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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

IGR: FORENSIC AUDITOR INDICTS ZENITH BANK OF DEFRAUDING NIGER STATE


By NGIJ team of Oluwasegun Abifarin and Olawale Abideen
As global designers and brands set to storm Lagos for the second edition of Zenith Bank’s highly anticipated Lifestyle Fair, which holds from Friday, November 29 to Sunday, December 1, 2019, the bank has run into a wild storm of controversy brewed from its IGR collection activities in far-away Niger State.
While the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC is still combing its books regarding the atrocities of some banks in the Internally Generated Revenue, IGR manipulation in Nasarawa state, the nation’s anti-graft body has been alerted that Zenith Bank is in a mud of a N359.2 million IGR controversy in Niger state.
Before the misadventure in Niger State, the same bank has been dressed in similar robe in Nasarawa State where forensic investigation assessed that it withheld about N176.2 million due to the state.
According to the document received by the Nigerian Guild of Investigative Journalists, NGIJ, Niger State governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani-Bello in a letter dated 23/07/2015 from the office of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Malam Zakari Abubakar appointed a Lagos based forensic firm, Forensic Consulting, as consultant to investigate deductions of unremitted 10% Withholding Tax on Credit Interest by some banks operating in the state.

However, an instruction was passed by the then Finance Ministry Permanent Secretary to its supervised Niger State Board of Internal Revenue of Forensic Consulting full appointments to cover all the banks in Niger State.
At the end the forensic investigation, the total refundable by Zenith Bank stood at N359.206 million out of the N4.6 billion due to the state by 12 banks and one Micro Finance institution.

In his petition to the EFCC, obtained by the NIGJ team,  Ori Adeyemo, Managing Consultant of Forensic Consulting alleged he was reliably informed that the Board had given clean bill of health and letters of non-indebtedness to the said compromised concerned banks.
The consultant also alleged that the Board “went ahead to try and sell-out this assessment to persons unknown so far who relied on our reports in lowering the assessment to N102, 457,738.40 sum for reasons unknown after unbridled reports mutilation and suspected behind-the-scene negotiations all in a bid to deprive the Niger State Government of its hard-earned Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).”
The petitioner asserted that he is in receipt of N697, 919,319.78 assessment objection letter from Ijewere & Co. dated 12/03/2017 written for and behalf of Zenith Bank responding to our concluded investigation reports to the Board earlier dated 30/01/2018 for said assessment
Adeyemo alleged further that “unfortunately, the Board went ahead to try and sell-out this assessment to persons unknown so far who relied on our reports in lowering the assessment to N102, 457,738.40 sum for reasons unknown after unbridled reports mutilation and suspected behind-the-scene negotiations all in a bid to deprive the Niger State Government of its hard-earned Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).”
He added that the “total commissions and/or dues fraudulently lost thereto and/or withheld by the Niger State Board of Internal Revenue is N910,422,825.32, which “we hereby request that the EFCC use its wide-ranging investigative powers to help recover for us.”
The petition also included a compact disk (CD) detailing all completed jobs in intellectual properties as so far executed by the consultant for the Niger State Government enabling it to demand for an additional but unpaid N732,143,601.52 commission sum to wit:

PARTICULARS:

EMAIL DATEBANKSTARTENDAMOUNT
29/07/2019Stanbic-IBTC Bank Plc.31/07/201130/06/201746,544,471.96
19/07/2019Skye Bank Plc.29/05/199931/08/2017789,653,459.14
09/09/2019Diamond Bank Plc.29/05/199926/09/2017556,916,153.43
22/07/2019Zenith Bank Plc.29/05/199931/07/2017359,206,378.82
11/07/2019Guaranty Trust Bank Plc.31/03/200431/12/201621,013,850.30
09/09/2019Ecobank Nig. Ltd.29/05/199928/09/2017189,812,363.06
08/04/2019Access Bank Plc.29/05/199931/12/2017556,801,021.88
02/08/2019United Bank for Africa Plc.29/05/199931/12/2017804,625,167.29
04/03/2019Heritage Bank Plc.29/05/199931/12/2017363,544,906.82
08/07/2019Unity Bank Plc.29/05/199931/12/2017409,050,337.56
24/05/2019Keystone Bank Ltd.29/05/199931/12/2017262,638,397.39
31/12/2018Wema Bank Plc.29/05/199931/12/2017192,963,839.30
28/03/2019Aso Savings & Loans Plc.29/05/199931/12/201795,760,456.36
Total Refundable By Banks4,648,530,803.31
Payments Made inclusive of 5% Value-Added-Tax (VAT)4,880,957,343.48
15% Commission Due To Forensic Consulting inclusive of 5% VAT732,143,601.52

