Former Chairman of the Lagos State Assembly Finance Committee, Hon. Adeniyi Fabikun, said his colleagues had thoroughly investigated allegations of fake certificates made against All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate Senator Bola Tinubu when he was governor of the state.
He also dismissed as false claims in some quarters that they were bribed to exonerate Tinubu and exonerate him of any wrongdoing, after reviewing the report of a panel that probed the former governor.
Tinubu is currently charged with certificate falsification despite the state parliament finding him not guilty of the allegation after investigating the case.
Fabikun, in an exclusive interview with THISDAY, said Tinubu received a clean bill of health after a thorough review of the documents he presented.
He also said there was then no evidence before lawmakers that Tinubu owned the Alpha Beta Corporation, which monopolized tax collection for the state government.
Fabikun told THISDAY that contrary to insinuations, no one has forced the state assembly to investigate Tinubu’s certificate tampering allegations.
He said: ‘We weren’t pressured by anyone to sound out the governor. Nobody forced us to do it. In fact, there was no formal petition before the Legislature on the matter until we took it upon ourselves when the matter was debated in the pages of the newspapers.
“A member, in plenary, brought the matter to the attention of the then President and there was a resolution that the matter should be considered, dispassionately.
“A committee was then set up to examine the whole question. The group met, did a thorough job and, after a few weeks, presented its report which was considered by the full committee.
“After carefully reviewing the report based on the steps taken by the panel to reach the conclusion, the Assembly gave the former governor a clean bill of health and he was cleared of any wrongdoing.”
Fabikun insisted that Tinubu had indeed submitted the certificates he had obtained from the schools he attended and that the lawmakers were satisfied that the documents were not forged.
He said: “It would be foolhardy for anyone to think or insinuate that Asiwaju Tinubu did not go to school. Whoever says that knows nothing about the APC candidate.
“I can categorically confirm that the committee did a thorough job based on the report it submitted and considered by the House.
“I saw all the certificates he presented. He even had an upper second class certificate from Chicago State University. I saw the photocopy of the certificate. He read Bsc. Accounting.
“No one guided the committee. I can confirm that we were not forced. Even after the investigation, some people were insinuating that we had been bribed, but there was no such thing.
The former lawmaker who is also a practicing tax adviser, described as false, reports that the House of Assembly has approved Alpha Beta Company as the sole tax adviser for the state government.
Fabikun said, “I am not aware that there was such a request for approval from the executive.
“I was chair of the finance committee then and nothing like that came to my table.
“Lagos State House of Assembly did not approve any tax consultants to the state government as we were not expected to perform the duties of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).”
Sunday Aborisade in Abuja