Legislator docked over fake tax clearance

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The Majority Leader of Edo State House of Assembly, Philip Shaibu was Tuesday docked at a Benin City High Court Over alleged forgery of tax clearance papers he used to seek re-election in 2011.

Shaibu is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), representing Etsako West Constituency II.

He is standing trial on six-count charge instituted against him by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related offences Commission (ICPC).Justice symbol

One of the six-count charge reads, “making false statement knowingly to the officer of the Commission contrary to Section 25 (1) (a) and punishable under Section 25 (1) (b) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act,” while another reads, “making false statement knowingly to the officers of the Board of Internal Revenue, Edo State contrary to Section 25 (1) (a) and punishable under Section 25 (1) (b) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act” among other offences.

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Reading of the charge and plea by the accused was however deferred to 14 April, 2014, to enable his Counsel, Ken Mozia (SAN), reply to his bail application, when the matter came up for hearing.

Counsel to ICPC, Igbadume Godson had argued that the bail application should be heard along with the charges, adding that effort to serve Shaibu proved abortive, hence the delay.

The defence Counsel, Ken Mozia (SAN) vehemently opposed to application made by the ICPC Counsel, saying that his Client was served at the court that morning.

Consequently, the trial Judge, Justice Esther Edigin, adjourned the case to 14 April, 2014, to enable Counsel to the accused to respond to the charges and reply to the bail application.