Nigerians had long feared Mr Tinubu’s presidential ambition would be borne by the politician’s vessel of ill-gotten cash and unredeemed favours.

Alpha Beta was incorporated in 2002 to handle computation, tracking and reconciliation of internally-generated revenue in Lagos. Mr Tinubu was governor at the time and the pliable state assembly set the firm’s monthly commission at 10 per cent of accrued revenue.

Mr Tinubu concluded his two terms as Lagos governor in 2007 and, shortly thereafter, his fingerprints started magnifying around Alpha Beta’s business. In 2010, Mr Tinubu’s alleged greed was blamed for a months-long confrontation with Tunde Fashola, his successor who had pushed back against arbitrary and exorbitant monthly payment to Alpha Beta.

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As part of Mr Fashola’s efforts to curb Mr Tinubu’s excesses, Alpha Beta’s monthly payment since 2013 hovered around N800 million per month, according to financial records reviewed by The Gazette. Mr Fashola left office after two terms in 2015. He was succeeded by Akinwunmi Ambode, who also left the arrangement at N800 million per month throughout his four-year tenure.

Mr Tinubu continues to deflect questions about his interest in Alpha Beta, but behind the scenes funds transferred to the firm from Lagos government accounts have been directly traced to his family members, business interests and political cronies.

Meanwhile, in November 2020, The Gazette exposed suspicious financial dealings between Alpha Beta and Ocean Trust, an onshore shell venture which Mr Tinubu has been using to empty funds into Lagos-based media group TVC and other businesses he had publicly admitted owning.

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