“Consequently, in the light of the mutual agreement that have with the Niger State Government, we are entitled to 15% of the established N1,131,931,579.67 liability assessment per completed assignments for N178,279,223.80 sum, which we hereby demand that EFCC should assist us to collect from the Niger State Board of Internal Revenue and its collaborators”, Adeyemo said.

AFTER N500M IN NASARAWA, UBA IN ANOTHER MESSY N800M IGR SCANDAL IN NIGER STATE


By NGIJ team of Oluwasegun Abifarin and Olawale Abideen
While the smoke of the atrocities of some banks in the Internally Generated Revenue, IGR manipulation in Nasarawa state is still stuffing the nose of an alarmed Nigerian public, a petition has gone to the EFCC that the United Bank of Africa, UBA is in a pool of another 800 million IGR controversy in Niger state.
Before the misadventure in Niger State, the same bank has been drenched in similar mud in Nasarawa State where forensic investigation assessed that it withheld about N506 million due to the state.
According to the document received by the Nigerian Guild of Investigative Journalists, NGIJ, Niger State governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani-Bello in a letter dated 23/07/2015 from the office of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Malam Zakari Abubakar appointed Ori Adeyemo, a Lagos based forensic expert as consultants to investigate deductions of unremitted 10% Withholding Tax on Credit Interest by some banks operating in the state.

However, an instruction was passed by the then Finance Ministry Permanent Secretary to its supervised Niger State Board of Internal Revenue of Adeyemo’s full appointments to cover all the banks in Niger State.
At the end the forensic investigation, the total refundable by the UBA stood at 804.62 million out of the N4.6 billion due to the state by 12 banks and one Micro Finance institution.

In his petition to the EFCC, obtained by the NIGJ team. Adeyemo alleged he was reliably informed that the Board had given clean bill of health and letters of non-indebtedness to the said compromised concerned banks.
The consultant also alleged that the Board “went ahead to try and sell-out this assessment to persons unknown so far who relied on our reports in lowering the assessment to N102, 457,738.40 sum for reasons unknown after unbridled reports mutilation and suspected behind-the-scene negotiations all in a bid to deprive the Niger State Government of its hard-earned Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).”
He added that the “total commissions and/or dues fraudulently lost thereto and/or withheld by the Niger State Board of Internal Revenue is N910,422,825.32, which “we hereby request that the EFCC use its wide-ranging investigative powers to help recover for us.”
The petition also included a compact disk (CD) detailing all completed jobs in intellectual properties as so far executed by the consultant for the Niger State Government enabling it to demand for an additional but unpaid N732,143,601.52 commission sum to wit:

PARTICULARS:

EMAIL DATEBANKSTARTENDAMOUNT
29/07/2019Stanbic-IBTC Bank Plc.31/07/201130/06/201746,544,471.96
19/07/2019Skye Bank Plc.29/05/199931/08/2017789,653,459.14
09/09/2019Diamond Bank Plc.29/05/199926/09/2017556,916,153.43
22/07/2019Zenith Bank Plc.29/05/199931/07/2017359,206,378.82
11/07/2019Guaranty Trust Bank Plc.31/03/200431/12/201621,013,850.30
09/09/2019Ecobank Nig. Ltd.29/05/199928/09/2017189,812,363.06
08/04/2019Access Bank Plc.29/05/199931/12/2017556,801,021.88
02/08/2019United Bank for Africa Plc.29/05/199931/12/2017804,625,167.29
04/03/2019Heritage Bank Plc.29/05/199931/12/2017363,544,906.82
08/07/2019Unity Bank Plc.29/05/199931/12/2017409,050,337.56
24/05/2019Keystone Bank Ltd.29/05/199931/12/2017262,638,397.39
31/12/2018Wema Bank Plc.29/05/199931/12/2017192,963,839.30
28/03/2019Aso Savings & Loans Plc.29/05/199931/12/201795,760,456.36
Total Refundable By Banks4,648,530,803.31
Payments Made inclusive of 5% Value-Added-Tax (VAT)4,880,957,343.48
15% Commission Due To Forensic Consulting inclusive of 5% VAT732,143,601.52

“Consequently, in the light of the mutual agreement that have with the Niger State Government, we are entitled to 15% of the established N1,131,931,579.67 liability assessment per completed assignments for N178,279,223.80 sum, which we hereby demand that EFCC should assist us to collect from the Niger State Board of Internal Revenue and its collaborators”, Adeyemo said.

