At least four four illegal tax collectors have been apprehended by the Benue State Internal Revenue Services (BIRS) in Makurdi, the state capital.
This was made known by the Media Officer of BIRS, Jacinta Bernard, who revealed that the arrests were made in collaboration with officers of the Nigerian Hunters and Forest Security Services (NHFSS), and the Nigeria Police Force.
According to the Media Officer, officials of the agency nabbed the suspects while extorting money from petty traders at the Lafia Park located in the North Bank area of Makurdi.
She said the criminals claimed to be staff of the Makurdi Local Government Area Market Committee constituted to collect revenue in parks and markets.
However, Bernard said the suspects were disowned when a phone call was placed to confirm their identity from the caretaker chairman of Makurdi Local Government Area, James Dwem.
Bernard insisted that the suspects were on their own as the agency was not aware of such operations in the local government area.
She stressed that the agency has zero-tolerance for criminality and will continue to tackle extortion, corruption and illegal tax collection with the view to fish out bad elements.
In a different development, a motorcyclist riding on ‘one-way’, and his two passengers, were crushed to death on the the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, Lagos, on Saturday.
The development elicited mixed reactions from members of the public.
The General Manager, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, Olalekan Bakare-Oki, while warning truck drivers to always stop over speeding, however appealed to motorcycle operators to stop plying one-way and all restricted routes across the state.
The incident which happened by Barracks Bus-Stop, along Lagos- Badagry Expressway, Lagos, saw operatives of LASTMA recovering the lifeless bodies trapped under an empty long ‘Man-Diesel’ truck.
The Director, Public Affairs and Enlightenment Department of LASTMA, Mr Taofiq Adebayo, confirmed that the deceased were passengers on a motorcycle riding on ‘one-way’.
According to Adebayo, “While the two motorcycle passengers died instantly, the rider later died at a hospital around Satellite Town.
“Preliminary investigations revealed that a truck driver while on a top speed lost control as a result of a rear busted tyre and rammed into a motorcycle plying one-way by Barracks Bus-Stop inward Iyana-Iba along Lagos-Badagry Expressway.”