Firm refutes report on whistleblower’s alleged N10 billion subsidy scam
NEPAL Oil and Gas Services Limited has refuted a report on alleged N10 billion oil subsidy scam to which an unidentified whistleblower alerted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
A statement by its management yesterday insisted that the publication is malicious, frivolous and speculative.“Our attention has been drawn to a publication on page 5 of The Guardian Newspaper of Thursday, January 17, 2019 that a whistle blower alerted the EFCC to a N10b subsidy scam involving Nepal Oil & Gas Services Limited (NEPAL) and others. NEPAL dissociates itself from and denies the content of that speculative story in the publication.
“NEPAL wishes to state that this is not a case of whistleblowing, but a pure case of malignant blackmail of a company by a former staff (sic), who is suspected to have stolen and diverted company’s fund in excess of N200 million and is being prosecuted by the EFCC in FRN Vs Chukwuemeka Ekwunife and Structured Energy Limited, charge number LD/3154C/16 currently before Justice Solebo at the Special Offences Court of the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja Division,” the statement reads.
In its rebuttal titled: Re: Whistle Blower Alert To EFCC, it explained that the defendant, Chukwuemeka Ekwunife, had severally threatened to blackmail NEPAL and its Managing Director, unless the matter was withdrawn against him.
“He had resorted to several other acts of blackmail. The company has remained resolute to allow the EFCC perform its statutory duties in the case, as a matter of policy.
“We are not surprised to see the publication credited to a whistle blower. It is common knowledge that all subsidy matters before and during the subsidy probe of 2012 have been fully investigated by the EFCC, Special Frauds Unit (SFU) and the Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede panel on fuel subsidy fraud.
“The companies that the alleged whistleblower mentioned were all fully investigated by all the relevant anti-graft agencies, including the ones listed above.“We, therefore, advise the general public to discountenance the story and the erroneous publication,” it added.