How Zenith Bank Frustrates Payment of $50 million Contract

A Lagos-Based businessman, Taiwo Samuel Akinwande, has petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the Presidency over alleged non payment of contract fees he executed for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, in 2010.

According to the petitioner, on September 19, 2017, Zenith Bank transferred $50 million to IB International in Amsterdam, Netherland instead of ING Bank Brussels, contrary to the information on their slips and instructions.

On September 20, 2017, a letter of immediate stop order of the transfer of the money to Akinwande was served to Zenith Bank PLC after the money had already been transferred to the Federal Government of Nigeria’s corresponding bank, IB Inter Bank in Amsterdam and not his bank in Belgium based on his instruction.

Subsequently on November 23, 2017, he received a letter of Credit Advance in his favour amounting to $50 million from IB Inter Bank, Amsterdam and his fund was transferred to his account within 24 hours, but till today he is yet to access the money.

The petitioner alleged that he got a letter from IB Inter Bank, placing on hold the payment of the money to him pending the presentation of a Tax Clearance Certificate for the year 2020, even when the said sum of $50 million is already in his personal offshore account, lamenting that the bank refused to allow him till date to control and manage the funds.

“That emboldened by his desires to have his money after having being extorted financially he paid a further Є10,500 to FIRS but the agency refused to issue him a clearance certificate to enable him access his fund.

“Contrary to the promise that he will not have to pay further on tax charges, he received another letter from FIRS on July 6, 2020 that the chairman of due process demanded he pays another Є20,500 for tax and VAT for the year 2020,” his lawyer stated.

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His lawyer, Ayodeji Bobaderin, claimed that his client did not fall within the categories of workers, who are entitled to pay yearly tax, but he was taxed severally and he paid each time just to get his money.

Bobaderin said both Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Muhammad Mamman Nami and Chairman, Due Process Contract, Debt Payments of the office of the presidency, Dr. James Okon have withhold the contract said sum of $50 million payment through the aid of Zenith Bank.

According to the petition, the office of the Presidency NNPC/DUE process gave the certificate and approval of payment of the said amount to him on July 8, 2010.

The businessman said he received a letter of irrevocable guarantee from the Presidency through the former Secretary to the Federal Government (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim, on September 9, 2013, stating that the money will be paid to his account in Germany upon the payment of Є3,700.

He claimed that he got a letter of irrevocable guarantee from the head of Due Process, where it was stated that once he provides a valid current tax clearance certificate, there will be no further request or requirement for the payment.

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Akinwande said he subsequently paid Є3,700 and $2,500 as taxes and a tax clearance certificated dated October 23, 2015 was issued to him by FIRS.

After making the payment, he claimed that he also paid the Procurement Director, a sum of Є50,000 to obtain a certificate of legality from the Federal High Court, approving the payment of his money on September 18, 2017.

The businessman, Taiwo Samuel Akinwande is therefore calling on the EFCC to investigate the claims and get him justice

Meanwhile, efforts to get FIRS respond to the allegations proved abortive as the agency kept mum for over two weeks of contacting them for a reaction.

Wahab Akinlade

Akinlade I. WAHAB is a dedicated journalist and the proprietor of I-WAHAB Media. He embarked on his career at Murhi International TV (MiTV) and subsequently joined Radio Nigeria as a Judicial Correspondent.With a profound interest in legal reporting, he currently holds the positions of Chairman at the National Association of Judicial Correspondents (NAJUC), Ikeja Branch, and Chairman at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Radio Nigeria Chapel.As the owner of I-WAHAB Media, he has successfully established Top Court News, a platform renowned for providing comprehensive coverage of court cases and legal developments, with the aim of promoting transparency within the judicial system.Akinlade's diligent work and unwavering commitment to ethical reporting have earned him immense respect within the Nigerian journalism community.

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