The Federal Inland Revenue Service has appointed Sterling Bank Plc as a collecting agent to recover taxes from 2,933 defaulting companies.
This was disclosed in a letter signed by the Chairman, FIRS, Mr Tunde Fowler, and addressed to the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Sterling Bank, Abubakar Suleiman.
The letter, which was obtained by our correspondent, was titled, ‘Letter of substitution appointing your bank as collecting agent and notice for release of bank statement and other financial records of the following attached companies.’
In the letter, the tax agency informed the bank of the failure of 2,933 listed companies to comply with provisions of the tax laws by not paying taxes due to the FIRS.
The letter read in part, “Pursuant to my powers under Section 49 of the Companies Income Tax Cap C12 LFN 2004 as amended and Section 31 of the FIRS (Establishment) Act No. 13 of 2007, I hereby appoint your bank as a collecting agent for the full recovery of the amount displayed on the attached schedule payable to the FIRS.
“In this regard, you are required to set aside the aforesaid sum and pay same to the credit of these attached companies in full or partial amortisation of its aforesaid tax debt. This should be done prior to the execution of all or any related transactions involving these companies or any of its subsidiaries.
“I further request that the FIRS be informed of any transactions prior to execution on the accounts, especially the transfer of funds to or from offshore or local accounts of these companies or any of its subsidiaries. Only on my authority should such transactions be exited.”
The FIRS also requested the bank to forward to it, within 72 hours, the receipt of the appointment letter, detailed bank statements and financial records for the attached companies and/ or any of its subsidiaries, holding accounts with the bank.
“You are also to provide records of all principal officers related to any of these companies. The statement should cover the period from the date the accounts were opened to the date of receipt of this notice,” it stated.
The FIRS also informed the bank that failure to comply fully with the notice was an offence punishable under the various tax laws and the criminal code.
•Bank chief allegedly blew amount on Alamieyeseigha, Aso Villa, others •Offers to refund N15b in one month
A former Chairman of the liquidated Skye Bank, Mr. Tunde Ayeni, is back in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly diverting and spending about N29.5billion depositors’ cash without justification.
Ayeni is alleged to have disbursed about N3billion of the sum to a former governor of Bayelsa State, the late Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha for “protecting the bank from attacks by militants.”
However, EFCC detectives investigating him suspect that the N3billion was a bribe for some power brokers in the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan to facilitate the acquisition of Mainstream Bank by Skye Bank.
Detectives claimed that about N275 million of the sum in question was taken in cash to the Presidential Villa for disbursement to such power brokers.
Ayeni is yet to provide the list of the beneficiaries of the cash although part of it has been traced to some of Ayeni’s companies and associates.
Sources familiar with the investigation said about N1.250billion was moved to Royaltex Paramount Ventures Limited and re-routed to Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company.
An administrative officer in one of the companies belonging to Ayeni is a director of Royaltex Limited.
Ayeni’s current probe, The Nation gathered, is different from his ongoing trial for illegal withdrawals from the bank.
Documents seen by The Nation show that the N29.5billion depositors’ funds were allegedly misappropriated between October 6, 2014 and February 24, 2016.
A top source, speaking on the matter, confirmed Ayeni’s detention.
He said: “We have detained Ayeni again in the last 72 hours for allegedly fiddling with depositors’ funds in the defunct Skye Bank.”Detectives have been grilling him on about N29.5billion depositors’ funds he distributed to some people, his companies and associates.
“It is nothing personal, we acted on a petition to EFCC from the management of Skye Bank now Polaris Bank.
“The management, in its letter alleged that he misappropriated the N29.5billion as the Chairman of the bank. He allegedly bled the bank to death in two years (2014 to 2016).
“It is also a well-known fact that the Minister of Finance and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) declared that some of the directors of the failed bank will be investigated and prosecuted if guilty of infractions.
“It is not a political witch-hunt but a probe of how Skye Bank was run down.”
Elaborating, the source said: “of the N29.5b mismanaged, he allegedly personally laundered about N24billion.
“That is, he directly disbursed it, including funds in suspense account that should not be touched. He used the system to disburse the balance.
“He admitted on oath that about N3billion was remitted to Control Dredging Company Limited which was disbursed to ex-Governor DSP Alamieyeseigha.
