A law firm, SimmonsCooper Partners, alleged by a newspaper report to be associated with or involved in a N100 billion tax evasion scandal with Alpha Beta Consulting Limited, has refuted the allegations and given the newspaper 72 hours to retract the accusation or face legal actions for defamation and malicious falsehood. The report alleged the law firm, formerly headed by Prof. Yemi Osinbajo SAN, before he was elected the Vice President of Nigeria, served as Company Secretary to Alpha Beta Consulting Ltd.
In a statement signed by the Managing Partner of SimmonsCooper Partners, Mr Dapo Akinosun, yesterday, the law firm refuted the story, stating that it is not involved neither does it have a link with the alleged tax evasion. He further stated that the firm has never been retained by Ocean Trust Limited to offer secretarial services as alleged by the newspaper report. “As is custom with filings as Company Secretary, there is no acceptance letter by the firm consenting to the purported appointment, or any other filing undertaken by the firm as Company Secretary at the registry of the Corporate Affairs Commission”, he said. Akinosun acknowledged Osinbajo as a “one-time senior partner” of the law firm who resigned from the firm upon his election as Vice President of Nigeria, in line with international best practices. “SimmonsCooper Partners is a product of the combination of her members’ intellectual capital, industry and integrity garnered for several years. We are proud that Osinbajo continues to epitomize these values even in public service. “SimmonsCooper Partners intends to seek redress to the fullest extent available in law and has requested the newspaper to do all of the following: Remove from publication in their entirety the defamatory publication and all online threads to prevent further harm to the firm’s business; produce an apology and a declaration that the allegations referred to are false and defamatory and cause such apology to be published in each of the forums which have given or could give reason for our complaint; make proposals for the payment to us of damages for the harm caused to our reputation; and undertake to actively monitor and delete any newly published defamatory content relating to the firm. “If the defamatory publication and threads are not permanently removed and the above undertakings are not complied within the stipulated period, SimmonsCooper Partners reserves the right to undertake further action as appropriate.”