Wednesday, September 12, 2018 2:46 pm
By Jethro Ibileke
Alpha Beta Consulting LPP, an information systems and technology and tax consultancy firm with Lagos and other states, was recently dragged before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), over alleged tax fraud to the tune of N100 billion.
A former Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr. Dapo Apara, who blew the whistle, alleged that the fraud had been covered by powerful politicians in the State. He said that the consulting firm has generated about N1.5 trillion for the Lagos State Government since 2002, of which Alpha Beta earned 10 percent.
Apara, in a petition to the anti graft agency, through his solicitor, Adetunji Shoyoye and Associates, and signed by one Adetunji Adegboyega, further accused the firm given exclusive rights to monitor and collect Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) on behalf of the Lagos Government, that it “had become an avenue for official corruption of government officials, a conduit pipe for massive money laundering scheme, tax evasion, among other vices.”
The petition dated 6 July, 2018, alleged that Alpha Beta “has become an avenue for official corruption of government officials, a conduit pipe for massive money laundering scheme, tax evasion, among other vices.
“Over the years the company has been protected and shielded by some powerful politicians and people in the society which made them to always boast of being untouchable, but our client, feeling the need not to keep quiet again and strengthened by his belief in the fact that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari is keen on fighting corruption, which has been the bane of our country, is of the firm belief that it’s time to expose and open the can of worms called Alpha Beta Consulting.”
But in a swift reaction, the management of Alpha Beta Consulting LLP has denied Apara’s allegation of tax fraud and evasion, leveled against it and its Managing Director, Mr. Akin Doherty.
The company’s denial which was contained in an advertorial placed in one of The Nation newspapers of 12 September, said the allegation which went viral on social media, was not only in the worst form of libel, but was written in a desperate attempt to conceal and distract attention from the author’s [Apara] own wrongdoing and misconduct that led to his termination from Alpha Beta.
It described the allegation as false and willfully contrived to tarnish the “hard-earned reputation and track record” of the company as the pioneer developer of the electronic-based electronic banking and internal-controlled revenue enhancing system it designed to promote good governance and accountability in private and public sectors.
“Alpha Beta has been validly and legally engaged by Lagos State government since year 2002 as a forensic, internal control and enhancement adviser. In working with the State, Alpha Beta helped developed the state’s centralised transactions’ platform, the precursor to the present-day Treasury Single Account (TSA).
“At the time we entered into contract with Lagos State, the State was taking in the sum of N600m in Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) per month. This amount was woefully inadequate for the State to even provide the most basic services needed for its fast growing population, let alone could that sum be the foundation for the infrastructural development and expansion of social services envisioned for benefit of the people of Lagos.
“As a result of our track record in Lagos, the Federal Inland Revenue (FIR) has embraced our technology for adoption at the federal level.
“Our compensation for these valuable services are clearly defined and governed by a valid contract. There are no hidden or illegal subtractions taken from State revenues. We have in no way breached the contract with the State as we continue to provide the full scope of contracted to the State pursuant to the contract,” the company said.
Alpha Beta further described the accusation made in the said publication about its tax status as patently illogical, adding that a company such as their’s that specializes in tax collection will never fall short in paying the taxes it owes.
“As a responsible private organisation working with Lagos State, we can assure you that we are law abiding and fully tax compliant. Our company records ?are open and available for audit, investigation and compliancy checks by designated statutory authorities. Our records are in order because we have done nothing wrong,” the statement concluded.