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FIRS Enlists EFCC to Arrest, Prosecute Tax Defaulters

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Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) are working together to arrest and prosecute tax defaulters in the country.

 

FIRS and EFCC duo explained that the partnership targets taxpayers who evaded the just concluded amnesty programme known as Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS).

 

Babatunde Fowler, executive chairman of the FIRS, who led a delegation on a visit to the EFCC head office in Abuja, commended the EFCC role particularly in the recovery of N28billion from various tax defaulters across the country.

 

“Through the intervention of the EFCC, the agency has been experiencing a high level of tax compliance and it’s yielding positive results.

 

“When tax defaulters are reported and invited to your office (EFCC), we see results, we don’t know how you do it, but we are seeing results and people are complying,” he said.

 

Fowler believes the FIRS alone cannot curtail the activities of tax evaders without the collaboration of other national and international agencies such as the EFCC.

 

He further stressed the need to strengthen the existing collaboration and synergy between the two agencies, noting that his organisation would explore every other means backed by the law to ensure that taxes are paid and not diverted.

 

According to the FIRS boss, funds will be available for the government to provide the infrastructure needed for the socio-economic well-being of the citizenry if taxes are paid.

 

Responding, Mr Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the EFCC, assured Fowler that the EFCC was ready to partner with any agency, organisation or individual in fighting corruption for the purpose of moving the nation forward.

 

He appreciated the visitor and called on all Nigerians to support the anti-corruption drive from home, offices and in whatever way they could to ensure a better future for the future generation.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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E-Financial

Flutterwave Completes Series A Extension Financing Round

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Flutterwave Inc., financial technology firm, has announced the completion of its Series A Extension round of financing, saying the latest round includes investments from Mastercard, CRE Ventures, Fintech Collective, 4DX Ventures, and Raba Capital, among others.

 

It said it had now raised over $20 million to date and its largest investors include Green Visor Capital and Greycroft Partners.

 

According to a statement by the firm, as part of its financing, Joe Saunders, current Green Visor Capital Chairman & General Partner and former Chairman & CEO of Visa, has joined the Flutterwave Board of Directors.

 

Meanwhile, Olugbenga Agboola, Flutterwave Co-Founder, will replace Iyin Aboyeji, who has stepped down as CEO of the firm.

 

Aboyeji, in his farewell message, thanked the company’s board and team, saying: “It’s been amazing working with the Flutterwave team to build another great African company and I’m excited for the future under its new leadership.”

 

The new CEO, Agboola, is a Financial Technology Engineer, with core financial services technology experiences with Paypal, Google, GTBank, Access Bank, Standard /StanbicIBTC Bank

 

The statement quoted Agboola as saying: “On behalf of the entire Flutterwave team we wish Iyin luck in his future endeavours. Moving forward, the entire Flutterwave team and I are excited for Flutterwave’s future and look forward to growing the company.”

 

Headquartered in San Francisco, Flutterwave is building modern payments technology and infrastructure for Africa to enable people and businesses to connect with the global economy.

 

Much like in mobile communications, Africa is leapfrogging traditional payments technology and Flutterwave is building the Pan-African infrastructure to become the standard bearer for modern payments.

 

Flutterwave’s API makes it easier for the almost 24,000 businesses and individuals using its solution to process payments across Africa.

 

The African market, marked by increasing cross-border requirements, multi-instrument and channel payments, and a drive for financial inclusion is primed for Flutterwave’s unique vision and offering.

 

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BFL Microfinance Bank Sues CBN Over Licence

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Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria

The management of BFL Microfinance Bank has sued the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for “illegally” revoking its operating licence.

 

The bank, in the originating summons filed at the Federal High Court by its counsel, Velma Solicitors, prayed the court to declare the purported revocation null and void as the bank was not solvent.

 

The Government, CBN and the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) were joined in the suit as the defendants.

 

BFL, among other things, sought a declaration that the plaintiff was not in default of any of the provisions of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act 2004 to warrant a revocation of its licence.

