N1.2 billion fraud: EFCC begins investigation on FIRS staff


By Obi Obumneme

EFCC mounts up investigations on FIRS staff accounts over N1.2bn fraud
EFCC Operatives

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has resumed investigations on the members of staff of the Federal Inland Revenue Service over N1.2 billion Duty Tour Allowance (DTA) fraud.

The EFCC on Friday began a forensic analysis of the bank accounts of the FIRS staff obtaining details of their financial statements in various commercial banks with the aim of discovering the perpetrators of the fraud.

The backstory: In April 2019, the EFCC had reportedly arrested some senior management and junior officials of FIRS for the misappropriation N2.1 billion which was said to have been taxpayers fund. It was observed that the funds that were paid to the organisation were not received as tax, but as the support services funds of the organization.

The FIRS officials were also said to have received billions of Naira as travel allowance without embarking on any trip. The EFCC was, however, able to recover part of the DTA allowance from the beneficiaries.

According to reports, there were claims that the FIRS Chairman, Babatunde Fowler had attempted to influence the Acting EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu to drop the ongoing investigations into the operations of the FIRS but the anti-crime agency persisted in the case.

So far, the EFCC has made progress in the case, as the Head of the FIRS Coordinator Support Services Group, Peter Hena, who allegedly authorized the illegal payment has been nabbed. He has also revealed how the DTA fraud was perpetrated.

Also, the FIRS Director of Finance, Mr Mohammed Auta, has disclosed that he acted on the instructions of Hena to disburse the fund. Auta other beneficiaries were said to have received millions of Naira as duty allowances.

The Acting EFCC Spokesman, Tony Orilade stated that investigations are still ongoing and the media will be briefed as and when due.(NAIRAMETRICS)

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