The former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, dismissed media reports saying she was under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), alongside former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke and her close associate Kola Aluko.
Some media platforms were reporting the proceedings of Monday’s appearance of the EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, before the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes where he defended the anti-graft agency’s budgetary allocation performance for 2015 and the 2016 budget proposal.
According to various media reports, Magu said the agency was investigating Okonjo-Iweala and the other afore-mentioned persons as it set to beam its searchlight on the petroleum sector.
However, the media team of the former Minister of Finance said in a Tuesday statement that the media reports of the proceedings were “misleading and untrue”.
The statement signed by Paul C Nwabuikwu, the Media Adviser to Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, read in part: “We want to clarify that some of the media reports alleging that the EFCC is investigating former Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, are misleading and untrue. This is clear from eye witness accounts of the Budget 2016 presentation by the EFCC at the House of Representatives and gaps in the reported stories.
“The headlines are a misrepresentation of what the EFCC Chairman actually said during the event.
“While the headlines claimed that the EFCC Chairman, in response to a question by an APC, member Hon Razak Atunwa, stated that Dr Okonjo-Iweala is under investigation, the actual words quoted in the same reports told a very different story.
“‘Very soon we will go into the petroleum industry. Such investigation requires that we have to build capacity, we have to bring in experts to enable us tackle what we are doing properly and the investigation must be conducted properly. We have internal lawyers and external lawyers. We have to pay insurance…
“The words said to have been spoken by the EFCC Chairman cannot support the lurid headlines that Dr Okonjo-Iweala is under investigation by the EFCC.
“The Nigerian media plays an important role in our democracy and we urge them to be fair, balanced and factual in their reports.”
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