FORMER Super Eagles captain Austin Jay-Jay Okocha could be arrested anytime soon for contempt after a Lagos high court re-issued a bench warrant for the arrest for alleged tax evasion in a case filed against him by the Lagos State government.
In February Okocha, 45, failed to appear before the Lagos State High Court in Igbosere again following an adjournment to answer charges as why he failed to pay his income taxes. Subsequently, Judge Adedayo Akintoye issued the warrant for the arrest, having already adjourned the case when it was first heard on January 29.
At the hearing, the judge instructed the prosecution to execute the warrant and effect the arrest before adjourning the case until April 15. Okocha is facing a three-count charge instituted by the Lagos State Ministry of Justice bordering on his failure to furnish his income returns and the non-payment of tax.
In June last year, the state filed the charges through its prosecutor, Jide Martins and the suit was heard four months later. According to the prosecutor, Mr Okocha had failed to furnish his income returns for tax purposes to the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service and all attempts to get him to respond to requests had failed.
When the case came up again this morning, Justice Akintoye renewed the arrest warrant, meaning that Okocha can be picked up whenever he sets foot in Nigeria. According to the Lagos State government, Okocha has failed to appear in court since 2017 when the case was first filed against him.