Osinbajo’s company linked to N100bn tax fraud, money laundering case

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Simmons Coopers Partners, a company in which Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has a stake, has been accused of using another firm, Ocean Trust Limited to launder money and evade tax up to N100 bn.

Documents obtained by ThePunch from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) showed that Ocean Trust Limited, which was accused of being a conduit for diversion and laundering of funds by Alpha Beta, has Simmons Coopers as its company secretary.

In a petition submitted to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in  July 2018, Dapo Apara, the erstwhile managing director of Alpha Beta, had alleged that Alpha Beta owed the Federal Government N100bn in unpaid taxes spanning over 10 years, adding that the firm usually laundered funds through another firm, Ocean Trust Limited.

The petition by Apara’s lawyer, Adetunji Adegboyega, read in part, “Over the years, the company (Alpha Beta) has been protected and shielded by some powerful politicians and people in the society which made them to always boast of being untouchable.

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“But our client, feeling the need not to keep quiet again and strengthened by his belief in the fact that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari is keen on fighting corruption which has been the bane of our country, is of the firm view that it is time to expose and open the can of worms called Alpha Beta Consulting.

“Our client is of the firm belief that it is time for the commission to step in and conduct a holistic investigation into the activities of Alpha Beta Consulting Limited and Alpha Beta LLP with a view to uncovering the massive corruption, money laundering, tax evasion, etc., going on in the company.

“Kindly note that one of the companies being used to perpetrate money laundering by the company is still another company named Ocean Trust Limited.”

While sources close to the Vice President claims he has left the company since 2014, Simmons Coopers was listed as a company in which he had a stake in his asset declaration form in 2015, according to the statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.

But over a year after, the EFCC has refused to take any action on the matter.

The EFCC spokesman, Tony Orilade, had said in February that the petitioner should send a reminder as the petition could not be traced.

Apara, who accused the firm of tax evasion, also confirmed that the EFCC has kept mum on the case since he filed the petition.

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