Financial records obtained by Peoples Gazette indicate that a long-time political associate of President Muhammadu Buhari Isa Funtua received public funds from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
The Gazette reports that the Late Mr. Funtua received N840 million in four transactions between March and June 2019 Using his company Bulet International Nigeria Limited, a small-scale construction firm out of Kaduna.
The documents which revealed that the public funds were transferred as Mr. Buhari was securing another four-year term, also indicate that the transfers were approved by Tunde Fowler, the former head of FIRS who has been facing corruption charges stemming from his suspicious use of public funds while in office.
Critics of President Buhari believe that Mr. Fowler was one of the top appointees of the president who diverted public funds to help deliver his reelection.
Although Mr. Fowler did not deny issuing approval or state his reasons for the suspicious transactions to the president’s friend, he directed all enquiries relating to his questionable activities while in office to the FIRS.
When reached for enquiries, FIRS spokesperson Abdullahi Ahmad told the Gazette the transactions were approved as a tax refund to Bulet International, but the timeline of the transfers and his failure to respond to follow-up questions exposed his explanation as an afterthought and strengthened insiders’ claim that the N840 million was a political payout.
The revenue official also failed to explain why Bulet paid nearly N87 million to the FIRS in tax penalties in February 2019, which also reflected in the bank statement obtained by the Gazette.
Similarly, an executive at Bulet International, Adamu Abdullahi Bako, told the Gazette that the N840 million was a tax refund to the company.
He however lied that he never said the payment was a tax refund when the Gazette sent him follow-up questions to further verify his claim despite being aware that he was on the record when he made the initial claim of tax refund.
Download the bank document below