Nigeria

FIRS refutes Timi Frank’s claim on ‘N90 billion election fund’

Timi Frank

Contrary to claims by Comrade Timi Frank, political activist and former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), linking alleged travails being faced by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, to the fallout of the 2019 general election, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has described the claims as lacking in truth.

Recall that Timi Frank had in a statement signed on Monday in Abuja explained that Osinbajo’s current travail has been linked to alleged mismanagement of some N90 billion released through the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in favour of the ruling party for the prosecution of the 2019 general election.

Frank said: “The presidency discovered how Osinbajo allegedly mismanaged N90 billion from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

In a reaction to the statement yesterday, FIRS in a statement signed by its Director, Communication & Servicom, Wahab Gbadamosi, said, “That the entire allegation being spread by one Frank Timi that the Federal lnland Revenue Service spent #90billion 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.

“This campaign of calumny and vilifying false claims are entirely libellous, unfounded in fact, irresponsible and a brazen assault on the integrity of the Service as a responsible and accountable organisation and demonstrates an abysmal ignorance of the budgetary and expenditure process of the FIRS.

FIRS in the statement said in the last 4 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, adding “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 explained that remittances from the FAAC had never grossed up to N100 billion per annum from which it pays the salary and emoluments and trains it’s over 8000 staff, runs over 150 offices and provides for other needs of the Service, saying 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.

Emphasizing that did FIRS did not spend and could not have spent taxpayers money for political ends, the Service said it “shall pursue claims for aggravated damages in libel and injurious falsehood against the said Mr Frank if he fails to meet these conditions in the next 24 hours.

However, Frank had in the statement said “When confronted by the president, he (Osinbajo) confirmed to General Buhari that he indeed allegedly took N90 billion 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 N5 billion and not N11 billion to Lagos state.

“The cabal is asking to know-how come they beat PDP in the South-west with less than 60,000 votes if the money was spent in the strategic states of the South-west as allegedly claimed.”

Frank had insisted that if the information is true that the fund was misused, Osinbajo must resign his position as Vice President, adding that such is akin to the characteristics of ‘yahoo-yahoo boys.’

Frank said since the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki is being held on allegations of embezzlement while Osinbajo is also allegedly being accused of embezzlement, “they should be given the same treatment.

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