‘Ex-FIRS Boss, Nami Allegedly Approved N11 Billion Payments After Tinubu Sacked Him’ – Sources

Ex-FIRS Boss, Nami Allegedly Approved N11 Billion Payments After Tinubu Sacked Him’ – Sources

The former chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami allegedly approved N6 billion as payments to several contractors and consultants after been sacked by President Bola Tinubu.

President Tinubu on the 14th of September, 2023, asked Nami to proceed on three months of pre-retirement leave.

Nami, thereafter, was replaced by the President with his special adviser on revenue, Zacch Adelabu, as the new acting chairman of FIRS.

According to TheCable, some documents revealed that Nami, two days after his sack, approved the payments.

The platform claimed that officials close to the development but not authorised to speak on the matter, said the former FIRS boss directed staff of the finance, audit, and internal affairs departments to work on Saturday and Sunday to perfect some financial transactions while files were allegedly moved from the agency’s headquarters to his house, where they were said to have been “backdated and signed”.

Sources familiar with the matter told TheCable that Nami also moved about N5 billion to the account of the Joint Tax Board (JTB) from the FIRS account.

According to an official, the FIRS director, finance & accounts, was compelled to approve the payments despite allegedly warning Nami about the potential ripple effects.

Nami was said to have assured the FIRS director that there was no cause for alarm, reportedly saying the incoming chairman of the agency would not find out about the approvals.

An insider said Jibrin Jibrin, Nami’s cousin who is an assistant manager at the FIRS, assured some members of staff that the payments would raise no eyebrows, alleging that his uncle had “done the needful” when the acting executive chairman of the FIRS was the special assistant on revenue to the president.

TheCable gathered that Nami travelled out of the country following the approval of the payments on September 16.

Breakdown Of The Payments

According to documents, the former FIRS chairman approved N5,628,496,823.04, $863,293.00 and £8,780 for express payment to 196 beneficiaries — all in one day.

Nami approved the payment of N1,409,950,625.00 to 807 nominees for a ‘Business Case for Strategic Leadership’ retreat which is billed to take place in November 2023 while N250,325,000 was greenlit for FIRS Data Mining Management and Analytics in Taxation Course.

The ex-FIRS chairman also approved N221,311,840.00 to be paid to Odey Jacob & 611 others for “Skill Development and Management Improvement Workshop Training”; N42,398,000.00 was earmarked as payment to Mawo Dav Printing Nig. Ltd for the “production of letterhead papers & call cards” while another N36,513,718.75 was approved for Gebos Nig. Ltd — also for the production of letterhead papers and call cards.

Nami appropriated N81,488,127.00 to himself — and nine others — as estacode for a study visit to the Inland Revenue of Malaysia while N54,979,390 was approved for to CDP Partnership Ltd as payment for engagement as a consultant for “stage I &II quantity surveying services”.

In total, over N591 million was approved as estacode payment for official trips made by staff to Rwanda, Kenya, and Morocco, among other countries.

The former FIRS boss approved over one billion as payment for the training of staff on tax disputes, capital market operations, and tax evasion strategies, among other modules.

As an engagement fee for consultancy work in respect of “education and enlightenment of civil society organisations”, Nami approved over N173 million to Juzor & Company Ltd. while Jiop Azzy Ltd was listed to receive over N132 million for the same purpose.

Nami also reportedly signed off on the payment of over N100 million to Skymart Capital Trading Ltd, Toplead Consulting Limited and Alim and Associates Limited for consultancy, monitoring and evaluation services.

FIRS spokesperson, Abdullahi Ismaila in a chat with TheCable said that he has no knowledge about the payments.

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