N11bn ‘Suspicious’ Payments After Exit; I Made No Such Approvals As Claimed – Nami

The immediate past Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami has denied approving N11bn ‘Suspicious’ payments after exiting at the FIRS.

In a rejoinder to an online media; the Cable Story, Nami said that the report maliciously attempts to portray a picture that he hurriedly left the country on September 16th after these so-called “suspicious approvals” were made.

An excerpt is the full text of the rejoinder:

“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 the journey to payment. It is the custom that when a new Executive Chairman resumes office, he would review, validate, and make final authorization 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. 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 traveled out of the country on the 16th of September, how 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

“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.