Is Donald Duke Guilty of Tax Evasion With A Total of ₦500,000 Tax in 3 Years?
Donald Duke, presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party and former governor of Cross Rivers State has got tongues wagging after he claimed he earns an average of ₦156 thousand in a month since 2015.
The presidential candidate, who promises to improve tax collection and compliance by deploying up-to-date technology if elected president, pays an average of ₦13 thousand tax per month.
The claims about his earnings were contained in tax certificate he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Just like the case of Atiku Abubakar, former vice-president, self-confessed billionaire and business tycoon claimed that his income was just ₦20m in a year, Duke is believed to have understated his income, judging by his personal lifestyle.
The two-term ex-governor between 1999 and 2007 stated that he earned ₦1,763,157 in 2015, ₦1,894,736 in 2016 and ₦1,960,526 2017 from doing business.
He then paid tax of ₦150, 000 in 2015, ₦170, 000 in 2016 and ₦180, 000 in 2017.
However, Duke’s earnings and tax payments do not reflect his lifestyles. His extravagant black power bike at the 2016 Calabar carnival costs more than his combined earnings in three years.
But more telling is that Duke paid just a tax of ₦500,000 in three years despite his huge pension as a former governor.
He pointed out in the form he submitted to INEC that he had never been indicted for fraud by any judicial panel. He is also one of the ex-governors that had never been investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Duke who was born on 30 September 1961 graduated from Ahmadu Bello University in 1982. He later bagged LLM in Business Law and Admiralty from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984.
He became the Commissioner of Finance, Budget and Planning to the third republic civilian governor Clement Ebri and later the member of the National Economic Advisory and Intelligence Committee under the Abacha regime before he became a governor in 1999.
*Adapted from icirnigeria.org