By Abiola Olawale & Segun Amure
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has requested for the copies of former Lagos governor, Bola Tinubu’s asset declaration documents from the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), in relation with the ongoing probe against him.
The EFCC had on November 6, 2020 demanded the Commission’s asset fraud investigation office to supply details of Tinubu’s asset documents as part of an ongoing probe of the alleged fraud in Alpha Beta Consulting.
The letter which was marked CR/3000/EFCC/LS/Vol4/322, was signed by the then Lagos Zonal Head, Abudulrasheed Bawa, who is currently the Chairman of the EFCC.
According to the letter, the EFCC demanded the bureau to supply “outstanding requested information of Bola Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu.”
The letter reads in part, “In view of the above, you are kindly requested to furnish the commission with the outstanding requested information of Bola Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu. This request is made pursuant to Section 38(1) and (2) of the EFCC Act 2004.”
Also, a top source at the EFCC reportedly confirmed that the probe was in relation to the petitions written against Tinubu in 2018.
According to the official, “The letter is authentic. The EFCC is in receipt of several petitions against Tinubu, including one involving alleged fraud in Alpha Beta Consulting.”
However, it was not immediately clear whether or not the CCB has obliged the EFCC’s request for additional information ever since, or the nature and scope of information provided if applicable.
Attempts to speak with the EFCC Spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, proved abortive as he did not respond to calls.
Meanwhile, a former managing director of Alpha Beta Consulting, Dapo Apara, had written an application to the EFCC, alleging that Tinubu was running the affairs of the firm.
Apara also went further to file a suit against Tinubu.
In his statement of claim, he stated that Tinubu controlled the company which was receiving 10 per cent of the taxes collected on behalf of the state.
Apara also noted that he began investigation into the finances of the firm, adding that he made many discoveries such as mysterious transfers of over N20bn to various companies.
He stated, “N550m payment to Ocean Trust Ltd vide payment instruction dated the 15/5/18, N850m payment to Ocean Trust Ltd vide payment instruction dated the 14/3/15.”
Apara also said that N960m was spent on purchasing HITV’s 300,000,000 shares.
However, Alpha Beta Tax consultancy firm, Alpha Beta LLP, had denied allegations levelled against it by Apara, adding that Apara had allegedly diverted about $5m during his time as managing director by inflating a contract which was worth about $300,000 and then diverted a separate N6bn to personal use.
Recall a group named Concerned Nigerians, led by Mr. Deji Adeyanju had in 2019 written to the EFCC to investigate the APC National leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The petition reads: “The Commission would recall that it was reported all over the news that bullion vans allegedly containing an undisclosed amount of cash were seen entering the home of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former governor of Lagos State on the eve of Nigeria’s presidential election. Tinubu himself admitted to this fact while responding to questions by journalists.
“It is pertinent to note that section 7 (1) (b) of EFCC Establishment Act 2004 gives the Commission the power to investigate properties of any person that it appears to the Commission that the person’s lifestyle and extent of the properties are not justified by his source of income.
“To the best of our knowledge, Mr Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a private citizen who ordinarily should not be seen with a convoy of bullion vans.
“The questions begging for answers are: What were bullion vans doing in the house of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu? Who owns the content, believed to be cash in the bullion vans that were seen entering the house of Bola Ahmed Tinubu on the eve of Nigeria’s presidential election? Has the Commission, based on its core mandates, investigated the source of the bullion vans? Is Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s house now a bank where bullion vans take money?”
Moreover, “You will recall that the Commission has been very hard on members of the opposition including detaining them for weeks on allegations of corruption and has now turned its focus on Yahoo Boys. We cannot as a nation have two separate rules for fighting corruption, one for those opposed to the ruling party and another for supporters of the government.”