The former Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Chairman, Babatunde Fowler is in hot soup.
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). They worked under Babatunde Fowler.
Hena and Auta were arrested two years ago 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.
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.
President Muhammadu Buhari queried Babatunde 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”.
We shall keep you posted.