A civil society group has asked for a probe of Olufolarin Ogunsanwo, the immediate past chairman of the Lagos Internal (Board) Revenue Service, LIRS. The group, Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC), petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Ogunsanwo’s alleged misappropriation of N4.2billion.
Olanrewaju Suraju, the coalition chairman, quoted an online newspaper report of the alleged fraud.
“The report stated that Mr Olufolarin Ogunsanwo’s (who spent 11 months in office) sack from the revenue-collection agency, dressed up as retirement, was communicated in an internal memo dated 26 August and signed by J. Aina, Board Secretary.
“Relating to his retirement, according to our independent investigation, It was allegedly discovered that Mr Ogunsanwo could not account for about N4.2 billion belonging to the State Government through the agency. This development was said to have earned him a query from Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, who was not impressed with Ogunsanwo’s explanation.
The group added that “During the investigation, Mr Ogunsanwo was said to have refunded the sum of N1.2 billion. Due to his cooperation with the investigators, the government spared him the embarrassment of being exposed but sacked him from office without public disclosure of reasons responsible for the summary removal from office.”
However, the coalition said retiring Ogunsanwo was merely a slap on the wrist.
“It will amount to injustice and gross abuse of office for the ex-tax master to be sacked without a refund of the misappropriated fund or for the matter to be treated as an internal affair of the State government.
“CSNAC is therefore calling for an urgent investigation of your Commission into this allegation. Every Naira not properly accounted should be retrieved from Mr. Ogunsanwo must be retrieved to serve as lesson and deterrent to his successor and other public officers,” the petition said.
By Ola Adeola