Awosika Becomes New ACCESS Bank Chairman



The Board of Directors of Access Bank Plc (the Bank) is pleased to announce that its Chairman, Mrs. Mosun Belo-Olusoga will be retiring in January 2020.

This follows her completion of the maximum 12- year term limit allowed by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Code of Corporate Governance for Banks and Discount Houses. Mrs Belo-Olusoga became the Chairman of the Board in July 2015.

Mrs. Belo-Olusoga has confirmed that she has no disagreement with the Board and there are no issues relating to her retirement that need to be brought to the attention of the shareholders of the Company or the regulatory authorities. 
To lead the Board in the next phase of Bank’s transformation into becoming Africa’s Gateway to the World, the Board has in line with its robust leadership succession plan appointed Dr. (Mrs) Ajoritsedere Awosika, MFR as the Chairman of the Bank when Mrs Belo-Olusoga steps down on January 8, 2020.
Dr. Awosika joined the Board in April 2013 as an Independent Non-Executive Director and has been the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board Credit and Finance Committee and the Board Audit Committee respectively in addition to membership of other Board Committees. 

She is an accomplished administrator with over three decades experience in public sector governance. She was at various times, the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministries of Internal Affairs, Science & Technology and Power.

Dr. Awosika is a fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria and the West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacy. She holds a Doctorate degree in Pharmaceutical Technology from the University of Bradford, United Kingdom.

She is the Chairman of Chams Plc and Josephine Consulting Limited and a Non-Executive Director of Capital Express Assurance Ltd.

The Board would like to express its appreciation to Mrs. Belo-Olusoga for her contributions to the Bank’s transformational growth and wishes Dr. (Mrs.) Awosika success in her new appointment

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

ATTACKING PROTESTERS THAT DEMAND SOWORE’S FREEDOM IS AUTOCRATIC’ -HEDA


The Federal Government has been called upon to immediately release from custody the Publisher of Sahara Reporters, Mr Omoyele Sowore.


The activist was arrested in August and has been kept by security operatives against court rulings.


The Nigeria’s leading rights groups also said the attacks on protesters demanding the release Mr Sowore portrays Nigeria in the grimiest image of an autocratic country that has no respect for the rule of law. In a statement on Wednesday, the Human and Environmental and Development Agenda, (HEDA Resource Centre) said the Nigerian authorities have demonstrated complete disregard for the fundamentals of democratic governance. Early in October, HEDA in collaboration with international rights groups declared Sowore a prisoner of Conscience.“There is no more justification for keeping Sowore who has embarked on hunger strike.

We suspect that by now his health must have been failing. His condition may deteriorate unless the government releases him from captive”, HEDA said in a release signed by its Chairman, Mr Olanrewaju Suraju.  He said Sowore is a target of hate by the government adding that his arrest was a conscious attempt to destroy his medium, Sahara Reporters which has continued to expose corruption committed by Politically Exposed Persons, (PEP). Mr Sowore was charged for various offenses including treason and an attempt to overthrow the government, charges the Nigerian government continuously amend due to inability to source enough evidence.

On Tuesday, the Department of State Services violently dispersed a crowd of protesters that gathered to register their anger against the continuous detention of Sowore. The DSS used live bullets, tear gas and pepper spray around its headquarters where the demonstrators converged.

Two photo journalists, Jide Oyekunle of Daily Independent Newspapers and Mr Mudashiru Atanda of The Sun Newspapers were attacked in the mayhem. “We condemn in the strongest term, attempts to frustrate the release of Mr Sowore.

