By Shola Abayomi.
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has refuted claims made by a former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was being perscuted for allegedly mismanaging about N90 billion released by the FIRS to prosecute the last general elections in favour of the APC.
The former APC chieftain had strongly asserted that Prof. Osinbajo’s recent travail was as a result of his alleged corruption and not because of his rumored presidential ambition.
According to Timi Frank, “The presidency discovered how Osinbajo allegedly mismanaged N90billion from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
“When confronted by the presidency, he (Osinbajo) confirmed to General Buhari that he indeed allegedly took N90billion from FIRS but it was used for the 2019 presidential election campaign in strategic states of the South-west.
“Gen Buhari asked for a breakdown of how the money was spent and he said he gave N11 billion to Lagos state APC leader but when the said national leader and one former APC chairman were invited for an explanation, it was confirmed that Osinbajo gave only N5billion and not N11billion to Lagos state.”
In its reaction, the FIRS through its Director of Communications, Wahab Gbadamosi denied funding the APC’s election campaign, stating that in the last four years since the Executive Chairman of the agency, Mr Tunde Fowler assumed office, the FIRS had not received up to N90bn per annum as cost of collection from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC).
“The entire allegation being spread by one Frank Timi that the Federal lnland Revenue Service spent N90 billion to fund the last election is mendacious, wicked, malicious and a calculated attempt to smear the image of the Service and that of his Excellency, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
“In the last four years since Mr Tunde Fowler has supervised operations at the FIRS, the agency had not received up to N90 billion, per annum, as Cost of Collection from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee, FAAC. Mr. Frank and his band of liars might wish to cross-check this from FAAC, a public institution, whose records are open to the public.
“It is from the remittances from FAAC—which had never grossed up to N100 billion, PER ANNUM, that FIRS pays the salary and emoluments and trains its over 8,000 staff, runs over 150 offices and provides for other needs of the Service.
“Given the above, IT IS NOT PLAUSIBLE nor DOES IT MAKE ANY SENSE that FIRS will commit its resources to a phantom campaign of N90 billion as suggested by Mr Timi Frank and FIRS does not fund political associations”, the statement read in part.