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EFCC docks TSTV owners over alleged tax evasion, money laundering

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned the owners of Telcom Satellites TV (TSTV) before the Federal High Court in Abuja on a nine-count charge of alleged tax evasion and money laundering.

The defendants, Dr. Bright Ikechukwu Echefu, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, and Dr. Felix Nnamdi Ignoanuga, Executive Director, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The EFCC alleged that the defendants engaged in tax evasion, failed to remit VAT, company income tax, and PAYE deducted from staff salaries, and diverted tax money payable to the Federal Government.

The prosecution also alleged that Dr. Echefu defrauded a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Turaki Kabir Tanimu, of N960m under false pretences.

The defendants were granted bail, with the trial judge warning them not to travel out of the country without permission and notifying the Nigerian Immigration Service of the seizure of their international passports.

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The case was adjourned till July 15, 16, and 17 for trial.

“We will not hesitate to order their arrest should they act in breach of any of the bail conditions,” Justice Ekwo said.

The EFCC counsel, Mr. Sylvanus Tahir, SAN, said the defendants posed a flight risk, while the defense lawyer, Mr. Eyitayo Fatigun, SAN, argued that the defendants were on administrative bail and the charge contained bailable offences.

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