From Matthew Aramunde, Lagos
The monumental tax fraud perpetrated by some foreign company who are ably assisted by some officials of the Lagos State Inland Revenue Service is alarming to say the least and calls for probe by the Lagos State Governor.
These were the views of a Lagos based Lawyer and Human Rights Activist Chief Gabriel Giwa- Amu who revealed this to Crime reporters that he recently stumbled on some documentary facts that informed his decision of raising the consciousness of Governor Raji Fashola to the shady deals.
The monumental fraud said to be running into billions of naira, is alleged to have been perpetrated by a Chinese company Huawei Technologies Ltd the sole provider of Communications network facilities for major network providers in Nigeria and other companies who are known to always evade payment of tax.
Chief Gabriel Giwa –Amu had against the background of the ugly developments, in a correspondence dated the 13th of November 2015 and addressed to the Governor claimed that he came across relevant documentary facts to establish that Huawei Technologies Limited in conspiracy with some tax officers in the office of the Internal Revenue Service had evaded due tax payable to the Lagos State Government in the past six years.
He averred that the said company with overwhelming staff strength only declares to the tax office some staff and pay majority of its staff in China thereby evading tax payable on salaries of those staffs.
He further aver that it is on record that the said company take tenancies or lease agreement of houses in Victoria Island and Oniru Estate, Victoria Island belonging to certain highly placed tax officers including the Executive Chairman Babatunde Fowler to either enable the company evade payment of taxes or help in reducing to ridiculous level what should have been paid into government coffers.
He also revealed that a former Minister Caleb Olukolade, a former Commissioner in Lagos State Holloway are landlords to Huawei Technologies maintaining that the relationship developed therein has
given the company the leeway to perpetrate all manner of breaches and yet go unpunished
Continuing, Chief Amu said he was shocked out of his marrows when he stumbled on the said documentary facts (which he made available to crime reporters present) stressing that he is yet to come to terms why some green eyed officials of government will connive with some dubious foreign companies to defraud their home government.
He revealed that he had previously written to the Interior Ministry and its Minister Abbah Moro, the Immigration Services stressing that even some high ranking Police officers are quite informed about the activities of Huawei Technologies Ltd, some of which are that most of them entered the country without valid travelling documents but that till date no action(s) that commensurate with the gravity of their offences, have been taken by all these government agencies.
“Look what is most surprising is that fraud is a criminal offence in China, so much that they could commute an earring public officer to a very long term in prison or execution for minor fraudulent offences, but here we are, these Chinese nationals are fleecing our government of billions of Naira and our officials are facilitating such heinous crime. It is sad,” he said.
He has however said that he was going to ask the government for a fiat to prosecute the case.
When contacted on phone Mr Kelvin the Public Relations Officer at Huawei Technologies in Lagos Mr Kelvin said his organization was indeed aware of the letters that Chief Giwa Amu has sent to the Interior Ministry, its Minister and the one sent to the Immigration Service but denied any knowledge of the one sent to the Governor.