Initial reports claimed that the $50million (N15billion) uncovered in a residential building located at 16 Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, by the EFCC on Wednesday belongs to the sacked managing director, operations, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Ms Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue.
But, in another twist, Nnamdi-Ogbue has denied ownership of the money and pleaded with the media to be more cautious in their reports.
Nnamdi-Ogbue was sacked alongside three other top managing directors at the NNPC over the “missing” petrol scandal involving Capital Oil & Gas Nigeria Limited owned by businessman Ifeanyi Ubah.
The cook who served Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue absconded with cash and pieces of jewellery worth $6million in 2016.
Nnamdi-Ogbue’s lawyer reacts
A press release by the law firm of Emeka Etiaba, counsel to Ms Nnamdi-Ogbue, Thursday, states:
The attention of our client, Mrs. Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue, has been drawn to the news making round in the news media to the effect that the large sums of money, to wit: $38,000,000.00 (thirty-eight million dollars), N23,000,000.00 (twenty-three million naira) and £27,000.00 (twenty-seven thousand pounds) uncovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from an apartment in Osborne Towers, Osborne Road, Ikoyi Lagos, Lagos State, belong to her.
By this press release, we inform the public (especially the news media) that the said sums of money and/or the apartment where the sums of money were found do not belong to our client.
Our client is as shocked as many other Nigerians at the uncovering and recovery of the said sums of money and wishes to salute the courage and efforts of the EFCC in the war against corruption.
She also wishes to commend the whistleblowing policy introduced by the federal government in the fight against corruption, which policy has resulted in large-scale uncovering and recovery of monies and assets.
It is our client’s belief that the source and ownership of the said uncovered sums of money is known or eventually will be known by the EFCC in due course. There is therefore no need for conjecture or speculation.
May we finally implore the news media to be more circumspect in their publications.
Emeka Etiaba, SAN, FCArb