Obasanjo’s Aide, Ex Ministers Doukoru , Soleye, Gov. Timi Sylva, Kupolokun, Andy Uba, Many More Implicated!
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has categorically denied being involved in the $6million Wilbros Bribery scandal, saying it is a clear case of “419” and of some faceless people masquerading as the “VP”.
THISDAY ON SATURDAY had published a report credited to a “Presidency Source” that the former Vice President, former minister of Finance Onaolapo Soleye and Shell Petroleaum Company had been named by an American Court as beneficiaries of the $6m bribe scandal from Wilbross.
However, in a statement from his Campaign Organisation on Saturday, Atiku said the report is a calculated attempt to smear his name and divert attention from the true culprits in the bribery scandal.
Atiku said although some individuals purportedly told Wilbros officials that they were to collect the sum of $250,000 for the “No.2” and “VP” nowhere in the report was he identified as the person .He said the deduction that he was the “NO 2” or “VP” as contained in the Thisday report credited to “Presidency Sources” is not only mischievous but a blackmail.
He said, immediately he got wind of the attempt to drag his name into the Wilbros bribery scandal over which he alerted the nation three weeks ago, he had embarked on a discreet investigation of the scam and his findings were not only mind-boggling but indicative of the cesspool of corruption that characterized the management of the oil sector under former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The former Vice-President said his findings revealed that the former GMD of the NNPC Funsho Kupolokun had told Wilbros that they would need to pay $400,000 bribe to “No 2” and another 1% of the $6m bribe to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).He said his investigation also disclosed a long list of officials of the state and top notchers of the NNPC, all working closely with former President Obasanjo as collaborators in the bribery scandal. “Anyone conversant with the Nigerian political scene in the last four years will admit that I did not belong to this league of officials. (Please see list of names in the Court document below). Immediately after the swearing in ceremony of May 29, 2003 I was not only marginalized in the government ,I was maligned, abused, intimidated and persecuted by Obasanjo who deployed the machinery of State and his numerous aides against me.
By 2005, when the bribe was purportedly shared, the office of the Vice-President had been rendered ineffective and its functions shared between the FCT Minister and the President’s Domestic aides. So it is not impossible that “NO 2” being referred to in the Wilbross record is one of these two officials who took over the duties of the Vice President. It is inconceivable that I will be involved in a deal with my traducers.
“More importantly, it is common knowledge that former President Obasanjo treated the petroleum sector as his exclusive preserve. For the eight years that I was Vice-President, I was not involved in the running of the affairs of the NNPC. “I was never in the line of authority in the sector to be part of any contract award. The line of authority is clear: the Group Managing Director of NNPC reports to the President through the Minister of State for Petroleum. With the Group Managing Director who initiated memo to the President and the Minister of State Petroleum who liaises between them listed in the Wilbros contract award, what role was I supposed to play? I had no role whatsoever to play in the award of the Wilbros contract and I played no role.
Perhaps if the contract award was brought to the Federal Executive Council for approval, I would have had knowledge of the contract. But as the whole nation knows, Obasanjo never submitted NNPC contracts for FEC approval.
“It was after a national outcry against the discreet management of the NNPC ,in which I played an active part, that sometime about October 2006 Obasanjo brought all contracts awarded since 19999 in truck-load of Ghana-Must-GO bags for retro-active approval. It is significant to recall that since 2005, I have been in the vanguard of advocacy for a probe of the accounts of NNPC so that Nigerians can see the savage corruption that went on there since 1999. I remain resolute about this demand .The Wilbros scandal is only a tip of the iceberg. The nation stands to benefit from a thorough investigation of the NNPC operations and the entire oil sector under President Obasanjo. I would like to call on President Umar Musa Yar’dua to immediately set up a probe panel not only to investigate the Wilbross affair but the NNPC since 1999.
It is gratifying that in the “Presidency sources” story, it was claimed that somebody “collected money on behalf of the “VP”. The same person, as indicated in the court paper hereby attached also “threw” the 1% situation for the party on Wilbros which is different from the VP”. In essence, the person who demanded 1% bribe for the PDP had also requested the money for the VP. Who is this person? He holds the key to the unraveling of the Wilbros saga. Nobody has accused me of collecting any money. The only extant claim is that the GMD OF NNPC claimed that the money would be given to the VP. Who was this VP in a season where Obasanjo experimented with at least, two de facto Vice President while I, who was de jure Vice President, remained an outsider in the government?
Personally, I remain committed to a full disclosure of this matter so that once again, Nigerians will see that my name has been falsely dragged into deals for which my traducers are the beneficiaries. The nation deserves to know who collected the money and for whom he acted .The nation deserves to know who approved the EGSS Contract awarded to Wilbross and what recommended the company for the award. The nation also deserves to know how people who were not involved in the contract award were purportedly given money while the approving authority was completely out of the scandal.
On a final note ,it is curious that the “Presidency sources” quoted by This Day conveniently left out the names of the PDP, the Minister of state for Petroleum Resources ,the Group Managing Director of NNPC and other individuals close to the former President Obasanjo listed in the court papers over the Wilbros scandal. Instead, it claimed that “middle level officers” of NNPC were involved. What is the “presidency Sources” hiding? It is evident that the plot was to smear my name and divert attention from the true perpetrators of this scam. I invite Nigerians to look at the names on the list and decide whether, truly, I could be part of this dubious company.
I challenge the Nigerian Government to set up a judicial panel of Enquiry with powers to summon everyone involved in the award of the controversial contract to Wilbros to get to the root of this matter. The panel may well, be what the nation needs to know the truth about our oil earnings since 1999 and how it has been squandered by a cabal that masquerade as anti-corruption crusaders.
Here is the partial list of the alleged beneficiaries of the $6 million Wilbros bribery scandal obtained from the United States Court ..
1) Mr Phil Chukwu, former Group General Manager of NAPIMS and now MD of NETCO
2) Mr James O. (no further details available in the record)
3)Mr Chizea Nicholas, Ex- Investment Data Systems, NAPISM, but currently the material manager, National Petroleum Development Company, Benin
4) Mr Pedro (no further details available)
5) Mr Sunny Ichakpa, a staff of the Gas Company, NNPC
6) Mr. Asuqua Inuikim, (a Facility Staff of NAPIMS)
7) Mr. Okor (said to be a personal assistant to the Group General Manager of NAPIMS)
8 Mr. Ibrahim Ado, a staff of the material section of NAPIMS and currently Technical Assistant to the present Minister of State for Energy.
9) Funsho Kupolokun, Former GMD, NNPC
10) Dr. Edmond Olu Ayoola, Executive Director, Exploration, now retired
11) Ms Olamide (no further details available)
12) Dr. Ayo Balogun, NNPC
13) Dr Onaolapo Soleye, former member of NNPC board
14) Dr. Edmund Dakoru, former Minister of State, Petroleum
15) Mr Gubio (no further details available in the record)
16) Victor Dania (Project Director and current of Engineering of Shell Petroleum Company)
17) Ms Toyin (no further details available)
18) Mr Gibson Okeke, a business partner of Andy Uba
19) Mr Charles (no further details available)
20) Mr Lanre (an assistant to Obasanjo)
21)”No 2” (no further detail available as to “No 2”)