Few months after President Muhammadu Buhari made Babatunde Fowler, chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service(FIRS), he is being accused of sharp practices.
A petition to the president Muhammadu Buhari,by aggrieved staff accused him of sundry violations of the Inland Revenue Act. Fowler who held sway as Lagos Inland Revenue Service boss for a long time, was a lackey and candidate of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Fowler was accused of serially breaching the 2007 FIRS Establishment Act, NewsdiaryOnline reports. According to the petitioners, the revenue boss did not waste time in giving inkling to what he had in mind, short changing the federal government in revenue collection.
“As soon as he was confirmed he brought in his lieutenants that will assist him in looting funds for personal use such as 1. Faramade Ogunsunya (his director finance in Lagos) 2. Adebowale Shonekan, 3. Biodun Aina (his SA in Lagos).
This is the same persons he used as fronts when he was in Lagos State Internal Revenue” the petitioners alleged. They further alleged that “fraudulent contract, where consultants are engaged to collect taxes who are then paid a per cent age of collection (2%). The 2% is then shared amongst him and others.”
Engaging consultants to carry out duties of assessing and collecting tax or routine responsibilities of tax officials violates section 12 (4) the FIRS firs Act, 2007, the petitioners allege.
One Biodun Aina is fingered as the major pipeline the FIRS chairman uses to siphon funds illegally. Documents from that count department show Aina’s culpability. “Most of the vouchers are done and paid in Aina’s name on behalf of Fowler.
The minimum amount collected for Fowler’s personal trips to Lagos is N4m” a source said. Fowler was similarly accused of using fronts to quarterly fleece the government of a whopping N80m by supplying bogus fuel to FIRS vehicles in field offices at above the litre price. “This amount will be paid even when all the cars did not consume fuel in the quarter” said a source in the agency.
The petitioners therefore, urged the president to Investigate the multiple invoicing of payments in the name of Biodun Aina Documents also show that Fowler has been on a vehicle purchase spree consisting of two jeeps And two sedans.
A national daily recently reported that Fowler had secretly hired 5 directors which is a violation of the federal character principles. Three of the directors come from the Southwest where Fowler hails from.
Wahab Gbadamosi confirmed that they were recruited to assist in the realization of FIRS 2016 target of N4.9 trillion.
Source: Point Blank