“Also, N1.250billion was moved to Royaltex Paramount Ventures Limited from a suspense account of the Skye Bank to Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company where he is one of the shareholders. His administration officer is a director in Royaltex.
“There is another alleged diversion of $7.5million which was routed through one of his companies.
“Another huge money (depositors’ funds) was changed to $5million at an investment company/ Bureau De Change on September 22, 2014 for personal use.”
The source added: “When we analysed the disbursement, about N275million cash was ferried to the Presidential Villa on October 30, 2014 for unknown purposes. Ayeni has not named the beneficiaries of the cash hauled to the Villa.
“When confronted or asked about how he disbursed the N3billion, his response in writing was that he gave a chunk to Alamieyeseigha who claimed to have protected the company from attacks.
“But detectives suspect that the sum might have been a bribe to some top government officials to assist Skye Bank to acquire Mainstream Bank.”
In one of the documents seen by The Nation, Ayeni said: “I advanced the N3billion for the bank. I told the bank and it decided to refund it to me.”
Sources also said Ayeni had made a commitment to EFCC to pay back N15billion within a month.
He was quoted to have said as follows: “I still stand by the resolve to pay the N15billion if given time to raise the money or sell part of my shares in NATCOM Development and Investment Limited to the tune of N15billion to resolve this problem.”
The EFCC also said Ayeni has offered to sell his shares in Ntel too to be able to refund the alleged misappropriated funds.
“He has agreed with the EFCC to look for stockbrokers who can evaluate his shares in the two companies to fetch him N15billion.
“Ayeni will remain in custody until there is a substantial commitment from him to refund the misappropriated funds,” another source said. (The Nation)
A female pant thief, identified as, Adejoh Ojonugwa, has revealed that he was sent to steal by a prophet, Olajide Ogunleye.
25-year-old panel beater,said the prophet of the Celestial Church of Christ, Ibanujemidopin Parish, Uso in Owo Council area, sent him to steal the pants as part of the rituals to make him rich.
While being paraded at the Ogun state police command, Adejoh said he recently approached Ogunleye for ways to get rich fast and that the clergyman asked him to get pants and ladies underwear.
“l was given a concoction by the prophet and, from that point, l could not remember what l was doing until l was arrested by police detectives. l regained my memory after four days when l remembered visiting the prophet for assistance to get rich. I had visited the prophet to pray for me because of my work and how to get rich.
After checking my palm, he told me there were ways out but asked me to swallow some concoction and prayed for me but asked me to look for ladies pants and underwear. But when I got home I didn’t know what I was doing again and l started looking for pants and underwear. I found three of my sister’s pants and l went to my brother’s house where l took two of my sister-in-law’s pants.
Hours later, my sister-in-law raised the alarm that her underwear were missing and I was arrested and taken to the police station. Two of the pants belong to my sister-in-law and the three others belong to my younger sister. When the police arrested me, I was taken to Uso Police Station before they transferred me here (Akure)” Adejoh said
Commenting on the recent trend, the state police spokesperson, Femi Jacobs, warns parents to advise their female children about where to keep their underwear
”The main suspect claimed to have lost his senses after taking a concoction from the prophet and started looking for ladies underwear. He said he had gone to the spiritualist who is a member of the Celestial Church to pray for posterity. He now said that the man prayed for him and gave him an ointment to take and as soon as he swallowed the concoction, he lost his senses and began to pick ladies pants.
He had already picked some in Uso, their village, according to him. And he came to Akure again to pick those of his brother’s wife. We are baffled and shocked to discover that during the time he lost his senses, the next thing for him to do was to begin to pick women underwear. We think the story is too good to be true. That is why we are engaging him. We will further dig into the matter to know what he actually wanted to do with the ladies pants. Once we know what he wanted to do, he will face the consequences.
We don’t want such a thing to happen in our state. And we are using this opportunity to enjoin our ladies and our women to keep very well whatever they put on, whether underwear or dresses. We also plead with parents to ensure that their daughters keep their underwear very carefully. We are using this opportunity to enjoin our ladies and women that this is a very dangerous phenomenon. We have to keep well whatever we are putting on. I also advise parents to warn their children, particularly females, to be very careful about where they keep their underwear.” he said
The Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Danladi Umar, says he is not a judicial officer and is therefore not answerable to any institution but the Presidency. He, therefore, rejected the authority of the National Judicial Council (NJC) and the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC).
