By McDonald Onu, Abakaliki
Ebonyi State Governor, Engr. David Umahi has ordered an indefinite suspension of his Special Adviser on Internally Generated Revenue, Chief Jeremiah Oketa, for action described as going beyond the authority and command of his office.
The Commissioner for Information and State Orientation, Senator Emanuel Onwe, announced this while briefing journalists on the outcome of the state executive council meeting in Abakaliki, the state capital.
Onwe, who said that Special advisers and commissioners were no longer authorized to collect any form of taxes or revenue for the state, added that the board of internal revenue had been mandated by EXCO as the only legal body to do so.
He also announced that it had become an offence for anyone to receive on behalf of the government or pay any rent or revenue in cash to the government.
The commissioner said, “The Special Adviser on IGR, Chief J.O.J Oketa, has been suspended indefinitely for going beyond the authority and command of his office.
“Special Advisers and commissioners are no longer authorized to collect taxes or revenue of any kind. The Only legal body now authorized by council to collect revenue is the Ebonyi Board of Internal Revenue or any agent that the board may legitimately engage to do so.
“All payments of all kind of revenue should be done in the way it goes directly into the account of government”, he said.
He explained that the Executive Council received presentations from companies on enumeration and collection of taxes and revenues for government without imposing hardship on Ebonyians.
Meanwhile, the state Executive Council has set up an advisory committee on higher education comprising representatives of the three senatorial zones of the state.
They include, Amb.Frank Ogbewu, Engr.Fidelis Nwankwo and Prof.Chigozie Ogbu.
Their function is to look into the situation of higher institutions in the state, particularly the Ebonyi state university and recommend the way forward for government.