 

The counsel to BFL also prayed that the court should determine whether by the cumulative reading of Sections 12, 35, 36, 39 and 62 of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act 2004, the CBN had the right to revoke the licence.

 

BFL is also seeking general damages of N2m and punitive damages of N3m.

 

Mrs. Ajayi Olu, BFL’s managing director, in an affidavit, swore that the bank was not declared insolvent and neither had it been informed by the CBN or anybody whatsoever of any insolvency.

 

“The revocation was never communicated to us at any time, neither is it published in the official gazette,” she had sworn.

 

The NDIC, in a notice pasted on the bank’s door titled: Revocation of Banking Licence, dated September 30, said the bank was declared insolvent and closed by the CBN and the NDIC appointed as the liquidator.

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Customer Raises Alarm as N350m Disappears from his Access Bank Accounts

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Serious trouble may be brewing for Access Bank Plc as Mr Pascal Nwabueze Innocent has alleged that over N350 million been fraudulently withdrawn from the two accounts he operates with the bank without his authorization.

 

Mr Pascal Nwabueze Innocent raised the alarm when he discovered that over N116 million has been fraudulently withdrawn from both his personal and corporate accounts with the bank.

 

However, in the course of probing into the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of the N116 million, the customer further discovered that over N350 million was missing from the account.

 

The businessman said  that the two accounts from which the funds were withdrawn are from his personal account and De Chimex Aluminum & Steel Company Limited, a corporate account both operated by Pascal Nwabueze Innocent and domiciled at the Access Bank Plc, Wuse Market branch, Abuja.

 

According to him, the latest fraud is even separate from over N74 million which the bank was said to have appropriated in 2016 when he installed heavy duty machines which he imported from China.

 

It was gathered that when he approached the bank through a letter dated July 5, 2018, to ascertain who and how the transaction were carried out, Access  Bank, in their reply dated July 9, the bank assured him that it “has commenced investigation into the alleged unauthorized fraudulent withdrawals from your account”

 

Access Bank also requested him to provide “the details of the transactions in other to assist in their investigation, promising to furnish him with the outcome of their investigation.

 

It was further gathered that the request made by Nwabueze Innocent for Access Bank to furnish him with that instruments used in the withdrawals were rebuffed by the bank.

 

However, it was also learnt that rather than keep it promise of furnishing the customer the findings of their investigation, Access Bank reported the Nwabueze Innocent to the Department of State Services (DSS), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), FCT Command.

 

It was further learnt that it was when the Police stepped into the matter that the bank reluctantly made available 43 Fund Transfer/Standing Order Forms, out of which only five were authorized by Nwabueze Innocent while the remaining 38 were “unauthorized and fraudulent”.

 

Top Police sources said preliminary report of the investigation has shown that it was a clear case of criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust and outright theft.

 

According to Police sources, Access Bank is “becoming hesitant in responding to several issues relating to the withdrawals from the two accounts maintained by Nwabueze Innocent.

 

For instance, it was learnt that the bank is being reluctant to produce the original mandate for the withdrawals and the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) footage between May 1, 2018 and June 30, 2018 when the fraudulent transactions were made.

 

According to sources familiar with the police investigations, central to the whole drama around the illegal withdrawals from the two accounts was one Ms Uche Gloria Michael Sado, a staff of Access Bank who is also the accounts officer for the two accounts.

 

Investigations by the Police was said to have revealed that funds were pulled from the two accounts maintained by Nwabueze Innocent and channeled to Mikuch Global Limited, from where the funds are withdrawn and disbursed among the “beneficiaries” of the fraudulent act.

 

It was further discovered during the police investigations that Mikuch Global Limited is owned by one Michael Sado, alleged husband to Ms Uche Gloria Michael, the Account Officer to the two banks from which the withdrawals were made.

 

According to Police sources, the fraud was perfected by forging the signature, telephone number and company name of the two accounts while at the same time diverting the Alert from the original telephone number of the account holder.

 

Police investigations also showed that Access Bank is being economical with the truth as the Uche Gloria Michael Sado, whom the bank is alleging to have “stolen” the funds and is alleged to be on the run is still on the payroll of the bank.

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