A Civil Society Group Marched Yesterday In Ikeja Lagos Demanding That Efcc Probes Corruption Allegations Against APC Leader, Bola Tinubu And Lagos Governor, Babatunde Fashola
Adjekpagbon Blessed Mudiaga
The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), an aggregate of human rights, community based, and civil society organisations with anti-corruption agenda across Nigeria, headed by Mr. Debo Adeniran, organised a protest rally yesterday, demanding for answers to questions bordering on the greed and corrupt practices allegation levelled against former Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, by various sources. The rally was kick-started under the Oba Akran Avenue Roundabout Bridge, Ikeja Lagos, and moved onward to the Lagos State House of Assembly complex, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos. During a chat with The UNION while the rally was going on, Adeniran said Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) is the statutory Lagos agency for the collection of taxes and rate, but this responsibility has been unconstitutionally given to Alpha Beta, a private consulting company purportedly owned by the former Governor of Lagos state, Tinubu. “We have been asking questions for clarification on this issue since 2010 but no response has been forthcoming.
Hence, we organised this rally from Ikeja Under-bridge onward to the Lagos State House of Assembly, to demand for clarification and other corruption allegations levelled against Tinubu,” Adeniran declared. When asked what the allegations are, he said “Alpha Beta is a consultancy firm rumoured to be owned by Bola Tinubu, and has been deducting 15 per cent from the internally generated revenue by the Lagos state government”. “Government and political leaders are accountable to the people. We agitated for participatory governance, and what we have noticed since a very long time in Lagos State is that, what has been happening is not participatory. “The accountability they claim they do, maybe, every 100 days, quarterly, so to say, is a gimmick with which they bamboozle the people.
There have been several allegations flying around that the former Governor of Lagos State, Tinubu has almost half of all the property that we have in Lagos. We are not saying that he is guilty as charged, but we are saying that he should respond to all those allegations. “It is good, fashionable and civil to get court injunctions, but court injunctions only under-mine the right of the people to know. And what we are saying is that, instead of getting court injunction, he should just explain his own side of the story, so that people will know whether or not to take him and his candidates serious as they have taken him before now. And that is why we are now insisting to tell the Lagos House of Assembly that they should compel the gentleman that they so much love, to respond to all the allegations.
“The incumbent governor of Lagos State, Raji Fashola, should also state his own side of the case, and tell us what his relationship with Alpha Beta Consulting is. At the end, he should also tell us how much is being paid, so that Lagosians would have some information/knowledge about how their money is being spent. “It is a simple questions and answer thing, but because they didn’t answer when we asked them directly, we now want to ask them through institutions. These institutions will have the power to compel them to offer explanation on all these nagging issues”, he said. Apart from the issues commented on by the CACOL head, the rally organizers also distributed a leaflet with a heading “Greed Leads To Corruption- Tinubu The Greedy.” The contents of the leaflet stated that: Tinubu is stupendously wealthy, among his list of investments include TV and Radio Continental stations, First Nations Airlines, The Nation Newspapers, Oriental Hotel, to mention a few. The leaflet also informs that Lagos collects taxes and Tinubu’s company, aforementioned, collects it on behalf of Lagos state and receives commission. Lagos awards contracts and his company bids and wins such contracts. Tinubu, who is usually called ‘Jagaban or Asiwaju’ by his stooges runs a political empire and replicates the same mechanism in the states his party (APC) wins. The leaflet raised a fundamental question such as, “don’t you find it amusing that despite the perceived highhandedness of Asiwaju, and these governors remain loyal and are even submissive to the point of being errand boys?
SOURCE: The Union.