The sustained efforts of the Benue State Internal Revenue Service, BIRS, in collaboration with the various security agencies to rid the state of all illegal checkpoints and other fraudulent manipulations associated with revenue collections is yielding the desired results.

Available records from the enforcement and legal departments of the service shows that under the leadership of the current Acting Executive Chairman, Emmanuel Agema, FCTI, CNA, over 50 persons have so far been arrested and arraigned for prosecution in 23 cases at the various Chief Magistrate Courts, CMC, in the state.

The suspects, who are charged for forgery, impersonation, criminal conspiracy, armed robbery among others were arrested at different locations across the state, including the notorious operators of the so called Federal Haulage led by one Bernard Iornongu.

To underscore the resolute position of the Ag. Chairman to deal decisively with anyone involved in these acts of sabotage and criminality against the state, the Chairman gave his nod for the arrest of one Philemon Kwaghkondo, a staff of the service, for his alleged involvement in fake receipts racketeering, and is currently facing trial at the CMC 1.

It will be recalled that Mr. Agema upon his appointment by the Executive Governor of the state, His Excellency Hyacinth Alia, and assumption of office overhauled the entire revenue collection structure, which also included the setting up of a Taskforce team under the supervision of the Director Enforcement to effectively tackle the menace of illegal checkpoints and other illegalities associated with revenue collection in the state, which was negatively affecting the economy of the state.

The Chairman has also sustained the established and effective collaborations with the leading security agencies in the state for the appreciable results achieved so far.

Knowing that total eradication of this menace can only be achieved through the collaborative efforts of all stakeholders, the Chairman has also solicited the support of traditional rulers and other community groups to discourage their youths from getting involved with such criminal acts within their localities, and as well expose the notorious ones.

While commending the cooperation been enjoyed by the service from the leadership of the 10th Benue State House of Assembly, particularly the Assembly Committees on Finance and Public accounts, the Chairman called on the assembly members to expedite action on the bill forwarded to them which provides for stiffer sanctions of tax evaders and illegal checkpoints operators.

Jacintha Benard
Media Assistant to the Ag. Executive Chairman, BIRS
14th February, 2024

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