True words are not defined by the volume of a man’s voice, but by the consequence of his choices. Ask Femi Otedola. The billionaire magnate would never use gilded words to masque deceit neither does he brandish fickle principles and statistics to conclude with a false truth. Unlike many a rabble-rouser, who flashes documents to lock down evidence but never real facts to back their proof, Otedola has revealed the depth of decadence and negligence that aided and abetted corruption in the oil sector during ex-President, Goodluck Jonathan’s regime.
But he to achieve his aim, he did not spin tales out of thin air, neither did he attempt to cut through decency like a butcher’s knife; amid the clamour for better management of the nation’s oil sector, Otedola recently testified before an Abuja High Court Judge, laying the facts bare, about the massive corruption that afflicted the oil sector in the immediate past administration.
He revealed, among other things, how he painstakingly rebuffed overtures by the elements that be to bully and extort him. The Forte Oil boss alleged that he was the one that alerted former president Goodluck Jonathan to the fuel subsidy scam in 2010, even though he was later blackmailed by the house of reps committee that probed the fraud, he was saying the gospel truth, according to esteemed sources privy to the incident.
Otedola, while testifying at the Abuja High Court on Wednesday, as a prosecution witness in the criminal case against Farouk Lawan, who chaired the house probe committee, by the federal government stated that: “In 2010, being the chairman of African Petroleum Ltd and also the CEO of Zenon Oil and Gas Ltd, I realised that companies in Nigeria were claiming money for subsidy on petroleum products they never imported. When I saw how much was being stolen, I went to the then President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan. I told him my observations. He told me later that he had consulted with the Minister of Petroleum and that there was nothing of such.
“I then reached out to Senator Bukola Saraki who raised the issue on the floor of the senate and thereafter, the house of reps set up the panel to investigate the allegation. The defendant reached out to me and I gave him the background information as to how the monies were being stolen. I gave relevant information to the ad hoc committee. I have two companies which are in the oil and gas industry which are AP and Zenon oil.”
Otedola, who owns Zenon Oil and Gas Ltd and Forte Oil (formerly called AP), told the court that when he informed Jonathan that many companies were collecting subsidy payments without importing any product, the president did not believe him.
The billionaire magnate alleged that the two companies had something to do with the defendant’s panel. “AP submitted to the committee documents regarding all the importations of the company. Mr Otaru, general manager AP, had direct contact with the defendant’s committee…On 18th of April, 2012, the defendant came to see me at my house in Abuja after the report of the committee had been laid before the house of reps in plenary.
“He told me that pursuant to what we discussed on phone while I was in the UK, he told me that he was going to indict Zenon Oil and Gas Ltd. He demanded for the sum of $3m USD to exonerate Zenon Oil. I said to him that why will he indict a company that does not import petrol but diesel. He said most of the companies indicted have paid bribe. I told him this is extortion.
“I was in Nigeria when the report was laid before the house of reps. I saw it on the television, NTA on the 18th of April 2012 and I saw that my company was listed as one of the companies involved in subsidy scam. I wrote a petition to the DG DSS to complain. When the report was laid, I was shocked and I had several calls from my international partners and my bankers.”
Otedola disclosed, that, it was after his petition to the DSS that a sting operation was set up against Lawan.
“After my petition to the DG DSS, I received a call from the DSS official, one Mr Caleb ,who told me that they were going to carry out a sting operation. He told me that I would be provided with serialised USD to give to the defendant and they were going to install video recording gadgets in my living and dining rooms. About six operatives of the DSS did the installation.
“I was given 620,000 USD serialised dollars. After the report was laid on the floor of the House of Reps, the defendant called me that if I made $3million USD available, he would exonerate my company. I said to him that this is unfair to a country that has lost about the sum of N1trn to subsidy scam. I took the instruction of the DSS and I agreed to play along,” he said.
Customer battles Cosmos Maduka’s Coscharis Motors over N24m
These are not the best of times for Coscharis Motors, owned by Mr. Cosmos Maduka as Mr Olusina Sofola has dragged the company to a Lagos Magistrate’s Court, sitting at Igbosere, over a defective Jaguar car valued at N24.15million sold to him.
The claimant is demanding N9.5million, as general damages, resulting from the inconveniences suffered as a result of the defective supposedly brand new Jaguar car sold and delivered to him, by the defendants.
Sofola is further asking for an order of court directing the defendants to replace the Jaguar XJ 2.0 Sedan Automobile with chassis No SAJAA12NIFPV79999 and engine No 040914054912204PT, with a new one of the same specifications.
He is also seeking an order directing the first defendant to refund N148, 335, being the excess on the N1,097,035.17, paid by the claimant for the purchase and replacement of the cracked windscreen.
He also asked the court to declare that the defendants breached the warranty given to the claimant upon the purchase of a brand new Jaguar XJ 2.0 Sedan Automobile and that it also breached the duty to deliver a fit for purpose brand new Jaguar to the claimant.
Sofola in his particulars of claim said that on December 7, 2016, he purchased a black coloured 2015 model Jaguar, the XJ 2.0 Sedan automobile from the first defendant for N24,150,000.
He said that the purchase of the car came with a three year warranty, adding that the warranty stipulated that he would enjoy the car without problem.
According to him, upon delivery of the car together with its documentations, he noticed on the same day of the delivery that the three years warranty pack included as part of the car maintenance package had been removed.
The claimant also noticed that there was a problem with the closing of the car bonnet, and that he made a complaint and was advised to take the car back for adjustment. A few days later, he said he also noticed that the car was showing maintenance due sign, with the dash board and certain other parts of the interior of the car peeling and being very sticky to touch. He said he made a complaint to one Mr. Umokoro, an official of the first defendant, who promised to sort out the issues and further assured him that the defective parts complained of would be ordered and re-installed in the car, while the warranty service pack would be restored.
