Secret Reporters

Barely forty-eight hours after documents emerged proving that few hours to his replacement, the embattled Ex-revenue chief, Mr Babatunde Fowler pleaded for a tenure extension, and also the trending video showing staffers at the service headquarters mocking him as he finally vacates his office, more stories are beginning to surface with the latest on how he flagrantly flouted a presidential directive ordering him to hand over to the most senior Director in the Service.

In a petition obtained by SecretReporters which was submitted to the Ministry of Finance by the Joint Union Council of Federal Inland Revenue Service after its emergency meeting at the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN, FIRS Unit) Secretariat on Tuesday, 10 October 2019, the allegation was made, the union stated that the handover by the Ex-FIRS boss was a clear departure from the presidential directive as Mr Abiodun Aina whom he handed over to, was not the most senior Director.

The union in substantiating their claim stated that Mr Abiodun does not have the requirement or qualification (both HND or BSC) to be employed into the service as he was never a Director in the service but a Senior Special Assistant to the erstwhile Chairman, Babatunde Fowler.

According to them, his appointment to the position of Coordinating Director was clearly against the provisions of section 2.19 of FIRS Human Resource Policies and Processes which states that “Appointments to the post of Coordinating Director shall be made by the board on the recommendation of the Executive Chairman. The appointment shall be open to all confirmed Directors of the service and it shall be competitive based on experience, competence, and Seniority. Pg24.”

However, investigations by our reporter revealed that Mr Abiodun Aina, a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria; Associate Member, Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers and Associate Member, Chartered Taxation Institute who hails from Kwara State, North Central Nigeria holds a Master’s Degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Lagos.

As a seasoned finance and investment manager with over 20 years post qualification experience in auditing, taxation, banking and business advisory services, Abiodun Aina was also appointed the Special Adviser to the executive chairman, FIRS in August 2015. Along with his advisory role, he also assumed duties as the coordinating director of the Domestic Tax Group of the FIRS on 15th May 2017.

Howbeit, two documents provided by the Union further alleged that Abiodun Aina, believed to be a stooge to Mr Fowler never had his name on the list of confirmed FIRS staff but on the Contract Staff list as he was brought in by Fowler when he became the chairman in 2015.

A source in the know within the service also disclosed that Mr Fowler who should have handed over to Mr Victor Ekundayo, the Director Human Capital Management as the most Senior Director, choose to handover to Aina in a bid to clean up and cover his tracks before the new man Muhammad Nami officially takes over.

Mr Fowler did not respond to calls and SMS sent to him to get his reaction on the story before press time.

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