Umar said this while responding to a petition against him by
The FJSC subsequently issued a query to the CCT boss, asking him to respond to the allegations against him.
In his response, dated February 6, 2019, and marked CCT/HQ/FJSC/S/01 and addressed to the acting Chairman of the FJSC, Umar said he was not answerable to any institution but the Presidency.
He said, “With regard to the prayer of the petitioner for an appropriate sanction against the chairman, it is important to note that the chairman and members of the tribunal, not being judicial officers, are not constitutionally subject to any disciplinary proceedings by either the National Judicial Council or the Federal Judicial Service Commission but the Presidency.”
Umar explained that at the time of inauguration, members of the CCT only take official oaths and not judicial oaths.
He said, “The petitioner alleged that judicial oaths were breached and that the National Judicial Council should consider appropriate sanctions. It is to be noted that the chairman and members of the Code of Conduct Tribunal are not judicial officers.
“This is predicated on the fact that the chairman and members of the tribunal, during swearing-in, only subscribe to official oaths and not judicial oaths. Therefore, not being a judicial officer, I did not subscribe to judicial oaths as alleged.”
On why he granted the ex parte order, Umar said he did so because it was within his power but added that he could not speak further since the matter was before the Court of Appeal and commenting on it would be subjudice.
The CCT boss also attached a letter dated May 18, 2015, which was signed by the then CJN and Chairman of the NJC, Justice Mahmud Mohammed.
In the letter, the then CJN asked members of the CCT to stop referring to themselves as justices as they were not judges.
Meanwhile, Onnoghen’s defence team has raised the alarm over what they described as lies contained in the records of proceedings of the CCT dated January 23, 2019. It was the day the CCT chairman granted an ex parte order for the removal of the CJN.
“We have filed an appeal before the Court of Appeal. Obviously, there is some hanky panky going on; otherwise, they would not have done that. Everyone knows that neither the CJN nor his lawyers were in court when that ex parte order was granted,” one of Onnoghen’s lawyers said on Saturday.
Telecommunications services provider, Airtel Nigeria, has been named ‘Brand of the Year 2018’ by the Board of Editors of one of Nigeria’s foremost newspapers, Leadership Newspaper.
The well-respected editors, in a citation, said Airtel was deserving of the honour because it has demonstrated intense interest and commitment to supporting laudable causes through its Corporate Social Investment initiatives just as it has also produced some of the best advertisements and value offerings in the industry and the market.
“Leveraging on its award-wining Touching Lives programme, Adopt-a-School initiative and Employee Volunteer Scheme, Airtel has invested massively, within the past years, to assist many communities as well as uplift hundreds of underprivileged people across Nigeria.
“It’s various CSR initiatives have directly impacted thousands of people as well as millions of Nigerians indirectly.”
Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar; Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade and Chairman of Leadership Group, Sam Nda-Isaiah presented the award to Airtel Nigeria’s Regional Operations Director, North West Region, Muhammad Bashir and Erhumu Bayagbon, Head: Public Relations, Airtel Nigeria, at a colourful ceremony, which held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, today (7/2/19).
In his acceptance speech, Airtel Nigeria’s Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, Segun Ogunsanya who was represented by Muhammad Bashir, Regional Operations Director, North-West, expressed profound appreciation to the Board of Editors of Leadership Newspaper for creating an independent and highly credible platform to reward excellence.
“Airtel is pleased with this award, especially as it is coming from a well-respected and leading newspaper in Nigeria. Indeed, this recognition bears eloquent testimony to the dedication and hard work of all my colleagues and I must thank them for always choosing to go the extra mile.
“Most importantly, this award is for all our customers across the country. We are being recognized today because millions of telecoms consumers have not just chosen Airtel but have demonstrated strong loyalty to our brand.”
He further assured that Airtel will remain relentless in its passion to “creating amazing experiences and innovative value offerings for all our stakeholders. We are also committed to touching more lives and also building communities as well as uplifting underprivileged Nigerians.”
