The presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress, Dumebi Kachikwu, has been enmeshed in allegations of tax fraud in the United States.
It was learned that the assets belonging to the founder of Roots Television Nigeria were confiscated by the United States government over non-payment of federal income taxes going up to $2.1 million.
According to Peoples Gazette, the US government has obtained a default judgement approving the confiscation of Kachikwu’s assets.
The media outlet, citing court documents, reports that case number 8:21-cv-01546-GJH filed in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland against Kachikwu and his now ex-wife, Somachi, approved the seizure of assets in a default judgement.
This, it is understood, followed the failure of the defendants to respond to the summons and complaints served to their Maryland home in June 2021.
Kachikwu was said to have evaded tax payment while working in the U.S. between 2009 and 2011, an offence punishable by law in the country.
It was gathered that as of March 2, 2022, the accrual of the interests and statutory additions on Kachikwu’s unpaid federal income tax liabilities had reached $2,082,500.
According to U.S. law, the tax liabilities will continue to accrue until paid in full by the Roots TV CEO and his ex-wife Somachi, daughter of Nigeria’s former Aviation Minister, Kema Chikwe.
James E. Miller of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, in September 2021 filed a motion for default judgement after the defendants shunned all attempts to get them to settle their tax debts. The U.S. District Court in Maryland granted the motion in March 2022.
The assets confiscated include a residential property at 8524 Churchill Downs Road, Gaithersburg, Maryland.
It was also reported that Kachikwu was involved in a similar tax evasion scandal in 2009 during which he allegedly bribed former U.S. Congressman, William Jefferson, with $100,000 cash to broker business deals in Nigeria during the Olusegun Obasanjo administration.
He, however, regained his freedom after agreeing to testify against Jefferson in court. His testimony strengthened the argument of the prosecution team, leading to the conviction of the Congressman found guilty of bribery, and racketeering amid other charges.