Former Nigerian vice-President Atiku Abubakar (R) is congratulated by runners-up Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal (L) and Senate President Bukola Saraki (C) after winning the presidential ticket of the opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) during the party's national convention in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on October 7, 2018. Nigeria's main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has picked Abubakar to challenge President Muhammadu Buhari who is seeking a second term in presidential polls scheduled for February 2019. PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP
Agence France-Presse

The Committee for the Protection of Peoples Mandate (CPPM), an activist group, has demanded that the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) produce tax receipts belonging to Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

In a letter sent to the FIRS dated November 16, and signed by Nelson Ekujumi, the group’s national coordinator, Abubakar was accused of evading tax for several years.

The group said he only paid the backlog from 2015 to 2017 in order to meet up with the requirements of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to contest the presidential election.

CPPM alleged that Abubakar only used his 2017 tax receipt to fill the presidential nomination forms.

A copy of Abubakar’s tax clearance certificate showed that the PDP presidential candidate was issued the certificate on April 19, 2018, for payment of his personal income tax for 2015, 2016, and 2017.

A separate receipt was issued by the Federal Capital Territory Internal Revenue Service (FCTIRS) for N4 million paid as tax for the year 2017.

The payment date captured on the receipt was April 12, 2018.

The group threatened to take the matter to court if the FIRS did not honour its request for the tax receipts, to prove whether Atiku paid his taxes at the right time or not.

“We are Nigerians committed to enthrone honesty and integrity in public office and the sustenance of true democracy,” the letter read.

“It is in this regard that we write to you under Section 1 (1) and (2) and Section 4(a) of the Freedom of Information Act to make available to us the 2015 and 2016 Personal Income Tax receipts of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who is the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2019 Presidential elections.

“Information at our disposal is that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar DID NOT PAY HIS Personal Income Tax for several years and only ran to the FIRS in April this year to pay the back-log of only his 2015 – 2017 taxes to meet up with the requirements of INEC. Hence, in filing his INEC forms, he only produced his receipt for 2017 tax which was paid in April, 2018.

“As someone who continuously says he is interested in getting Nigeria and its economy working again, it is important Nigerians know whether he has been paying his Personal Income Taxes AS AT WHEN DUE.

“Consequently, we request for his 2015 and 2016 Tax receipts to ascertain whether he paid his taxes AS AT WHEN DUE.

“TAKE NOTICE that you are to meet our demands within SEVEN (7) working days of the receipt of this letter.”

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