If the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is ready to accept new entrants into the dark underground cell of the newly commission building, one of such persons that will be a likely guest is Mr Thomas Ewomazino Joel-Onowakpo, the immediate past Chairman of the Delta State Revenue Board and current Federal Internal Revenue Service (FIRS) coordinator for Delta, Edo and Rivers States; even though he has constantly boasted that the EFCC can’t probe him since he’s a chieftaincy title holder from Katsina State.
SecretReporters is in possession of various documents detailing how Mr Joel milked the revenue board dry, while he held sway, in the name of digitizing the agency, which will be detailed in subsequent reports.
In closely guarded documents of the revenue board which was obtained by us, we can authoritatively reveal that the former Chairman connived with Chevron Nigeria Limited to evade tax worth of N94 billion from 2010 to 2014.
In one of the audit reports in our possession, which scrutinized Chevron and their tax activities in the period under review, Mr Joel deliberately excused the Multi-Million Dollars oil company from paying the complete tax to Delta State Government but allegedly arranged with them to cough out large amount of money into his personal account, and gave them fake tax clearance in exchange.
Chevron according to the documents doctored their financial statement and the actual general payroll, which the auditors attached as appendix 1.
For the year 2013, Joel ought to have gotten a whooping balance sum of N23.6 billion as tax from Chevron and remitted to the State Government, but refused to do so, after allegedly collecting kickbacks and issuing tax receipts to them.
The FIRS Coordinator is reputed to be one of the silent billionaires in Delta State, owning one of the best hotels in Asaba, called Elomaz with franchise from the Best Western Hotels. SecretReporters in 2014 was the first medium to exclusively expose the hotel as his, while it was still under construction. He prides as the owner of the same Best Western hotel in Ikeja, Lagos.
He also owns Elomaz Investments Ltd in London, with company number 06716274 and registered office address in 4th Floor 86-90 Paul Street, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 4NE. His wife, Gloria Eloho, is also a shareholder in the company but Joel controls over 75% shares. He’s currently eyeing the House of Representatives but waiting for the current lawmaker Leo Ogor’s body language, to enable him make up his mind.
When SecretReporters sought Mr Joel’s reaction to the alleged tax evasion and fraud through calls and SMS, he didn’t respond to any.
Note: We have deliberately refused to reveal the name of the auditors against our policy, for editorial reasons
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