We aren’t indebted to FIRS, Pinnacle replies ICPC

• Demands apology from anti-corruption body

Pinnacle Communications Limited has denied the claim of the anti-corruption agency, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) that the former was indebted to the Federal Inland Revenue Services, (FIRS).

The ICPC had recently made attempt to break into the firm’s office in Asokoro area of the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT) over alleged tax invasion.

But addressing newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja, solicitor to Pinnacle Communication, Abayomi Oyelola, accused the ICPC of brazen distortion of facts.

He told newsmen that his client was never indebted to the national tax revenue agency, FIRS, as he insisted that Pinnacle tax papers were up to date.

He said: “ICPC in its responses, admitted the dastardly act of its operatives but claimed the action taken was precipitated by the requests of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to the commission to investigate a case of tax evasion it alleged against Pinnacle Communications.

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“For the record, Pinnacle Communication is not a tax defaulter in any way. The company’s tax papers are up to date. This is easy for the commission to verify. So ICPC lied by claiming that its men were at Pinnacle’s office on tax issue.”

He equally faulted the ICPC claim that it acted on information availed it by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCT) which provided the location of its company, as it noted that the anti-corruption agency acted on wrong information.

Oyelola revealed that Pinnacle office was located at Plot 1721, as against transmitted plots 1718 and 1719 Cadzone A04, given to ICPC by the FIRS and FCTA for the anti-corruption agency to investigate.

“ICPC also claimed the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) transmitted plots 1718 and 1719 Cadzone A04, belonging to two companies mentioned, to them for investigation. The Pinnacle office invaded is on neither of the two plots quoted. Pinnacle’s office is on Plot 1721.

“The above shows that the plot on which the Pinnacle office is, which ICPC invaded, was not on the list sent to the commission by FIRS or FCTA for investigation.

“It is crystal clear that the commission’s operatives did not stumble on the firm’s property as claimed but rather the operatives intentionally invaded Pinnacle.

“Since the companies mentioned in the ICPC responses are different from Pinnacle and plots quoted different from that of Pinnacle, there was no reason, whatsoever, for the operatives to violently insist on gaining entrance into the building to effect an arrest and seal the firm. Even if their so-called coordinate was correct, the brazen action at that point would still amount to acting ultra vires.

“In any event, it is vitally imperative to state that Pinnacle communications, in whom ownership of the premises invaded by ICPC is vested is not on the radar of FIRS.”

Pinnacle demanded apology from the ICPC for the embarrassment its action caused its company. It warned that it would seek legal redress from the Court, in the event that ICPC failed to tender a public apology.

“Pinnacle Communications is both a respectable and humble entity with strong beliefs in the assuaging power and effect of an apology from anyone and entity that has disparaged it.

“We, therefore, encourage the commission, since it has admitted the invasion to swallow the proverbial humble pie and tender an apology as Pinnacle Communications demands.

“We hope our admonition will be respectfully considered by letting wise counsel prevail in order to avoid endless and or unnecessary and costly litigation which will ensue, leading ICPC to squandering taxpayers money.”

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