By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Premier Lotto, a betting company run by Nigeria’s gambling mogul, Mr Kessington Adebutu, otherwise known as Baba Ijebu, has been accused of shortchanging government by not paying the appropriate taxes.
A politician from Mr Adebutu’s home state, Ogun State, Senator Buruji Kashamu, who operates a rival betting company, Western Lotto, wrote a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), accusing the firm of tax fraud.
In a report by Premium Times, it was stated that the petition was written in December 2019 and Mr Kashamu, who is wanted for an unrelated drug offense in the United States, for which he has denied culpability, explained that his action was purely for the the interest of Nigerians.
He denied being a bitter rival in the nation’s bookmaking business, saying he had taken the matter to court.
“All the taxpayers’ billions they diverted should have been paid into the lottery commission trust fund to build infrastructure and alleviate poverty amongst the Nigerian masses,” Mr Kashamu told Premium Times when contacted on the matter.
“I urge Nigerians to continue to pressure the EFCC to investigate and charge all those responsible for sabotaging the country’s economy without any pity for the masses,” he stressed.
It was reported that the anti-graft agency detained and questioned son of Baba Ijebu, Mr Segun Adebutu, in Lagos yesterday concerning the matter.
According to Premium Times, not less than N5 billion in revenue losses against the government has been uncovered by the agency since the investigation commenced and the dragnet has been spread to other companies in the industry. These organisation have reportedly been asked to submit their financial records to the commission to aid the probe.
Requests to speak with Mr Adebutu on the matter was not successful just as the EFCC also did not agree to comment on the issue for now.
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