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HEDA asks CCB to prosecute Ambode’s aide over breach of Public Service Code

By News Express on 12/07/2018

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•HEDA Chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju
•HEDA Chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju

The Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Center), a non-governmental organisation, has demanded the investigation, arrest, and prosecution of Mr. Lasisi Olalekan, Special Adviser on Taxation to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State.

According to HEDA in a letter addressed to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and signed by its chairman, Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju, the Special Adviser contravened the Public Service Code by currently serving in the Lagos State government and still holding the position of a Director of a private organisation, De Soffit Consults Limited.

The letter reads: “According to the SaharaReporters of March 30, 2018, it was reported that two companies, linked with All Progressives Congress (APC) leader, Mr. Bola Tinubu, and Mr. Lasisi Olalekan, Special Adviser on Taxation to Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, governor of Lagos State, SaharaReporters reveal, were approved by law to collect the contentious Land Use Charge in Lagos State. They are expected to handle the collection along with Alpha Beta, another company with links to Mr. Tinubu.

“The 400 percent hike in the Land Use Charge, following an amendment of the law backing it, has provoked strident disapproval by the public. The disapproval became more intense after it was discovered that Alpha Beta, in which Mr. Tinubu is a major shareholder or the owner, was inserted as a collecting agent. SaharaReporters investigations revealed that the two other collecting companies are Information Connectivity Solutions Limited (ICSL) and De Soffit Consults Limited. ICSL, SaharaReporters discovered, is a sister organisation to Mr. Tinubu’s Alpha.”

HEDA noted further that, “SaharaReporters searches at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) showed that ICSL has two directors, Messrs Abiodun Akinkunmi and Lanre Bankole. Mr. Akinkunmi, a former Lagos State Finance Commissioner, was on the board of Alpha Beta while serving as commissioner, a contravention of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers.

Upon registration, SaharaReporters gathered, the shareholders of ICSL were Alpha Beta Consulting Limited with 4,999,999 shares and Mr. Tunde Badejo, who had just one share. To deflect suspicion, Alpha Beta transferred its shares to Connectivity Investment Holding Company (CIHC) and the Document of Transfer was filed at CAC on 13 July 2017.

CIHC further transferred all its shares to ICSL on 28 July 2015.

“The second company, De Soffit Consults Limited, with registration number RC 932446, has as one of its directors, Mr. Lasisi Olalekan, Special Adviser on Taxation and Revenue Matters to Mr. Ambode.

According to documents from the CAC, Olalekan owns 40 percent equity in the company, while one Mr. Ogunlana Femi owns 30 percent. The remaining 30 percent is owned by one Mr. Lawal Olanrewaju.”

HEDA averred further that the Lagos State governor appointed Mr. Olalekan as Special Adviser while holding the position of Managing Director of De Soffit Consults Limited. Since assuming office as Special Adviser and up till date Mr. Olalekan functions as a director of De Soffit in contravention of the Public Service Code.

“The Country's Public Service Code bars public office holders from working in private organizations. The code equally bars public officials from putting themselves in positions where personal interest could conflict with their duties and responsibilities. Section 1 of the Fifth schedule of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Part 1 as amended (Code of Conduct for Public Officers) provides that “a public officer shall not put himself in a position where his personal interest conflicts with his duties and responsibilities”.

“In the light of the above information, HEDA is demanding for the investigation, arrest and prosecution of Mr Lasisi Olalekan, the Special Adviser on Taxation and Revenue Matters of Lagos State,” the letter said.

Source News Express

Posted 12/07/2018 8:31 PM





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