Home Courts Ex-Alpha Beta boss, Apara, Tinubu settle case of entitlement, fraud out of...

Ex-Alpha Beta boss, Apara, Tinubu settle case of entitlement, fraud out of court

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A four-year dispute between APC presidential candidate Bola Tinubu and former Managing Director of Alpha Beta, Oladapo Apara, concerning N18 billion benefits and an allegation of fraud to the tune of N20 billion has been settled.

According to Africa Report, Alpha Beta, a Lagos-based tax consultancy firm has been a subject of controversy for over 10 years, with Tinubu’s rivals claiming that he has owned the company by proxy since 2002 while he was still governor of Lagos State.

The ex-MD claimed the firm made over N1.5 trillion for the Lagos State government from 2002 to 2018 and got an average of about 10 per cent commission

Apara had petitioned the Economic and Financial Commission (EFCC) four years ago and alleged that the company belonged to Tinubu by proxy, he also accused the company of tax evasion amounting to N100 billion, which was denied as the company insisted Apara was removed due to fraud allegations.

In a rebuttal statement, Alpha Beta stated that while Apara was the MD, he used his position to move vast amounts of money from the company fraudulently converting $5 million used to pay for cloud-based services, which were discovered to be worth less than $300,000.

In 2020 the former MD sued Tinubu, Alpha Beta and the new MD, Akin Doherty, to a Lagos High Court. Apara alleged that, as head of the company, he began to look into its finances and discovered mysterious transfers of over N20 billion in varying currencies to several firms, including firms with links to The Nation newspaper, allegedly owned by Tinubu.

The former tax firm’s boss said he learned that all the payments were approved by the partners who were proxies of the former Lagos State governor and noted that Tinubu was aware of the transactions.

Africa Report stated that the frontline presidential candidate was angry that he was investigating the company’s finances and ordered his demotion to deputy managing partner, leading to his removal. Reports said that Apara said his removal was illegal and that he was denied his benefits as a founding partner of the firm and prayed the court to order the full payment of his entitlements, amounting to N18 billion.

After about two years of legal tussle, the parties informed Justice O.F Aigbokhaevbo that they wanted to settle out of court. According to Africa Report, citing court documents, a final agreement was reached and approved by the judge in August 2022.

Apara said he had forfeited his six million shares in the company as part of the settlement and would abide by the terms as long as Tinubu kept to the agreement’s terms.

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