Two officers of the Unified Hybrid Enforcement Team (UHBET) acting on behalf of the Anambra State Internal Revenue Service (AiRS) have been dismissed over misconduct.
The dismissal followed viral video of personnel of the team dragging a citizen, identified as a commercial transport operator, out of his vehicle and driving away in the same vehicle.
Addressing reporters on Monday, Chairman, Internal Revenue Service (AiRS), Dr. Greg Ezeilo described the officers actions as sharp contrast to the responsible, caring, and humane philosophy that the Soludo government upheld.
He said although the culprits had demonstrated remorse over their unruly behaviour, the dismissal would serve as a deterrent to others.
He said, “We confirmed they are our personnel and the transporter who plies Onitsha and Edo was flagged down by the officers who checked his profile on our portal and found he was owing #47,000.
“But in attempt to make him to pay, the driver sped off but was blocked by the officers who went off their mandate to manhandle the driver and pulled him out of the vehicle in a manner that is unacceptable.
“That’s not the kind of training we gave them. It’s common that tax payers often don’t want to pay unless compelled to do so, but the manner of compulsion is what is appalling. That’s why we apprehended them.
“Although they’re full of apologies, but we must do the needful to send a warning sign for their colleagues in the field. For that singular act, they will be dismissed and that’s final.
“We’ll continue to train and retrain until we find those suitable for this job in the most civil and coperate manner. Taxation is a due process system, including assessments, notice. It’s only when the tax payer fails that you enforce.
“For the action to have gone viral, following outpouring of condemnation and Vernon’s poured out on Soludo’s government whose aim is to turn the state to a livable one, we deem it wise to bring the culprit to book.
“This is a highly responsible government, just as the AIRS and UHBET is a responsible body working for the betterment of the people of the state.”