Babatunde Fowler, an acolyte of former Governor Bola Tinubu of Lagos State, and a former chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on Monday was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the N100 billion tax evasion allegations levelled against a tax firm Alpha Beta Consulting, Igbere TV reports.
A former managing director and chief executive officer of Alpha Beta Consulting Dapo Apara had accused the firm of tax fraud.
EFCC spokesman Wilson Uwujaren confirmed to the news media that Fowler was being questioned.
“Yes, Fowler responded to an invitation this morning. I believe he is still here,” he said.
In a petition to the EFCC in 2018, Mr Apara said Alpha Beta, the firm given exclusive rights to monitor and collect internally generated revenue on behalf of the Lagos Government, “has become an avenue for official corruption of government officials, a conduit pipe for massive money-laundering scheme, tax evasion, among other vices.”
Fowler is also a former chief executive officer of Lagos State Internal Revenue Service.
Apara claimed in the petition written by his lawyers Adetunji Shoyoye and Associates that influential politicians in the state covered up the fraud.
“Over the years the company has been protected and shielded by some powerful politicians and people in the society which made them to always boast of being untouchable, but our client, feeling the need not to keep quiet again and strengthened by his belief in the fact that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari is keen on fighting corruption, which has been the bane of our country, is of the firm belief that it’s time to expose and open the can of worms called Alpha Beta Consulting,” he said.
Fowler was the Chief Executive Officer/Executive Chairman of the Lagos State Board of Internal Revenue from 2005 to 2015.
He was appointed during Tinubu’s second term as Governor and retained by former Governor Babatunde Fashola.
Igbere TV recall that there was an outcry against him over the grand wedding he threw for his daughter, Funke, in 2011. It was alleged that millions of dollars was spent to fly dignitaries to the wedding held in Dubai and it took the intervention of Tinubu and others to stop an embarrassed Fashola from sacking him.