‘Allegation against APC in Plateau infantile’
Kogi State Inland Revenue Services (KGIRS) has said the demand letter for the payment of N37.5 million signage fees for campaign posters across the state was not targeted at the Peoples Democratic party (PDP), but a general charge for all political parties.
The PDP had on Tuesday alleged that the demand for such humongous amount was to stifle the opposition in the state. The letter, dated October 24, 2022 with reference number KIRS/MDA/Vol/13095, is expected to cover all elective positions being contested by all the political parties, the Chairman of KGIRS, Sule Enehe, said.
Addressing journalists at KGIRS headquarters in Lokoja, yesterday, Enehe said the demand notice was served on all the political parties and taxable government agencies in the state.
A breakdown of the fees indicates that the presidential candidates have been billed N10 million, the three senatorial candidates will pay N2 million each, while the House of Representatives and House of Assembly candidates will pay N1 million and N500,000 respectively.
On the demand for Tax Clearance Certificate (TCC), Enehe pointed out that actions of the revenue service have constitutional backing. “Section 85 (2) of Personal Income Tax, 2021 as amended, vests the power to verify in the issuing tax authority,” he added.
BUT the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the APC-led government in Kogi of using the power of incumbency to intimidate its opponents in the 2023 general election.
It described the move as political hostility.
The PDP Director of Media and Communications, Dayo Onibiyo, said from the letter dated October 24, 2022, the room for payment would expire on November 10, 2022, two days from the date of receipt of the letter.
He said: “The party refers to the letter captioned ‘Demand Notice of N37.5m on Signage Fee for Your Party’s Campaign Posters Across Kogi State’ with reference number KGIRS/MDA/Vol. 13/13095, dated October 24, 2022.
“The APC government under Yahaya Bello in the state slammed this figure on the PDP, through a letter dated October 24, 2022 which the party received today, November 8, 2022. The state government issued a notice of 14 days as ultimatum for such payments to be made and went ahead to threaten legal action against the party, as signed by Sule Salihu Enehe, the acting Executive Chairman for KGIRS.”
Onibiyo said despite the hostility, the PDP could not be stopped from winning the presidential and National Assembly elections in the state come February 2023.
MEANWHILE, PDP’s outcry in Plateau State, that APC is planning to destroy its billboards and posters, prior to its presidential campaign flag-off, has been described as an infantile, wild and baseless allegation to curry undue sympathy.
Last Tuesday, PDP had alleged that the Plateau chapter of APC was mobilising political thugs to remove its billboards and campaign materials within Jos metropolis and the state at large.
“The premeditated act of violence, we understand, is intended to deceive the APC presidential candidate and his running mate into believing that Plateau belongs to the APC, when the duo arrive Jos for the flag-off of their campaigns on November 15.
“By this statement, we are putting the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on notice, as such acts of violence and destruction of campaign materials have been outlawed by the Electoral Act in Sections 92 and 93,” leader of the PDP media team, Mangna Wamyil, had said.
But in a statement, yesterday, the Plateau APC Publicity Secretary, Sylvanus Namang, countered that the claim was aimed at provoking the APC.
“The APC does not need to vandalise what is non-existent. We need a real opposition party in the state, a status the PDP has since lost, except for its noisy social media provocation to gain sympathy,” Namang added.