The claimant who resides and carries out business at Ikeja, said barely a week after the purchase of the car, he had to return the Jaguar to the Awoyaya office of the first defendant. However, the defendants in their response denied some of the claims of the claimant, stating that the car was delivered to the claimant in good condition.
They stated that the terms of warranty only covered certain problems that the car may have during the period warranted. The defendants also said that at the time of the delivery of the vehicle to the claimant, the warranty/service pack of the Jaguar automobile sedan was in the globe compartment of the vehicle which also contains the hand book alongside the owner’s manual.
They averred that the claimant was not entitled to replacement of the Jaguar automobile sedan as there was no such provision in the warranty. The firm also averred that the ordinary summons of the claimant was baseless, frivolous and calculated to reap funds from the defendants. Consequently, the firm asked the court to dismiss the suit and award substantial cost against the claimant.
Fresh plot to blackmail Amnesty Programme boss, Charles Dokubo uncovered
A new plot has been hatched aimed at tarnishing the image of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Prof. Charles Dokubo.
The plot, which is already in its advanced stage, is orchestrated by individuals who have failed in their bids to force Dokubo to award contracts to them.
This newspaper gathered that Prof. Dokubo has severally turned down overtures by those behind the plot, and now to get at him, they have resorted to blackmailing him.
In one of the campaigns of calumny, an online portal had reported award of fictitious contracts to the tune of N3.2 billion within a period of one month to two companies allegedly fronting for the Amnesty Programme coordinator.
But in a statement signed by special assistant on Media to the office, Murphy Ganagana, urged members of the public to ignore the alleged N3.2billion contract scam report.
The statement however noted that it was not the wish of the agency to ‘dissipate valuable time and energy in recapping the “wholesomely fallacious report’’.
According to him the online portal from which the story emanated had become notorious in purveying fake news and promoting blackmail to nauseating level, adding that the attempt to drag the image of the highly revered wife of the president, Mrs. Aisha Buhari and the National Security Adviser, General Babagana Monguno, to the mud to score a point was appalling.
The statement read in part: “To put the records straight, we wish to state as follows: It is true that a contract for empowerment of 300 Niger Delta youths in oil and gas instrumentation was awarded to Messrs. Glassfa Continental Ltd, and another contract for training and empowerment of 400 delegates in coastal fishing was awarded to Innotek Royal Services Limited.
“However, the two contracts in question were beyond the threshold of the Special Adviser to the President and Coordinator, Amnesty Programme. Therefore, in line with statutory guidelines and regulations, a Due Process No Objection was sought and obtained from the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) vides a letter OSAPND/GCL/VT/2018/11010 dated 19th October, 2018. Consequently, approval for award of contracts to the two companies was granted by the BPP.”
It added that contrary to the allegation that payment had been made to the two companies even though work has not commenced, “we wish to state with emphasis that no dime has been paid to any of the two companies. It is pertinent to state that processes leading to payment of 15 per cent of contract sum are yet to be completed for the two companies which have not been handed delegates for training. Files of the two companies on the contracts have not reached the Prof. Dokubo’s table.
“On the allegation of 30 companies discovered to have been perpetrating contract fraud worth billions of Naira by an external auditing committee said to have been inaugurated by Prof. Dokubo, it existed only in the imagination of the publishers of Pointblanknews as NO such committee was inaugurated at the Amnesty Office under Prof. Dokubo, and no contract fraud was unearthed at any time.”
The office of the Presidential Amnesty Programme under Professor Dokubo has witnessed substantial achievements in the last one year. On assumption of office on March 13, 2018, Charles Quaker Dokubo, an erudite professor and nuclear scientist had a clear mandate: to retool the programme to make it more robust and impactful for the enlisted ex-agitators in the Niger Delta with the ultimate goal of achieving sustainable peace and development in all facets of the region.
Barely three months on, precisely in 100 days, leaders and stakeholders in the Niger Delta, are convinced of President Muhammadu Buhari’s quest to transform the region through the instrumentality of the amnesty programme with the appointment of Prof. Dokubo who they describe as a messiah that has come to chart a new path for the programme. Their conviction is apparently based on his sterling performance and achievements within a short period.
Exposed: Kogi State Chief of Staff, Edward Onoja delves into oil sector, acquires Enyo filling stations
The controversial and exuberant Chief of Staff to Kogi State Governor, Edward Onoja is desperately plunging billions of Naira into the oil and gas sector of Nigeria economy, LeadingReporters can authoritatively revealed.
A discreet investigation carried out by this online platform has revealed that Edward Onoja, aside from investing and acquiring Enyo Filling Station, is desirous of becoming a major player in the downstream oil sector within the shortest possible time.
Our investigation further revealed that there are currently more branches of the filling station springing up in States like Plateau, Benue and other States within the North Central region. A source who spoke to LeadingReporters on condition of anonymity revealed that Onoja is cashing in on the office he currently holds sway to amass wealth, knowing too well that tomorrow is not guaranteed politically for him.
“He is massively investing in the oil and gas, estate and agriculture. He owns the largest stake in Enyo Filling Station and he is plunging billions of Naira to ensure a faster spread of the filling station, first within the North Central Region and then to every part of Nigeria. He wants the services it offers to rank among the bests and the biggest in Nigeria. He seems determined. Above all, there seems enough money to pursue the vision”
Recall that Edward Onoja has been at the center of most political controversies in Kogi State. Kogi State has become notorious for promoting policies that do not better the lot its citizens, especially the civil servants. Furthermore, thuggery, and gun running have allegedly become the order of the day in Kogi State, under the Yahaya Bello APC-led government.
Kogi is ranked the worse in terms of payment of salaries, and gratuities to serving and retired civil servants.
– Source: Leading Reporters