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FIRS Ex-boss, Nami, Denies N11 billion ’suspicious’ payment claim 

The former executive chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Muhammad Nami, has categorically denied the claim that he signed a ’suspicious’ 11bn naira deal before exiting the office weeks ago.  

Taking to his X account (formerly Twitter), Nami said that such a claim, reported by The Cable Source, cannot be farther from the truth, and it is overlaid with mischief and misinformation.  

According to him, he made no such approval before leaving the seat as FIRS chairman and no payment by the service after his pre-retirement leave.  

He said,  

  • “My attention has been drawn to a mischievous story by the Cable Newspaper claiming that I made approvals of over N11 billion after taking my pre-retirement leave. 
  • “Nothing can be further from the truth. The entire story was sensationally written with mischief that took the ordinary events of my work out of context with the intent to tarnish my image. 
  • “First and foremost, I want to categorically state that after my exit as FIRS Executive Chairman, I made no such approvals as claimed in the report. 
  • “Fundamentally: It is important to note that no payment was made by the Service after the announcement of my pre-retirement leave as claimed by this story. Approval for payment in the Service is one step of a journey to payment. 
  • “It is the custom that when a new Executive Chairman resumes office, he would review, validate and make final authorisation before any payments can be made. 
  • “It is important to note for the record that all decisions reached and extant liabilities/ commitments of the Service during my stay in office are contained in the handover notes I made available to my successor, Mr. Zacch Adedeji. He is fully briefed on everything.”  

Speaking further, he noted that the claim by The Cable publication of the listed items was part of the 16 billion naira outstanding commitments contained in the FIRS handover note.

He further stated that the N5 billion paid into the Joint Tax Board was meant to fund the activities of the Presidential Committee on Tax and Fiscal Policy Reforms two months before I left office and was duly signed by the new chairman himself, Zacch Adedeji.  

  • “For clarity, the items listed in the Cable Newspaper Report were part of the N16 billion outstanding commitments contained in our handover note. 
  • “The N5 billion paid to the Joint Tax Board was paid to fund the activities of the Presidential Committee on Tax and Fiscal Policy Reforms two months before I left office. 
  • “It was paid after we received a letter to that effect from the office of Mr. President signed by Zacch Adedeji himself.  
  • “The report maliciously attempts to portray a picture that I hurriedly left the country on September 16th after these so-called suspicious approvals were made.  
  • “Again, nothing can be further from the truth. If I travelled out of the country on the 16th of September, how then did I attend the handover ceremony with Mr. Zacch on the afternoon of Monday 18th of September 2023? 
  • “That handover ceremony was covered by the media, and can be cross-checked,” he said.  

Nami expressed his disappointment at the publication, highlighting that the media outlet should have verified their claims from a reliable source before proceeding to publish it.  

He said,  

  • “It is disappointing to see the Cable, a revered online newspaper attempt to sensationalise events that took place in the ordinary course of my work in office, making them seem as if they were done in bad faith. 
  • “I want to categorically state that every decision I made within the time of my stay in office was within the ambit of the law and within the lawful powers I exercised then as Executive Chairman. 
  • “I inherited only N1.4 billion in the purse of the FIRS when I assumed office. I left N129 billion in the purse of the Service when I left,” he concluded.  

 

Backstory 

Earlier, TheCable reported that Ex-FIRS boss Nami approved N11bn ‘suspicious’ payments after his exit. 

According to TheCable, Nami allegedly approved the payments just two days after his removal on September 14, and he was succeeded by Zacchaeus Adedeji. 

The media also claimed that Nami also moved about N5 billion to the account of the Joint Tax Board (JTB) from the FIRS account. 

Responding to the publication, Nami insisted that no such clandestine approval was made by him and all his operation as FIRS chairman was done under the auspices of approved protocol and signatories. 

 


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