying the laws of Benue State validly passed by the state’s House of Assembly, except where such had been repealed or nullified by a court of competent jurisdiction.

Justice Onum’s pronouncement followed a suit filed by the BIRS, praying 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.

The IGP 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.

Reacting to the judgment, the Executive Chairman, BIRS, Chief Mimi Orubibi-Adzape, described the ruling as a welcome development for democracy in Nigeria.

She said the activities of the police had consistently frustrated BIRS’ agents and drastically affected the state’s internally revenue generation

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