Fowler returns to EFCC as ‘fraud’ probe drags into second week

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has continued its interrogation of Babatunde Fowler, former chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), over alleged fraud.

Fowler, who arrived at the commission’s office in Lagos state on Monday, is still being grilled over alleged corruption while in office.

He 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.

The company has been embroiled in allegations of fraud, including tax evasion. Oladapo Apara, former managing director of the firm, made some of the allegations.

Before he was appointed head of FIRS, Fowler served as chairman of the Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS).

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 a number of corporate fraudulent practices against the company and its owners.

Joined as a defendant in the suit is Bola Tinubu, former governor of the state, 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 Lagos government, out of which the firm earned 10 percent as a commission but failed to pay tax.

The firm had denied the allegations, accusing its former MD of “the worst form of libel”.

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