Political activist and former deputy spokesperson of the All Progressives Congress, Timi Frank, has alleged that the recent crisis in the presidency is due to corruption and has no link with the 2023 elections.
Frank while speaking on the travails of the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, noted that a reliable information from his sources in the presidency reveals that the crisis has nothing to do with 2023 but alleged mismanagement of about N90 billion Naira released by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to prosecute the last general elections in favour of the ruling party.
FIRS in its reaction stated that it did not release N90 billion to Yemi Osinbajo for an election campaign.
The Service accused the political activist of seeking cheap popularity, FIRS added that it would file a libel suit if he refuses to tender an apology in three major newspapers within the next 24 hours.
Frank’s press statement read in part: “The presidency discovered how Osinbajo allegedly mismanaged N90billion from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).”
“When confronted by the presidency, he 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 a swift reaction, Wahab Gbadamosi, FIRS’ director of information, dismissed the claim, saying the service’s annual allocation is not even up to the said amount.
“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 it’s 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.”
Taxpayers money including its operational funds, the FIRS said, “are sacred and they exercise extra care and diligence in expenditures, even after such funds must have been appropriated by the national assembly.”
“The agency is subject to the eagle eye scrutiny, supervision and close monitoring by the National Assembly, the Federation Account Allocation Committee and the Ministry of Finance through the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, OAGF,” the statement further read.