The Civil Society Network Against Corruption, which is a coalition of over 150 anti-corruption organisations and individuals, has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to urgently investigate an alleged over N100 billion fraud, tax evasion and money laundering against Alphabeta Consulting Limited, Alphabeta LLP and Ocean Trust Limited.
In a petition forwarded to the anti-graft agency and signed by CSNAC’s Chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, the Network said the case is a test of the government’s will, commitment and sincerity in its call for citizens’ participation in governance and fight against corruption.
The petition reads: “Following the breaking news on Saharareporters online news publication dated the 7th September, 2018 and captioned ‘Tinubu’s AlphaBeta accused of N100 Billion Money laundering, Tax evasion fraud’, we write to urge you to use your good office, in collaboration with the Federal Inland Revenue Services, to dauntlessly and without fear or favour launch an urgent and immediate investigation into the allegations contained in the said report with a view to proving to the Nigerian populace that the current administration’s fight against corruption is transparent and executed without concerns about whose ox is gored.
“In an expose by one Mr. Dapo Apara, former Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of AlphaBeta Consultancy, the said Mr. Apara revealed that the company has become an avenue for official corruption of government officials, a conduit pipe for massive money laundering scheme, tax evasion amongst other vices.
“Speculations are that the company belongs to Mr. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the ex governor of Lagos State and ‘National Leader’ of the ruling party or that he is a major shareholder in the company, as AlphaBeta first became known when it was appointed as a consultant to the Lagos State Government, under the tenure of Babatunde Fowler as the Chief Executive Officer/Executive Chairman of the Lagos State Board of Internal Revenue from 2005 to 2014.
“The State has also never denied claims that the company takes about 10% of internally generated revenue of Lagos, estimated in 2016 to be about N40 Billion every month. You will recall that we also wrote petition to your office sometime in March, 2018 with respect to the use of fishy companies to aid corruption by the ‘feudal lords’ in Lagos state by diverting public resources into private holdings.
“Mr. Apara according to the aforementioned publication stated that over the years, the company is being protected and shielded by some powerful politicians and people in the society which made them to always boast of being untouchable.
“Hence, the need for your Commission to conduct a wholistic investigation into the case and all those involved or connected with the deals with the aim of unraveling the criminal elements in the allegations of Mr. Apara and ensuring all the taxes due for payment are recovered into the coffers of government. This inevitable action is necessary to debunk and invalidate the claims of ‘untouchables’ has reported by Mr. Apara.
“As a Network of civil society organizations, coalitions and individuals, we demand and join the call for investigation of the said companies, for the alleged infractions in the collection of taxes, shareholders manipulations and tax evasion to encourage individuals to speak up on corruption issues and also demystify the claims of some individuals being untouchable in the society.
“The Federal government encourages individuals and organization to support and explore the whistleblower policies go the government to fight corruption, recover stolen assets and improve the revenue base of the government. This particular case is a test of the government’s will, commitment and sincerity in its call for citizens’ participation in governance and fight against corruption.”