Nepal Oil refutes, dissociates self from theft report
Refuting the report, the Company Secretary, Umanta Ude, in statement issued yesterday and made available to The Guardian, said the story was false, malicious, frivolous and at best speculative.
He stated that the oil marketer, Chukwuemeka Ekwunife, who is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly stealing and diverting company’s funds to the tune of N200million, was a former employee, who had on several occasions threatened to blackmail the company and its Managing Director, Mrs. Ngozi Ekeoma, unless the matter was withdrawn against him.
“He had resorted to several other acts of blackmails. The company has remained resolute to allow the EFCC perform its statutory duties in the case, as a matter of policy. On Wednesday, June 19, this year, when the defendant opened his case after failing in his ‘no case submission,’ rather than answer to the charges before the court, went off tangent and spoke extensively on how he was used to steal funds from the federal government and other matters not related to the charge before the court,” Umanta said.
He explained that the argument put forward by the defendant were not in anyway a defence to the criminal charges against him, but mere ploy to blackmail his former employer and deceive and divert the attention of the court and the public from the main issues in the charges.
“It is common knowledge that all subsidy cases happened mostly between 2009 and 2011 and have been fully investigated by the EFCC, the Special Frauds Unit (SFU) and the Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede panel on fuel subsidy fraud. Nepal Oil was also investigated and cleared by all the anti-graft agencies.
“The defendant only joined the services of Nepal Oil & Gas Services Limited by the last quarter of 2012 when subsidy investigation had been mostly concluded,” Umanta added.
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