FG Covering Up Owners Of Money & Apartment, Fayose alleges
THE Former Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Managing Director of the Petroleum Products Pricing and Marketing Company (PPMC), Mrs Esther Nnamdi Ogbue, has alleged that the reports linking her with the $43 million and other currencies discovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in an apartment within the highbrow Ikoyi area of Lagos, was the handiworks of blackmailers and enemies.
The EFCC operatives had discovered the sum of $43.4 million, £27,800 and N23 million from an apartment in Ikoyi on Wednesday, April 12, based on information allegedly received by the Commission but the owner of the apartment and money is yet to come forward.
Her clarifications and denial of links with the monies coincided with the Ekiti Governor, Ayo Fayose’s allegations that the Federal Government is protecting the owners of the money and apartment.
Governor Fayose also faulted the National Intelligence Agency’s (NIA) claims that it belonged to it and was meant for “covert operations”.
Mrs Ogbue, through her Lawyers from the firm of Emeka Etiaba SAN, Etiaba & CO. Etiaba Chambers, also said that even a tweet credited to her was false as she never twitted anything to the effect that she was being terrified by security agents.
She maintained in a statement from her Lawyers that the publics should discountenance the tweet and reports, alerting that more of such would still come as those behind it had not given up.
Below is the press release by her lawyers from the law firm of Emeka Etiaba SAN, Etiaba & CO. Etiaba Chambers.
“We continue to act as lawyers to Mrs Esther Nnamdi Ogbue (Our Client) and do refer to a tweet posted by a faceless person, purporting the tweet to be that of Our client.
“The tweet reads thus: “If you terrify me further I will become a dangerous whistle blower and Nigeria will burn. I am not the owner of the money.”
“Our Client states the following: She never posted any such tweet. She does not intend to so do. No Security Agency has terrified her as claimed by the tweet.
“It is her belief that the vexatious tweet is the handiwork of her blackmailers and the public is urged to discountenance such tweet, many of which may still come as it is obvious that the originators may not have given up. Signed: Emeka Etiaba SAN.”
Fayose said: “Yesterday, it was made public that the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) claimed ownership of the $43,449,947, £27,800 and N23, 218,000 seized on Wednesday by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from Osborne Towers, a luxury residential complex in Ikoyi, Lagos.
“This, to my mind is one cover-up too many and this federal government seeming plot to protect the original owner of both the money and the apartment where it was found has further shown that the anti-corruption fight is political, selective and therefore a ruse.
“Nigerians should recall that I have consistently maintained that the APC-led federal government was not fighting any corruption. Rather, the government is using the anti-corruption fight as a major political tool to cripple opposition and turn the country to a one party state.
“Therefore, for once, the federal government should operate with the mind-set that Nigerians are no fools. They are capable of asking questions and they are already doing that. Some of the questions being asked are ,who is the owner of the apartment in which the money was found?, does the apartment also belong to the NIA?
“If the apartment belong to the NIA, when was it bought and from whom, if the apartment does not belong to the NIA, from whom and when was it rented?
“How could a whistle-blower be aware of movement of money into one out of many apartments in a building without knowing the owner of the apartment, if truly the NIA was carrying out a “covert operation” as claimed, was President Muhammadu Buhari not briefed of the so-called “covert operation” when he took over power?
“Was the National Security Adviser (NSA), whose office controls all intelligence agencies, including the EFCC and DSS not aware of the “covert operation”?
“Was there any security presence at the vicinity of the apartment to suggest that it was being used as warehouse for over N13 billion cash belonging to the NIA?
“Does NIA need an unprotected apartment to keep such huge sum of money purportedly meant for covert operation?
“How much was released for the so-called “covert operation”, how much has been spent and to who was account rendered up to date? As for me, the script being acted on this discovered cash is a cover-up that will mar the EFCC and the federal government. It is a movie well scripted for some alawada (comedians) but acted so badly.
“It is case of a dog that has been eating other people’s children to the admiration of its owner suddenly attacking the beloved son of the owner’s friend and they are now trying to cover-up the dog owner. It is a major test of the integrity of the APC federal government’s so-called anti-corruption fight, and the earlier the proponents of the cover-up plot come back to their normal senses and tell Nigerians who owns the apartment in which the money was found, the better for them.
“In the last few weeks, we have been served with dramas of recovery of funds by the EFCC. N49 million in cash ranging from N200 to N50 was said to have been found in Kaduna Airport and was promptly “arrested” by EFCC officials. But up till now, Nigerians have not been told the identities of those who brought the five sacks in which the cash was found into the airport despite the presence of CCTV cameras at the airport.
“EFCC also fed Nigerians with tales of recovery of N448,850,000 (Four hundred and forty eight million, eight hundred and fifty thousand naira) cash from a shop at LEGICO Shopping Plaza, Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos.
“We were told that the shop had not been opened for two years and one wonders how the cash got into the shop. Up till today, EFCC is yet to tell Nigerians the identity of the owner of the shop and Nigerians are asking whether or not the Legico Shopping Plaza, Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos is not owned by anyone and the owner of the Plaza won’t be able to identify his or her tenant.
“As for this latest drama, which has boomeranged, even though we know that the APC-led federal government has the capacity to sweep it under the carpet like many others before it, Nigerians will have it on record that they are being ruled by a government of “the more you look, the less you see.”