Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is currently embroiled in a dilemma as a company where he has a significant stake in has been linked to a company involved in a N100 billion scam, a report has revealed.
Simmons Coopers, a law firm in which Osinbajo was a Senior Partner until his inaguration as Vice President in 2015, was said to have acted as the company secretary of Ocean Trust Limited, a firm alleged to have laundered millions of naira for other companies, the Punch reports.
Ocean Trust Limited was alleged to have acted as a conduit for Alpha Beta Consulting Limited and Alpha Beta LP to divert N100 billion in taxes, which was due to the Federal Government.
Dapo Apara, a former Managing Director of Alpha Beta, had in a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), alleged that the said amount was supposed to be the tax payment of the company for 10 years.
In the petition written in July 2018 by Adetunji Adegboyega, his lawyer, Apara stated that the companies enjoyed the cover of powerful politicians, which enabled them to conduct their purported illegal practices.
The petition partly read: “Over the years, the company (Alpha Beta) has been protected and shielded by some powerful politicians and people in the society which made them to always boast of being untouchable.
“But our client, feeling the need not to keep quiet again and strengthened by his belief in the fact that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari is keen on fighting corruption which has been the bane of our country, is of the firm view that it is time to expose and open the can of worms called Alpha Beta Consulting.
“Our client is of the firm belief that it is time for the commission to step in and conduct a holistic investigation into the activities of Alpha Beta Consulting Limited and Alpha Beta LLP with a view to uncovering the massive corruption, money laundering, tax evasion, etc., going on in the company.
“Kindly note that one of the companies being used to perpetrate money laundering by the company is still another company named Ocean Trust Limited.”
Documents obtained the newspaper at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) confirmed that Simmons Coopers was listed as the company secretary of Ocean Trust Limited.
The law firm was appointed as Ocean Trust Limited secretary on October 26, 2011, after an extra-ordinary meeting of the company held in Lagos.
Osinbajo was still in active law service with the law firm as at the stated period.
Asked to clarify the relationship between Simmons Coopers and Ocean Trust Limited, Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the Vice-President on Media, declined to comment until he saw the documents.
The existence of Ocean Trust Limited is currently in doubt after checks indicated that the company may no longer be in operation, the newspaper reported.
It reported that a lady said the company, who coincdentally shares the same address with the office of former Governor Bola Tinubu of Lagos State known as ‘Freedom House’, was no longer located there.