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 EFCC lying against me –Diezani

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PostSubject: EFCC lying against me –Diezani   Sun Jan 22 2017, 14:59



Former Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Allison Madueke, has said that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been lying against her.
She lamented that the anti-graft commission has been deliberately peddling inaccurate stories about her, and taking advantage of her silence to try her in the media and public space.
The former minister who issued a lengthy statement on a blog, stelladimokokorkus.com, said that she was forced to respond to the lies, as the EFCC was already convicting her in the public eye.
”I have up till now chosen to maintain my silence and not to respond to inaccurate press reporting. However, given the level of deliberate inaccuracies, I am now forced to respond because it is clear that the EFCC is taking advantage of my silence to try me by media and to convict me in the eyes of the public on false reports”, she stated.
Diezani in the statement addressed a number of issues, including the $153.3 million allegation, Malabu oil deal, an Aljazeera report of an $18million Mansion owned by her, the EFCC visit to her Family Home in Yenegoa, Bayelsa State, as well as the story of about $700 million cash allegedly found in her house.
She lamented reports that she had forfeited $153.3million found in an account allegedly belonging to her to the federal government, noting that the funds were not hers, and nobody contacted her on any legal proceedings to that effect.
She challenged the EFCC to “publish the details of the $153.3M lodgments, the bank account numbers and the account beneficiaries, showing proof of my link to them. Having also alleged that the said $153.3M was ‘wired’ from NNPC, the EFCC should also publish details of the NNPC accounts from where the said $153.3 million was taken from, with proof that I authorized such a transaction/transactions acting either in my private capacity or, as The Honourable Minister of Petroleum”.
She also said, ”Let me state for the record that as Minister of Petroleum, the operation and management of NNPC finances were outside my purview as outlined in both the Petroleum Act and the NNPC Act. The only involvement I had in NNPC Finances was in terms of statutory matters, where the Petroleum Act prescribed that as Minister, there were certain duties or actions which I had to perform or take in relation to NNPC”.
On the purported huge housing estate said to have been uncovered belonging to her, the former minister narrated: On the 9th November 2016, the EFCC visited our Family home in Yenegoa (Bayelsa State) as pre-agreed and they were escorted around the premises. I was therefore completely shocked to once again see my name sensationally splashed across the Front Pages of Newspapers and widely circulated on the internet, with blaring Headlines such as “EFCC UNCOVERS DIEZANI’S MULTI-BILLION NAIRA ESTATE” – Nation Newspaper, January 8, 2017 (Annex- 4A). There was absolutely nothing ‘Hidden’ or ‘Concealed’ about the home. I HAD DECLARED IT OPENLY as required by Law, in my Asset declaration forms (Annex-4B). Yet the EFCC have announced that they ‘Just Discovered’ my ‘Hidden Estate’! And labelled it a ‘Multi-Billion Naira Estate’! Even though they had been given the Bill of Quantities, showing actual amount spent.
“It is accepted Tradition across the length and breadth of Nigeria, for people to own Country/Village homes. Given the size of the land and the location of the compound, the buildings thereon cannot by any stretch of the imagination be a “Multi-Billion Naira” palatial estate, as the news mongers would want to portray.
“The EFCC were taken on a tour of the compound which consisted of A Main house, and two outhouses – An Obi (meeting bungalow) and a staff quarters(BQ) building – above which we built 3 guest rooms and a parlour. The only other 2 structures are the gate and generator houses. Construction began in late 2011 and was handled in phases. During the visit the EFCC was given the bill of quantities, which up until the time construction stopped in early 2015, due to my illness, was at approximately N394million which was declared in the code of conduct documentation, attached (the costs were partially funded by a loan – see code of conduct – Annex4B, the work is still uncompleted and the contractor is still being owed). Building costs escalated as a result of delays in construction and external factors such as the extreme flooding of late 2012, that covered most of our areas in the Niger Delta.
“It is the accepted norm when building in the Niger Delta, that due to the topography of the land and the heavily waterlogged and marshy terrain, construction is infinitely more expensive than in other parts of the Country, as by its nature it requires the building of extensive piling/raft foundations before any structural work can commence. The flooding of 2012 compounded the problem and further increased the cost of construction”.
Diezani also noted that “I performed my duty as Minister of Petroleum Resources with the utmost sincerity and sense of responsibility, ensuring that all Nigerians irrespective of creed, gender or tribe enjoyed their rightful benefits from the Oil and Gas Sector”.
She further lamented that not one of the various accusations against her has been proven, and that incontrovertible evidence has never been produced to prove any of the claims against her, even as she said, that she “continues to be faced with constant demonisation, unproven accusations and deeply personal insults”.
According to her, she has decided to remain silent no more. “I can therefore, NO LONGER SIT BACK and allow the fabricated accusations against my person designed by unscrupulous persons with a vengeful agenda go unchallenged”.
On its part, the EFCC, when confronted with Diezani’s submission said it would be in contempt for it to comment on cases already before the courts, and that it hopes to meet her in court.
The commission advised her to get ready to meet them in court to prove her case, if she believes she has no case to answer, instead of trying to whip up sentiments.
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