31 July 2016, Lagos — The Managing Director of IPMAN Investment Limited, Mr. Tunji Adeniji, has exonerated its company over reports of alleged N10.9 billion subsidy scam credited to the president of a faction of IPMAN, Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo.
In a statement made available after the IPMAN NEC meeting in Abuja, the allegation was described as false allegations that its Board of Trustees Chairman, Alhaji Aminu Abdulkadir embezzled the proceeds of petroleum subsidy claim of the association amounting to over N10.9 billion.
He said that the allegation, which was recently attributed to Okoronkwo, one of its factional leaders, was untrue insisting that the accused was not guilty of such crime, adding that he was committed to the IPMAN Investment Limited. He added that the allegation was the handiwork of elements that were unhappy with the current peaceful state of the association.
He, however, challenged anyone with evidence of wrong-doing in IPMAN to come forward with such information for appropriate actions, insisting that there was nothing like the N10 billion subsidy claims Adeniji stated that the company is legally instituted with credible members managing the company which the accuser has testified to the credibility of the business group.
He said that all permits given to IPMAN investment Limited by the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, were duly executed and the trucks certified. According to him, Okoronkwo ought to know the bounds of free speech and where defamation starts.
“It is hoped that he will click his tail in-between his legs and will correct his utterances for, as the Holy Book puts it, people perish for lack of knowledge and unfortunately, the accuser has shown that he is one such ignorant person.
“The company, therefore, requires an express apology from him for his acts of gross misrepresentation of facts or face appropriate legal actions,’’ he added. He further stated that the company had a certified permit in the country and engages in the importation of refined petroleum products under the petroleum support fund, PSF, scheme, of the country.
“The Petroleum Support Fund, PSF, scheme was set up to enable adequate payment of subsidy to marketers through the Petroleum Produce Pricing and Registry Agency, PPPRA, the Debt Management Office, DMO and the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, by the Federal Government. “Subsidy payment is a cost recovery system whereby marketers were paid the differential between the total cost of import and the regulated price of the government which could be over-recovery or under recovery as the case may be.
“Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo’s shout on subsidy scam in IPMAN Investment Limited was mischievous and a misrepresentation of facts, for he lacks knowledge of what subsidy payment is all about,’’ the statement added.
He argued that “It is regrettable for an individual of his calibre to be talking of subsidy payment executed verified, probed in 2011 by the Economic and Financial Commission, EFCC, the National Assembly and Aig-Imokuede Committee set up by the federal government where the company was duly cleared.
“It is a shame that the accuser started howling about missing N10.9 Billion subsidy claim without getting his facts correctly and cross-checking same. It is very important to put the record straight that other agencies of the Federal Government involved in the subsidy scheme including the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, Petroleum equalization fund, PEF, the Debt Management Office and the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, did not find the company involved or participated in any criminal or fraudulent act with respect to subsidy claims.”
It will be recalled that the Okoronkwo-led faction of IPMAN had reportedly alleged that a financial fraud was committed by the other faction and that N10.9 billion was paid into the company by the government as subsidy claim.
*Ediri Ejoh – Vanguard