29th January, 2015.

The Honourable Commissioner,
Ministry of Finance,
Lagos State Government Secretariat,
Alausa, Ikeja,

Dear sir,

The Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) is a coalition of over hundred and fifty anti-corruption organisations whose primary aim is to constructively combat corruption and ensure effective monitoring of anti-graft agencies charged with the fight against corruption and enthronement of transparency, accountability, and probity towards the eradication of corruption in Nigeria.
According to a news report published in several Newspapers, on January 29, 2015, the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola was quoted to have accused the Governorship candidate of Peo­ples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, of tax evasion. Governor Fashola, in this report, accused Mr. Agbaje of ‘owing the state over N1.6 million in Land Use charges for four years’.

Governor Fashola ‘explained that Agbaje refused to pay Land Use charges for his business outfit, JK Pharmacy, from 2009 to 2012.  In Governor Fashola’s words, Mr Agbaje’s ‘JK Pharmacy has not paid Land Use charge for 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. He paid in 2013 and 2014, I think as election was close. They are owing this government, (and the state) N1,639, 064.62’.

In response to this allegations, the PDP Governorship Candidate, in a report which was made available on his campaign websitehttp://jimiagbaje.com/agbajes-response-fasholas-tax-indictment/, published a letter titled “LETTER OF APPRECIATION”, which was signed by the Honourable Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Ayo Gbeleyi, and dated 30th January, 2015, tomorrow. In the letter, the commissioner stated that ‘a review of the payment records from 2011’ showed that Mr Jimi Agbaje has been  ‘consistent with the payment of Land Use Charge’.

The letter which was published on the website on the 29th of January, 2015 is in contrast with the stated date on the letter, which is the30th of January 2015. Whereas the letter contrast with the Governor’s assertion, it also places a question on the authenticity of the letter.
In light of these, CSNAC is hereby requesting, in accordance with the Section 2, 3, 4 of the Freedom of Information Act 2011:

– The authenticity of the said ‘letter of appreciation’ sent to Mr. Jimi Agbaje from the Commissioner for Finance.

– The tax status and evidence of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial candidate in Lagos State, Mr. Jimi Agbaje.

– The tax status and evidence of the All Progressives’ Congress (APC) gubernatorial candidate in Lagos State, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode.

We look forward to receiving these documents promptly and, in any event, within 7(seven) days of the receipt of this application as provided for in the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.