There is no justi/cation for the continuous detention of the activist. The Federal Government will be held responsible for any evil that may befall Mr Sowore” HEDA said in a statement signed by its Chairman, Mr Olanrewaju Suraju.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

You have done so much evil to people, doing drugs will worsen your case”- Bankulli slams Dbanj


The long standing dispute between Nigerian pop star, Dbanj and his former manager Bankulli has been provoked again as they’ve both taken to Instagram to troll themselves.
Now, Bankulli, still in response to Dbanj’s comment about him, in no holds barred Instagram post ripped into Dbanj and advised him against doing drugs.
He wrote:
Doing Drugs will not help you but worsen your case (I heard about White powder) a shining prospect and you use your bad character to bloat all Away.
Hmmm It is never too late to go and seek truthfully the forgiveness and truth you seek look inward change your lifestyle stop lying to yourself that all is well but go back to the source so that all can be well with you.
You have done so much evil to many people that we both know of and today I speak for them all. (Dbanj Aka The Kokomaster alias kokomycine… *Drops mic)”

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Lagos Task Force Assaults Journalist in Ikeja





In a brutal show of shame and arbitrariness, Men of the Lagos State Task Force today assaulted a journalist, Mr Kasali Akinwale of The Source magazine, around Ikeja Along axis of Lagos State.

The operatives who were armed to the teeth were said to have carried out an early morning raid on Okada riders around the railway line Ikeja along area in a commando style and were indiscriminately chasing passers-by and pedestrians around the area.

In the ensuing melee, a fleeing okada rider was almost knocked to death by a bus. The journalist who witnessed the scene and cautioned the operatives was severely beaten, teargassed, had his clothes torn before been bundled into the waiting black Maria for daring to intervene.

Speaking on the phone, the brutalised journalist explained that, "They wanted to apprehend an okada man, as they were chasing him, he was almost knocked down by an oncoming bus.

I then approached the policemen that they should be careful, the next thing was they pounced on me, teargassed me and started beating me."

The journalist was later released upon intervention of the Task Force spokesman.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

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Thursday, November 7, 2019

Olopade's feats get bulkier as Lagos Marathon becomes 'Silver Label Race




These are the best of times for racing sport merchant and managing director of NILAYO SPORT MANAGEMENT LTD, as the firm's flagship race, Access Bank Lagos City Marathon Race has moved up the ladder from a Bronze Label marathon to a Silver Label marathon, less than five years after its maiden edition.

Olukayode Thomas, Head Communications and Media, said the good news was conveyed to the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon by IAAF Head of Road Races Alessio Punzi.
Thomas said: “The certificate for the new Silver Label status was sent over the weekend to Race Promoter Bukola Olopade and General Manager Marathon Yussuf Alli.”
This good news is coming barely 3 days after the Olopade and his team had just concluded another race in Ogun state, the JAC Motors Abeokuta 10km Race, which has been adjudged a successful event.
The Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, which is unarguably the biggest one-day event in Africa from its inception in 2015 has been organized according to the standard of IAAF, the world governing body for athletics.

From the over 50,000 participants that took part in the first edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, over 100,000 took part in the most recent edition that took place February 2019.
While reacting to the latest enviable feat achieved by the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, Race Promoter, Olopade, said the feat would not have been possible without the backing of the Lagos State Government.
Olopade thanked the Lagos State Government for wholly believing in the noble idea and for offering full support financially, technically and in terms of security and logistics since inception.
The Race Promoter also expressed gratitude to the Headline Sponsor Access Bank an organization that open its doors and embraced the marathon , and partners like 7Up, Bet9Ja, Eko Atlantic, who have been supportive in the past years as well as to the likes of Kia Motors, Revolution Plus and others who have also joined the train to make the marathon the toast of the town.
Olopade also admitted that the media played a significant role in the success story of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon and he dedicated the latest Silver Label to Lagos State Government, Headline Sponsor Access Bank, other partners and members of the fourth estate for their selfless efforts to the course.

On his part, the General manager for the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, Alli, said the next target was to go for Gold and then the Platinum Label, which is the highest award by the global body.
Alli expresses confidence that the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon will be awarded a Gold Label after the 2020 edition, which he assured will be organised to meet and even surpass the required standards in terms of the number of elite athletes, equipment, road closure, security, media engagement and other requirements that must be satisfied to merit a Gold Label.