By Kunle Akinsola
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), on Tuesday dismissed allegations that Vice- President Yemi Osinbajo, collected N90 billion from it to fund the 2019 elections, describing it as totally false and malicious.
Comrade Timi Frank, the former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), had alleged that the FIRS supported the APC, through the Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo with N90 billion.
FIRS in a statemen said: “The attention of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, has been drawn to publication in some online and daily newspapers by a certain Comrade Timi Frank, who claimed that the FIRS supported the APC, through the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo with a phantom N90 billion.
“The entire allegation being spread by one Frank Timi that the Federal Inland Revenue Service spent N90billion 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 entire, libellous, unfounded in fact, irresponsible and a brazen assault on the integrity of the Service as a responsible and accountable organisation and clearly demonstrates an abysmal ignorance of the budgetary and expenditure process of the FIRS.
FIRS said in the last four years since Mr Tunde Fowler had 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.
“That 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 8000 staff, runs over 150 offices and provides for other needs of the Service.
“That given the above, it is not plausible nor does it make any sense that FIRS will commit its resources to a phantom campaign of N90billion as suggested by Mr Timi Frank and FIRS does not fund political associations,’’ it said in a statement signed by the Director, Communication and Servicom. Mr Wahab Gbadamosi.
As a creation of statute, it said FIRS and its activities are governed by the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and financials regulations and thus, it is not plausible, that its funds could be expended in such a cavalier manner as suggested by Mr Timi Frank.
“That FIRS Budget and expenditure approval processes pass through the Budget Office and the Ministry of Finance before such is presented to the National Assembly for Appropriation into Law,’’ the statement adds.