Damilola Aina, Abuja

Daily Courier- Residents of Benue state have been thrown into utter darkness following a dispute between the Benue State government and the management of Jos Electricity Distribution Plc.

The blackout followed claims and counterclaims between the State government and the management of Jos DISCO over indebtedness to the tune of N 558 milion.

The management of Jos DISCO claims that Benue State Government owes it the sum of N158m within three months. But the state government, on the other hand, claims that the DisCO owes it over N400m.

Reports also gathered that the state government had earlier on Wednesday led by the chairman Board of Internal Revenue, Mrs. Mimi Orubibi Azape, sealed up some businesses across the state, including the offices of the Jos Electricity Distribution (JED) plc in Makurdi and Gboko over unpaid tax.

According to her, “enforcements become necessary when you have followed all due processes and the tax is not being paid.

“We issued a 14 days notice and we also did another seven days notice and at that point nothing was done.

“We did not come immediately to seal them because we wanted to exhaust all means of diplomacy which all failed. After that time I made calls to their Lagos office and it yielded nothing so we decided to carry out the enforcement.”

However, Mr. Elijah Adakole, Head, Corporate Communications of JED plc, while responding to the development, said that the company was not indebted up to the amount claimed by the Benue State Internal Revenue Service board.

Adakole expressed that the board acted arbitrarily by sealing up its offices in Makurdi and Gboko.

In a statement issued to journalists on Thursday night in Makurdi, Adakole said that, “It is untrue that the company was owing the revenue service the humongous amount of money being claimed by the Chairman, Mrs Mimi Adzape – Orubibi.

“There is incontrovertible evidence to show that Jos Electricity Distribution Plc has been remitting their PAYE to the Board Account Number – Union Bank 0025168481.

“This could be gleaned from several correspondences and meetings to this effect,” he justified.