Ex-FIRS boss, Fowler, back to EFCC office for alleged diversion of N5bn


Former Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr Babatunde Fowler, returned to the Lagos office of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) where he was further grilled in respect of his stewardship and alleged diversion of N5 billion.

Fowler, who is being hosted by the agency, was also accused of allowing gaps in the auditing of the agency’s accounts and other allegations of financial impropriety while in the saddle.

Fowler’s interrogation, which as learnt, would be exhaustive, centred on alleged corruption.

But the EFCC has yet to make public the specific allegations against Fowler.

Fowler was questioned penultimate week by the agency over alleged diversion of N5 billion.

Fowler was first invited for interrogation two weeks ago over a case involving Alpha Beta Consulting, a firm that consults for the Lagos State government on internally-generated revenue (IGR) in return for a commission.

He was once the topmost taxman in Lagos State, and he is believed to be linked with the arrangement.

The company said to be promoted by former Lagos State Governor, Senator Bola Tinubu, has been embroiled in allegations of fraud, including tax evasion.

A former Managing Director of the firm, Oladapo Apara, made some of the allegations.

Apara had accused the company of defrauding the Lagos government and failing to pay tax.

In a recent suit filed at the Lagos High Court, he alleged that the company has been diverting billions of naira from the coffers of the Lagos State Government since 2002.

He also alleged money laundering, forgery, and some corporate fraudulent practices against the company and its owners.

Joined as a defendant in the suit is Tinubu, whom Apara claimed is complicit in the fraud.

In 2018, Apara also alleged that the company had so far generated N1.5 trillion for the state government, out of which the firm earned 10 per cent as a commission but failed to pay tax.

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