The Leadership Award and Conference is an annual event put in place by LEADERSHIP Group Limited to celebrate those it acknowledges as having distinguished themselves in the public and private sectors in the previous year. The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Multiparty Democracy, Stability and Peaceful Elections: Connecting The Dots’.
Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States (US), Justice Sylvanus Nsofor and statesman and seasoned administrator, Alhaji Ahmed Joda were among dignitaries, who attended the Conference and Awards.
…says president has set Nigeria on path of growth
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Saturday assured President Muhammadu Buhari that residents in Lagos would troop out enmasse on February 16 and deliver the State to him and other National Assembly candidates of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
Governor Ambode, who spoke at the APC Presidential Mega Rally, held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere, Lagos, said the President in the last three and half years fully supported the infrastructural growth in the State and would do more if given another mandate of four years.
According to him, the February 16 election was not about tribe or religion, but strictly about job creation, infrastructural development and economic growth, saying that President Buhari has shown total commitment to making life comfortable for residents.
“In and outside of the stadium, you can see the crowd that has turned out here and we are very grateful that Lagos has been signed, sealed and delivered to APC already. The message is very clear.
“We appreciate Mr. President for his support to our State in the last three and half years. The achievements that we have recorded in Lagos were possible because of his support. This election is not about tribe or religion, it’s about infrastructure, jobs and the economy and the right path to go is to go to the APC.
“if you see what we are going in Lagos already, you will see that the Airport road is not for the Yorubas or the Igbos or the Hausas, its about making life comfortable for Nigerians and that is why Mr. President has continually supported all our projects by even refunding some of the funds we used for capital projects so that we can complete more projects,” Governor Ambode said.
He said it was important for Nigerians to entrust President Buhari with another four years in office to continue in the trajectory of growth, warning that the return of the opposition party would do nothing but alter the progress made by the Federal Government so far.
“If you remember, the first two years of this administration we were in recession caused by the PDP, but in the last two years, we have stabilized, we have created the groundwork for growth and that is where APC is different from the PDP. They will tell you that they want to make Nigeria work again, but ask them who destroyed Nigeria in the first place?
“Therefore, this election is about moving the economy forward and for this to be possible, we need to continue on the foundation that we have already made in the last four years. APC remains one party, we remain one nation and one family,” the Governor said.
Buhari, who made his entrance into the venue of the rally at about 2:45pm to a tumultuous welcome by the teeming crowd and party faithful, assured that Lagos as commercial capital of Nigeria would continue to receive greater attention in terms of infrastructural renewal and all round economic growth.
Speaking earlier at a session with members of the Organised Private Sector held at Lagos House, Marina, President Buhari said it was gratifying to note that the economic policies of his administration were already making the desired impact as evidenced by steady growth in the economy in the last three years.
He said the APC government had kept the promise to boost the economy through blocking leakages in government finances, increasing capital expenditure and inflows, and implementing the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), among others.
“I firmly believe that our economic policies are beginning to make the desired impact. Economic growth has resumed and is continuing to improve. Growth was higher in 2017 than in 2016, data even from external sources shows that it was also higher in 2018 than in 2017. I am confident that as we stay the course, it will be better still at the end of 2019.
“Inflation is coming down steadily, there is stability in the exchange rate and foreign exchange is readily available for genuine business. Foreign reserves are adequate and growing; capital inflows have increased and the trade balance is positive.
“We are paying off debts that were not even publicly acknowledged before now, including those owed to States, the electricity sector, oil marketers, exporters, backlog of salaries of workers and pensioners, amongst others,’’ he said.
Among the organizations which made presentations to the President at the session were Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), and Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME).
Aside Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Governors of Oyo (Abiola Ajimobi), Kebbi (Atiku Bagudu), Kano (Abdullahi Ganduje), Osun (Gboyega Oyetola), Ekiti (Kayode Fayemi) and Ministers, the session was also attended by many captains of industry including Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Femi Otedola, Oba Otudeko, Jim Ovia, Bismarck Rewane, Chief (Mrs) Nike Akande, among others.
The rally was well attended by the who’s who in the APC including the Governors of Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Ekiti, Ondo, Edo, Kano, Kebbi, National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Mr. Babatunde Fashola, other serving and past Ministers, party chieftains, among many others.