The Minister of State for Mines and Steel, Dr. Uche Ogah on Thursday said that renewed calls for his probe over a business transaction which he has been investigated and cleared years ago by law enforcement agencies is an act of political malice.
A group of lawyers under the aegies of Coalition of Public Interest Lawyers and Advocates had issued a statement making calls for fresh probe of Ogah over the transaction he had with one Mrs Bridget Adeosun while running his private business before he joined politics.
Reacting to the publication, legal counsel to Ogah, Monday Ubani in a statement issued yesterday in Lagos said the renewed attempt to cast aspersion on his client’s personality over a matter which the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigeria Police and the court have cleared him, is clearly the handiwork of blackmailers.
According to Ubani, “We consider this act of defamation as pure blackmail which ordinarily should not have deserved the attention of our client but for the informed members of the public who may not be apprised of the facts of this case, we have set out patiently to put the records straight.
“We are not ignorant that these blackmailers are mere “dancers” whose drummers are in the thick bush and certainly they shall be unveiled very soon.
“Our client is not ignorant of those behind this constant and fruitless mudslinging, and as usual, he promises them fatal failure.”
Stating the facts of the matter, Ubani said: “Sometime ago, before our client ever thought of entering politics, one Mrs Bridget Adeosun, a Director of Mut-Hass Petroleum Ltd was introduced to Masters Energy Oil & Gas Ltd, our client’s company as a struggling lady who has interest in Oil and Gas Sector but does not possess the necessary capacities and facilities to consummate a business transaction her company had with Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency(PPPRA) that gives Permit to import fuel into the country.
“On the February 2, 2011, the said Mrs Bridget Adeosun, requested Masters Energy Ltd through a letter from her Company, that our client’s company should execute an agreement known as ‘ThroughPut Agreement’ through which Masters Energy Ltd will confirm that they will be ready to offer a space in their Depot to store Mrs Adeosun’s petroleum products if her company is given allocation to import the product.
“Masters Energy Ltd replied to her letter by acceding to her request that they shall offer the storage facility to the intended product whenever the permit is granted to her by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
“In addition, Masters Energy Ltd executed the ThroughPut Agreement dated 10th of February, 2011.
“This said ThroughPut Agreement was submitted to DPR by Mrs Adeosun for issuance of the permit and thereafter on the 10th of May, 2011, DPR wrote to Masters Energy Ltd for confirmation of the executed ThroughPut Agreement.
‘On the 12th of April, 2011, Mrs Adeosun returned to Masters Energy Ltd with a Permit to Import 10,000 metric tons of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) issued to Mut-Hass Petroleum by PPRA.
“Upon receipt of the Permit from PPRA, Mut-Hass Ltd through Mrs Adeosun complained of her inability to fund the transaction (importation) due to lack of funds and experience.
“She therefore offered to transfer to Masters Energy Ltd the entire interest of her company in the Allocation for an agreed sum of N=26,820,000(Twenty-Six Million, Eight Hundred and Twenty Thousand Naira only) calculated at N=2.00 per litre, as full and final consideration for the transaction.
“Mrs Bridget Adeosun deposited these cheques in an account she opened at ECO bank, where she is a sole signatory.
“Further to this memorandum of understanding wherein all the interests in the allocation was passed to Masters Energy Ltd, requisite and ancillary documents such as Account Opening Forms, Company Resolution for Account Opening were duly executed by officers of Mut-Hass Petroleum Ltd to the benefit of Masters Energy Ltd.
“This procedure was necessitated by the fact that the transaction could only be executed through the bank account of Mut-Hass Ltd in whose name the permit was issued.
“On 4th August, 2011, Masters Energy Oil and Gas Ltd made payment for the said 10, 000 metric tons of PMS through Mut-Hass UBA Account opened for the purpose of the transaction via the establishment of a Letter of Credit(L/C).
“On the 6th of September, 2011 the imported product was delivered into Masters Energy storage tanks and was certified by relevant government agencies.
“The Sovereign Debt Note for payment of the cost under-recovery (otherwise called subsidy) was issued on 15th November, 2011 by the Federal Government to Masters Energy Ltd in the name of Mut-Hass Petroleum Limited (being the name in which the import permit was issued).
“The value of the Sovereign Debt Note was supposed to be utilized by Masters Energy Ltd to offset part of the cost of the importation.
“Due to the delay in the payment on the Sovereign Debt Note by Federal Government of Nigeria, the transaction incurred some foreign exchange differentials occasioned by Dollar rate fluctuation as at the time of importation valued at N51,884,159.95
“Masters Energy Ltd applied to the Government for the differentials in the foreign exchange transaction.
“Surprisingly, it was discovered that Mrs Adeosun through Mut-Hass Ltd had written to Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency(PPPRA) requesting that the accrued interest and foreign currency differentials be paid to her company.
“Masters Energy initiated action immediately to stop the Federal Government from paying her company the said money, as the said sum rightly belonged to Masters Energy Oil & Gas Ltd.
“When Masters Energy succeeded in obtaining the court order against her, heaven was let loose.
“Adeosun wrote petitions upon petitions to all the security agencies including EFCC alleging “forgery” of her signature and that of other directors in all the agreements she signed, including the Board Resolutions authorizing Masters Energy to run the UBA Account of Mut-Hass Ltd for the purpose of this particular transaction.
“All the security agencies investigated the said allegation and found no substance in it. However, Inspector General of Police initiated a criminal charge but When the Police saw the futility of the charge and knowing their inability to secure any conviction with the alleged frivolous charge, they withdrew the charge immediately.”
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