Connect with us

Crime

FIRS: Court Begins Fowler Probe As EFCC Arraigns Directors, Others For N4.5bn Fraud

Published

on

Babatunde Fowler

The probe of the tenure of Babatunde Fowler as Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has commenced.

President Muhammadu Buhari had queried Fowler for poor revenue collections between 2015 and 2018.

The query signed by the late Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, was titled “RE: Budgeted FIRS Collections and actual collections”.

Read Also: Service Chiefs Meet Oyo Govt, Say They Are Working To Address Insecurity

On Thursday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned Peter Hena, ex-FIRS Coordinating Director and eight others before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of a Federal High Court in Abuja.

They are Mohammed Bello Auta (Director of Finance), Amina Sidi (Finance and Account department), Umar Aliyu Aduka (Internal Audit), Mbura Mustapha (Deputy Manager), Obi Okeke Malachy (Services Group), Obaje Napoleon Adofu (Head of Budget), Udo-Inyang Effiong Alfred (Officer II) and Benjamin Jiya (Assistant Director) .

Two years ago, Hena and Auta were arrested but later released by the EFCC, over a multi-billion naira scandal.

The officials were grilled for allegedly diverting about N6billion tax funds that should have gone to the Nigerian government.

Read Also: Osun 2022: Massive Defection As PDP Members In Ipetu-Ile Dump Party For APC

Today, the EFCC docked them on a 42- count charge bordering on corruption, fraud and criminal misappropriation of funds to the tune of N4,558,160,676.

One of the charges said between January, 2017 and December 2018, the defendants and some other FIRS staff conspired to conceal funds which are proceeds of an unlawful activities to wit: Corruption, Fraud and Criminal Misappropriation of Funds.

“You thereby committed an offence contrary to section 18 and punishable under section 15(2) (a) and (3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 ( as amended by Act No. 1 of 2021)”, it read.

The defendants pleaded “not guilty” when the charges were read to them.

Prosecuting counsel, Ekele Iheanacho asked the court for a date to commence trial. The defendants, through their counsel, prayed the court to grant them bail.

Read Also: My Men Don’t Need Permission Of Anyone Before Going After Criminals- Oyo OPC Leader

Justice Ojukwu granted bail in the sum of N100million each and sureties in like sum.

The sureties must be Nigerians residing in Abuja, have a landed property within the jurisdiction of the court and provide evidence of Tax Clearance.

The defendants must deposit their travelling documents with the court and to must seek permission before travelling out of the country.

The matter was adjourned until June 14, 15, 23, 24, 28, 29, 2021 for commencement of trial.

BlazeNewz Disclaimer

The information contained in this post is for general information purposes only. Opinion articles, comments are solely the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of BlazeNewz while we endeavour to keep the information accurate with objectivity as we adhere to global practice of journalism. Read our full Disclaimer.

Hammed Tajudeen is the editor in-chief of Blaze News, holds Higher National Diploma(HND) in Mass Communication, graduated from Osun State Polytechnic, Iree.

Olaiya Flyover Inauguration

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x