Thursday, 27 February 2014
Petition to IGP Urges Reopening of Gani Fawehinmi Criminal Allegations Case Against Bola Tinubu; Lagos State Govt Declines FOI Request To Disclose Alpha Beta Payments
A medical doctor, Adegbola Dominic of Santa Maria Hospital in Lagos, has requested the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to constitute a unit of the force to re-open, commence, take over or conclude the 1999 into the 1999criminal allegations against Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu, with the objective of prosecuting the former governor if need be.
In a letter dated November 1, 2012, Dr. Dominic, an indigene of Lagos State, recalled that in September 1999 when Mr. Bola Ahmed Tinubu was the Governor of Lagos State, the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi lodged criminal complaints were made against him, seeking to investigate the criminal allegations of falsification of statement/declaration and documents/certificates.
“You would also recall that The Supreme Court held that although you could investigate the Governor who then enjoyed immunity under Section 308 of the Constitution, 1999, you could not prosecute him in view of the express Constitutional Governor’s Immunity provisions of Section 308 – That `no Civil or Criminal proceedings shall be instituted or continued against a person to whom this Section applies during his period of Office’.”
The letter says that the Action Congress of Nigeria chief left office as Governor in 2007, losing the constitutional immunity in the process, but that those serious criminal allegations, which are more serious than those for which Salisu Buhari, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives was investing, have not been investigated.
Indeed, said the complaint, “since the demise of Chief Gani Fawehinmi, your office seems to have fallen asleep over the matter,” over serious criminal allegations that should not to be swept under the carpet.
He said his request is based mainly on the duties responsibilities and obligations of the IGP as provided for under the Constitution and Section 4 of the Police Act Cap 359, 1990 Laws of the Federation which says:
“The police shall be employed for the prevention and detection of crime, the apprehension of offenders, the preservation of law and order, the protection of life and property and the due enforcement of all laws and regulations with which they are directly charged, and shall perform such military duties within or without Nigeria as may be required by them or under the authority of this or any other Act”.
Further pointing out that the IGP would be in violation of the specific provisions of the Constitution and the Police Act if he fails, refuses or neglects to grant his request within 14 days, Dr. Dominic warned that he would initiate legal proceedings against him.
Copies of the letter were sent to the President, in his capacity as the Chairman of the Nigeria Police Council, and the Minister for Police Affairs.
In an earlier petition, dated October 24, 2012, Dr. Dominic sought from the Commissioner for Finance of Lagos State, under the Freedom of Information Act (2011), detailed information about the contractual relationship between the Government of Lagos State and Alpha Beta Consulting Ltd since 1999, under which the latter has collected taxes on behalf of the government for a commission of 15 per cent per month since that time.
It noted that the Government of Lagos State now boasts internally-generated revenues (IGR) of about N40 billion every month, “translating into a commission of N6 Billion due to and being paid to the Company every month, which sum I consider unfavourable and outrageous to me as a tax payer and Citizen of Lagos State,” the complaint said.
Under that arrangement, Alpha Beta Consulting, which is owned by former Governor Tinubu, will in 2012 alone corner about N72 billion of the revenues of the internally-generated tax revenue of Lagos State.
It was copied to the Board of Lagos State Internal Revenue Service, The Auditor-General, the Special Adviser, Taxation & Revenue and the Attorney-General of Lagos State.
In a response dated November 5, 2012, OlanrewajuAkinsola, Special Senior Assistant to the Governor (Justice Sector Reforms) in the Office of the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, rejected the application, saying that the FOI is only federal legislation that is not binding on the States.
Full text of the petitions:
DR. ADEGBOLA DOMINIC,
SANTA MARIA HOSPITAL,
10, SANTA MARIA STREET,
24th October, 2012
The Commissioner for Finance, Lagos State,
Ministry of Finance,
The Board of Lagos State Internal Revenue Service,
The Auditor General,
Office of the State Auditor – General,
Alausa – Ikeja.
