Tinubu, Alpha-beta, others accused of fraud, tax evasion, money laundering

Bola-Tinubu Bola-Tinubu

Dapo Apara, a Nigerian chartered accountant, has accused a former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu; a consulting firm, Alpha-beta, and a former commissioner in the state, Akin Doherty, of money laundering, fraud, tax evasion, and sundry corrupt practices.

Mr Apara, in writ of summons deposed to at a Lagos high court, claimed that Mr Tinubu and Alpha-beta reneged on certain agreements reached in the past about the management and control of the consulting firm.

Alpha-beta is a consulting firm handling the computation, tracking and reconciliation of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in Lagos State in return for a commission.

Mr Apara, who claims to own 30 per cent stake in the company, alleged that Mr Tinubu "has directed and dictated the affairs" of the company by diverting assets to himself at the detriment of the claimant (Mr Apara).

Mr Apara claimed that apart from owning 30 per cent stake in the company, other stakeholders are Michael Ogunmola, trading under the name and style Mono Consulting (40 per cent); Tunde Badejo, trading under the name and style Ebo Consult (15 per cent); and again, Tunde Badejo, trading under the name and style Intergrev Services (15 per cent).

He also claimed that the company was being used for "massive corruption purposes including tax evasion, bribery of government officials, diversion of funds" and money laundering.

The 40-page writ of summons, seen by PREMIUM TIMES, was issued by Mr Apara's lawyer, Tade Ipadeola.

Details of the claims include an order compelling an account of all sums due to Mr Apara from 2010 till date; an order tracing all funds and assets due to him from the inception of the company to date; an order of specific performance of certain clauses of the partnership agreement that created the company by extant partners; an order for payment to the claimants by the defendants, all sums adjudged to be due to him on the submission of the accounts; and payment of 10 percent interest on the sums adjudged to be due to him.

The first, second and third defendants, according to the writ, include Alpha-beta Consulting, Mr Tinubu and Mr Doherty, respectively.

Mr Tinubu was Lagos governor between 1999 and 2007 while Mr Doherty served in different capacities in Mr Tinubu's government, notably as commissioner for finance between 2005 and 2007.

Tade Ipadeola.

Mr Apara claimed that sometime in 2000, he solely conceived, prepared and presented a proposal to the Lagos State Government on providing consultancy services using his firm, Infiniti Systems Enterprises, with respect to using computerisation to track and reconcile the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state.

Following the presentation of his proposal to the Lagos State Government, Mr Apara claimed that Mr Tinubu, who was at the time the governor of Lagos State, demanded that 70 per cent equity interest in the project be assigned to a certain Olumide Ogunmola before he will approve the project.

Mr Apara said he then met the said Mr Ogunmola, who he had never met before, and it was agreed that a limited liability company be incorporated in which Mr Apara will hold 30 per cent shares while Mr Ogunmola and his partners will hold 70 per cent of the shares of the company.

Alpha Beta Consulting Limited was incorporated in 2002 with the shareholding ratio that shows that 30 per cent was allocated to him (Mr Apara), 40 per cent for Mr Ogunmola, and 30 per cent for Adegboyega Oyetola.

It remains unclear if the said Mr Oyetola is the incumbent governor of Osun State, a close ally of Mr Tinubu.

Mr Apara said that upon the commencement of business operations, Mr Tinubu directed that the 30 per cent shareholding of Mr Oyetola be transferred to one Tunde Badejo and this was done. He added that although he was a signatory to all the bank accounts of the company, payments from the bank accounts required only 2 signatories which was mostly handled between the other two partners, Messrs Ogunmola and Badejo. After the incorporation of Alpha-Beta Consulting Ltd in 2002 and the company, Mr Apara said it was structured according to the dictates of Mr Tinubu, in his official capacity as the governor of Lagos State. Mr Tinubu thereafter approved that Alpha-Beta Consulting Ltd be awarded consultancy contract for the assessment and collection on behalf of the Lagos State Government, all taxes and Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) due and payable to the State at a 10% consultancy fee (subject to a benchmark which varies from time to time).

He noted further that due to the technology deployed by him, the Internally Generated Revenue of the state grew from a base of about N10 billion in 2002 to over N300 billion in 2019.

Things Fall Apart

In 2010 or thereabouts, he alleged, Mr Tinubu directed that the incorporation structure of the Alpha-Beta Consulting Ltd be changed from a Limited Liability Company to Limited Liability Partnership under a newly promulgated law of the Lagos State Government. Mr Apara said Mr Tinubu explained to him that the purpose was to further shield his (Tinubu's) Involvement in Alpha-Beta Consulting Ltd from public scrutiny. This was done in 2010.

Mr Apara claimed that Mr Tinubu thereafter directed that Mr Ogunmola be designated as Managing Partner of Alpha Beta Consulting LLP, while he was designated as Deputy Managing Partner. He explained further that in 2014, Mr Tinubu directed that Mr Ogunmola should cease being the Managing Partner and he (Mr Apara) then became the Managing Partner with access to review the financial records.

But things took a dramatic turn sometime in 2016 when Mr Tinubu told him he had has received feedback that he (Apara) was reviewing past financial records of the company and he was displeased with this action. He claimed Mr Tinubu therefore announced that he intends to bring Mr Doherty into the management of the company as Managing Director to take over the financial management of the company, while he (Mr Apara) should revert to his former role as Deputy Managing Director and not get involved in the company's financial affairs.

"The 2nd Defendant (BOLA AHMED TINUBU) also warned the claimant not to even think of exposing his involvement in the financial affairs of the lst Defendant to the EFCC as the then Acting Chaiman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, will always protect him (the 2nd Defendant)," Mr Apara said in the writ.

"The 2nd Defendant (Tinubu) also threatened to use the agencies of the Lagos State Government such as the Lagos State Internal Revenue service (LlRS) and the Lagos State Building Control Agency to harass and seize the assets of the Claimant if the Claimant ever betrayed him."

Mr Apara said he disagreed with the Mr Tinubu's request that he should revert to the role of a deputy.

"Instead the Claimant agreed with the 2nd Defendant that he will transition to a consultant to the 1st Defendant to manage the technology and get remunerated on a monthly basis for this task," he claimed.

"Thereafter, the 3rd Defendant was brought to the office premises of the 1st Defendant by Mr. TUNDE BADEjo, a partner, and introduced to the staff as the new "Managing Director" of the 1st Defendant.

Source: By Oladeinde Olawoyin