Babatunde Fashola, Governor of Lagos
A civil-society and non-governmental organisations group, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), on Thursday said it had again petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the activities of the Lagos State Government.
CACOL’s Executive Chairman, Debo Adeniran, made this disclosure as the group staged a peaceful protest that kicked off from Ikeja under bridge, with a detour to the government house and then ended up at EFCC.
He said they decided to involve the commission again because the objective of the group was targeted at fighting corruption and corrupt persons by any means possible at all levels in Nigeria.
In the petition made available to THISDAY, the group said their grouse was the failure of the Lagos State Government to provide answers to various questions raised by the coalition since 2010.
He said the questions raised were over the detailed budgetary reports of income and expenditure for the period of 2007 to 2011.
Adeniran said so far, the state government was yet to accede to this demand, as it allegedly kept hiding under one legal technicality or another since 2010.
In the petition, the coalition said it had in reaction to an advertorial placed in one of the national dailies on Thursday, January 28, 2010 under the title: ‘The True Face of Lagos,’ petitioned the EFCC on February 3, 2014, requesting for thorough investigation and necessary actions.
He said the publication had contained several allegations bordering on financial recklessness and misappropriation against the state government.
Adediran said the protest was because answers were not forthcoming even after another petition on February, 2011, addressed to the Lagos State House of Assembly, demanding that they investigate itself and perform its oversight functions’ on the allegations of financial impropriety leveled against the state governor.
He said house however replied vide its letter dated February 24, 2011 stating its inability to accede to CACOL’s demand, citing an earlier court injunction which stopped further deliberation on the matter until the case was disposed of.
Again, he said they forwarded a reminder to its earlier petition to the EFCC on August 6, 2013, to express their displeasure at the alleged utter neglect and the slow pace of investigation.
The coalition said based on facts at their disposal, they had placed different advertorials titled Alpha Beta Consulting (ABC) Deductions: Take a stand now.
He said: “The advertorials unveiled the facts surrounding the process of tax collection, remittance and deductions to the aforementioned consulting firm which is rumoured to belong to a former governor of Lagos State, Senator Bola Tinubu.
“Facts have it that the ABC is contracted to deduct from source a regular 15 per cent of all monies collected as taxes in the state at any given time or period.
“As a matter of verifiable fact, a total sum of N27,743,310,520.93 was paid to ABC between January 25, 2012 and October 26, 2014 through Skye Bank Plc account.
“These unfolding revelations are not only mind-boggling, but embarrassing as they have once again opened up the Pandora’s Box of the rots and high level of impunity in governance in Lagos State, with particular emphasis on the abuse of office, unguided recklessness and profligacy at the state level.
“Against this backdrop, CACOL is calling on the EFCC to make public your findings on the allegations of the ‘True Face of Lagos’ as contained in our previous petitions.
“We urge you to prevail on your personnel to expedite actions on the request made that the allegations raised in our petition are diligently investigated, its report made public, and whoever is indicted be prosecuted and punished appropriately.”
SOURCE: Thisday Newspaper