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Patience Jonathan Militants attack FIRS officials at ex-First Lady's hotel in Bayelsa

The FIRS team were said to have gone to the hotel to claim tax liabilities of over N10 million when they were attacked.

  • Published: , Refreshed:
Court grants interim forfeiture of Patience Jonathan's property play

Patience Jonathan

(NTA)

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Over 50 suspected militants reportedly attacked officials of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state.

The incident occurred on Wednesday, May 3, at  Aridolf Resort Wellness and Spa, The Cable reports.

It was also learnt that the facility is owned by former first lady Patience Jonathan.

According to the report, the FIRS team was at the facility to claim tax liabilities totaling N10,117,50 when they were attacked.

ALSO READ: Court unfreezes Patience Jonathan’s bank account

The militants are said to be loyal to Mrs. Jonathan as they reportedly referred to her on the phone as 'mummy'.

Story developing.

UPDATE:

A statement released by the FIRS said after over 30 minutes of argument with the hotel managers, "militants believed to have lodged in the hotel came out and threatened to kill FIRS officials, claiming that the enforcement exercise was illegal."

One of the hotel director identified as Mr. Victor was said to have claimed that the company only owes three months VAT and that staff of the hotel have not been paid for the same number of months.

"A man, who identified himself as Chief Anthony and a lawyer, then arrived, threatening that FIRS officials would be shot. He argued that the operation was illegal and that the warrant was not properly signed. He added that the FIRS Chairman should have signed with a seal.

"He claimed that the visit was a plot to ridicule Mrs. Jonathan, stressing that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, sent FIRS officials to plant cash in the premises.

"Anthony ordered the militants not to allow them leave the premises "until ‘Mummy’ comes".

"He ordered them to arrest the team leader and some other officials. The armed militants forced the FIRS officials to remove the seal already placed at entrance of the hotel's salon and gym as well as to unlock the hotel entrance.

"The militants forced Edeh, a newspaper reporter and an NTA camera man that accompanied the team into a room, where they were beaten up. Their phones were also seized and images on them deleted.

"They also deleted items stored in the camera.

"The Divisional Police Officer in charge of the area arrived the scene and made attempts to intervene, but was rebuffed.

"It took the arrival and intervention of the Bayelsa State Police Commissioner, Mr. Asuquo Amba to get the camera man released. The militants, however, refused to release his camera," the statement added.

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