A former Managing Director of Alpha Beta Consulting Limited and Alpha Beta LLP, Mr. Dapo Apara, has called on the new acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mohammed Umar, to revisit his petition against the company.
The former Alpha Beta boss had in July 2018 written a petition against the companies, alleging that the firms had failed to pay taxes in the sum of N100bn.
Apara further alleged in the petition that the firms seemed “untouchable” because they were being protected by powerful politicians.
However, the then acting Spokesman for the EFCC, Tony Orilade, had said that Apara did not give the EFCC sufficient evidence to establish a prima facie case against the companies.
For the records, the Alpha Beta investigation is ongoing and we have nothing to hide over the matter. If the petitioner has any further proof with regards to the petition, our doors are wide open. As a tradition, we do not deal on hearsay; we act on facts and raw data,” Orilade had said.
Apara has again called on the EFCC leadership to revisit the petition.
Responding to a question, he said, “I will like the new chairman to live up to the anti-corruption credentials of this government and carry out a thorough investigation of my petition. I am always available to provide further details required.”
Apara had alleged that Alpha Beta, which collects tax on behalf of the Lagos State Government, used a company, Ocean Trust Limited, to launder funds.
Incidentally, the property where Ocean Trust Limited is located shares the same address with the office of former Governor Bola Tinubu of Lagos State known as ‘Freedom House’ located at Plot 684, Idowu Taylor Street.
Documents from the Corporate Affairs Commission revealed that Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo’s former firm, Simmons Coopers Partners, served as company secretary of Ocean Trust until the eve of the 2015 Presidential election.
Osinbajo had, however, denied allegations and insinuations of graft against his person.
Alpha Beta Consulting was awarded a contract by the Tinubu-led government after a recommendation by a committee comprising the then attorney-general of Lagos State, Prof Osinbajo (now the Vice-President); Mr Wale Edun, the then commissioner for finance; and a former commissioner for economic planning and budget, Yemi Cardoso.
The firm was subsequently given exclusive rights to collect taxes on behalf of Lagos State and was believed to receive about 10 per cent commission from the revenue it collected for the state.
However, pro-transparency groups and opposition politicians have constantly alleged that Tinubu owns Alpha Beta even though his name is not on any of the company documents.
Alpha Beta has constantly denied allegations of fraud, insisting that he helped boost the internally generated revenue of Lagos State.