The Special Adviser, Taxation & Revenue,
Office of the Governor of Lagos State,
The Attorney General of Lagos State,
Ministry of Justice,
APPLICATION FOR ACCESS TO, AND REQUEST TO YOU TO MAKE
AVAILABLE TO ME, ALL THE INFORMATION, CTC’S OF THE FILES,
RECORDS, CONTRACT DOCUMENTS ETC. IN YOUR CUSTODY OR
POSSESSION RESPECT OF THE CONTRACT/AGREEMENT ENTERED
THE GOVERNMENT OF LAGOS STATE AND, THE COMPANY, ALPHA
BETA CONSULTING LIMITED MANDATING THE COMPANY TO
COLLECT ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT ALL TAXES AND
INTERNALLY GENERATED REVENUE (IGR) DUE, PAYABLE AND
PAID TO THE GOVERNMENT AND ITS AGENCIES AND ALL THE
COMMISSIONS DUE, PAYABLE AND PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT
TO THE COMPANY AND RECEIVED BY THE COMPANY SINCE
THE DATE OF THE CONTRACT/AGREEMENT PURSUANT TO
SECTIONS 2, 3(3)M, O, 5, 6, 7, 9 & 10 OF THE PROVISIONS OF
THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2011 OR AS REPLICATED/
DOMESTICATED IN LAGOS STATE OF NIGERIA
WHEREAS as the Commissioner for Finance, Lagos State, your office is responsible for the management and disbursement of the finances of Lagos State, as well as being the Supervisory Commissioner over the Board of Internal Revenue Services of Lagos State.
and WHEREAS as the Board of Lagos State Internal Revenue Services, your Board is the Board charged with the collection all taxes and internally Generated Revenue of Lagos State,
and WHEREAS as the Auditor General of Lagos State, your office audits the Public Accounts of the State and of all officers by accessing all the books, records, returns and other documents relating to those accounts,
and WHEREAS as the Special Adviser to the Governor of Lagos State on Taxation and Revenue, your office is in charge of monitoring all the taxes and revenue accruing to the state,
and WHEREAS as the Attorney General of Lagos State, you are the Chief Law Officer and Commissioner for Justice of the Government of Lagos State whose office prepares and vets all contractual agreements/documents of the Lagos State Government and its agencies, and has custody and possession of same.
and WHEREAS by virtue of the special positions, functions and responsibilities of your offices as stated in 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 above, you know, and deemed to know or ought to know all about the taxes and revenue accruing to the Government of Lagos State as well as have in your custody and possession all the contractual agreements entered in respect of taxes and revenue matters of the state, and have in your possession and custody copies of these contractual agreements.
AND WHEREAS as a citizen of Nigeria and indigene of Lagos State it has come to my knowledge that the Government of Lagos State has entered into a contractual agreement with the Company, Alpha Beta Consulting Ltd. Whereupon the Company has the mandate of the Government of Lagos State since 1999 to collect and been collecting on behalf of the Government of Lagos State all the taxes and Internally Generated Revenue which have accrued and been paid to the State whereafter the Company is entitled to and being paid the Commission (of 15% (Fifteen Per Centum) therefrom since the year 1999.
AND WHEREAS sometime in 2011 by virtue of a statement issued by Mr. Bola Sodipo, Special Adviser to the Governor of Lagos State on Taxation and Revenue, the existence of a Contractual Agreement with the Company as tax and revenue collector on behalf of the Government was confirmed; but added that the Government of Lagos State would terminate the services of the Company by February, 2012,
and WHEREAS the Government of Lagos State now boasts of an IGR or about N40 billion every month translating into a commission of N6 Billion due to and being paid to the Company every month, which sum I consider unfavourable and outrageous to me as a tax payer and Citizen of Lagos State.
I, Dr. Adegbola Dominic wish to know how the taxes, revenue, finances of the State accrue, are managed, disbursed etc. In Lagos State and do hereby apply, to you, by yourselves, agents, servants etc. to access and request to be made available to me by you, all information, CTC’s of Files, records, Contract Agreements/Documents, in respect of the said Contract/Agreement entered into between the Government of Lagos State and, the Company, Alpha Beta Consulting Limited, mandating the Company to assess and collect on behalf of the Government all Taxes and Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) due, payable and paid by the Government and its agencies and all the commissions due, payable and paid by the government to the Company and received by the Company since the announcement of the Contract/Agreement for my perusal and scrutiny pursuant to Section 2, 3(3)m, o, 5, 6, 7, 9, & 10 of the Provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2011 (F.O.I) as Replicated/Domesticated in Lagos State of Nigeria. My request is basically to let me know the monthly returns of the taxes and Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) generated, accrued, collected and paid to the Government and commissions received from Government or its agencies by the Company since inception of the contract.
Sir, under Section 5 of the F.O.I, the above information, records, file, agreements/documents etc. shall be made available to me within 7 days after the application is received by you and I am ready and undertake to pay all appropriate fees in your duplications and transcriptions of the said documents to meet my request.
Counting on your fullest co-operation.
Dr. Adegbola Dominic