Tax consultancy firm, Alpha Beta LLP, has denied allegations levelled against it by its former Managing Director, Dapo Apara, adding that he in fact diverted N6bn from the company.
Apara had in a writ of summons before a Lagos State High Court accused the company of being controlled by a former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, and making mysterious payments of over N20bn to several private accounts.
Responding on Friday, however, Alpha Beta said in a statement by its Managing Director, Akin Doherty, that Apara was the one that was culpable as he had diverted about $5m during his time as managing director by inflating a contract which was worth about $300,000 and then diverted a separate N6bn to personal use.
The firm said it had reported Apara’s alleged fraud to the appropriate authorities but he had refused to show up and rather remained in Dubai.
In the statement titled, ‘Alpha Beta: Facts of the Matter’, the firm said Apara was an aggrieved ex-employee who was bent on tarnishing the image of the company after being sacked for financial impropriety.
It read in part, “The fact is that Dapo Apara began making his untrue allegations in the aftermath of his removal as Managing Director of Alpha Beta for fraud and unethical practices. While he was MD, Apara used his position to siphon huge sums of money from the company including but not limited to fraudulently converting $5m; money allegedly used to pay for cloud based services that were eventually discovered to be worth less than $300,000.
“Mr. Apara, who was a signatory to all the bank accounts of Alpha Beta from inception until his removal, received all his payments and entitlements until June 2018 when he was removed after his fraudulent misconduct was discovered.
“In July 2018 further evidence of his fraudulent and unethical practices was uncovered, including the revelation that he converted approximately N6bn belonging to Alpha Beta to his personal use.
“This fraud was reported to the authorities and Mr. Apara was subsequently invited to return to Nigeria from his hiding place in Dubai to render account. To date, he has refused to do so. Instead, Mr. Apara chose to embark on an aggressive smear campaign seemingly in an effort to blackmail us into ending the investigations into his misconduct.”
The firm said Apara’s allegations levelled against Tinubu were specious and diversionary.
“The uncorroborated allegations against Asiwaju Bola Tinubu by Dapo Apara, in particular, show that he is bent only on creating sensational headlines to deflect attention from his own criminal activities,” it said.
According to Alpha Beta, Apara has filed many suits in Lagos and Abuja on the same matter, engaged in arbitration, the police, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and other agencies.
It said in all that time, he has steadfastly refused to honour all invitations by the authorities to return to Nigeria and account for the huge funds he misappropriated.
The firm stated that although it had not been served with the court summons, it looked forward to the opportunity of publicly presenting the full picture of Apara’s misconduct, deceit and fraud and to have the matter resolved by the court once and for all.
Alpha Beta monitors and reconciles tax on behalf of the Lagos State Government for a commission, a contract it has been executing for over 15 years.