Alpha-beta Consulting on Friday dismissed as “untrue” the series of allegations leveled against it by a former managing director of the firm, Dapo Apara.
The company also said that it was not aware of details of the writ of summons widely published in the media on Thursday.
Alpha-beta is a consulting firm handling the computation, tracking and reconciliation of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in Lagos State in return for a commission.
Mr Apara accused Alpha-beta, alongside a former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, and a former commissioner in the state, Akin Doherty, of money laundering, fraud, tax evasion, and sundry corrupt practices.
Mr Apara, in write of summons deposed to at a Lagos high court, claimed that Mr Tinubu and Alpha-beta reneged on certain agreements reached in the past about the management and control of the firm.
Mr Apara claims to own 30 per cent stake in the company, alleging that Mr Tinubu diverted assets to himself at the detriment of the company.
He also claimed that the company was being used for “massive corruption purposes including tax evasion, bribery of government officials, diversion of funds” and money laundering.
Reacting, in a statement signed by Mr Doherty, Alpha-beta accused Mr Apara of fraud and corruption.
“The fact is that Dapo Apara began making his untrue allegations in the aftermath of his removal as Managing Director of Alpha Beta for fraud and unethical practices,” the statement said.
“While he was MD, Apara used his position to siphon huge sums of money from the company including but not limited to fraudulently converting $5 million; money allegedly used to pay for cloud based services that were eventually discovered to be worth less than $300,000.
“Mr. Apara, who was a signatory to all the bank accounts of Alpha Beta from inception until his removal, received all his payments and entitlements until June 2018 when he was removed after his fraudulent misconduct was discovered. In July 2018 further evidence of his fraudulent and unethical practices was uncovered, including the revelation that he converted approximately N6 billion belonging to Alpha Beta to his personal use.
“This fraud was reported to the authorities and Mr. Apara was subsequently invited to return to Nigeria from his hiding place in Dubai to render account. To date, he has refused to do so. Instead, Mr. Apara chose to embark on an aggressive smear campaign seemingly in an effort to blackmail us into ending the investigations into his misconduct.”
The company said that reports of Mr Apara’s allegations were “designed to embarrass and blackmail”, adding that the case presented by Mr Apara does not disclose even a single piece of evidence of fraud or criminal activity on the part of any of the alleged defendants.
“The case brought by Mr. Apara is, simply put, an extension of his campaign of calumny; launched to avoid the consequences of his fraudulent conduct over the years,” the company said.
“This court action by Dapo Apara is the continuation of Mr. Apara’s blackmail tactics and an attempt to distract from the huge funds he misappropriated from Alpha Beta while he was in charge of its affairs.
“Since 2018, he has filed many suits in Lagos and Abuja on the same matter, engaged in Arbitration, the Police, EFCC and ICPC. However, in all that time, he has steadfastly refused to honour all invitations by the authorities to return to Nigeria and account for the huge funds he misappropriated.
“The uncorroborated allegations against Asiwaju Bola Tinubu by Dapo Apara, in particular, show that he is bent only on creating sensational headlines to deflect attention from his on criminal activities.”
The company said although it has not been served with the court summons, it looks forward to the opportunity the case provides to publicly present the full picture of “Mr. Apara’s misconduct, deceit and fraud and to have the matter resolved by the court once and for all.”