Former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, has denied the allegation that he had while in office, received the sum of N9.7billion in his personal account.
Kachikwu, in a petition he wrote to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, through his lawyer, Mr Johnmary Jideobi, alleged a calculated attempt by some persons to tarnish his reputation through false online publications.
He decried that one of such publications that an online media outlet carried on August 23, maliciously alleged that he smuggled an exotic car stolen from Jaguar UK assembly to California in the USA.
“The aforementioned publications which were deliberately calculated to do maximum damage to his highly esteemed person, image and hard-earned goodwill and integrity, falsely alleged that our client smuggled a stolen Jaguar car into the United States of America”.
Insisting that the accusations were not only false but were propelled by the malicious purpose of causing him annoyance, inconvenience, insult, injury, enmity, hatred, ill will or needless anxiety, Kachikwu, urged Malami to order a full-scale investigation into his petition.
“Our Client has no better heritage than integrity and good character.
“They are of paramount importance to the success of his political endeavours. Our client was president of GECF (Gas Exporting Countries Forum – an Association of Ministers of all Gas Exporting Countries of over 40 countries), President 2016 OPEC (Oil Producing and Exporting Countries – an Association of all Ministers of over 40 Countries) APPO (Association of Ministers of African Oil Producing countries).
“In addition, our Client holds the Fellowships of several International bodies and Associations and is a Recipient of over 40 Global Awards including the states Assembly recognitions and keys to the states of South Carolina and Georgia in the USA.
“The effect of the publication has, therefore, understandably, imposed massive global damage to his reputation as the falsehoods have been read the world over.
“Upon reading the online publications which went viral and have now saturated the cyberspace; our Client was horribly shocked, disturbed, embarrassed, traumatized, harassed, flustered, discommoded, peeved and exasperated.
“The publications led to an outpouring of several letters and telephone calls from various quarters including his immediate family members, loved ones, friends, political associates, and well-wishers of our Client both home and abroad”, the petition further read.
Narrating what he termed as the true account of things to Malami, pertaining to the alleged N9.7bn in his account, counsel to the former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, said:
“Our client maintains that the purported bank statement of account, published by Peoples Gazette was a fraud as same was criminally doctored.
“While our client maintains a domiciliary account with the First Bank, the true position remains that the purported statement put out a false transaction of N9.7billion Naira inside a Dollar Domiciliary account. How ridiculous!
“This factual relationship between our client and his bank, therefore, makes the spurious claim of a purported deposit of 9.7billion naira into our Client’s said First bank account most preposterous, outlandish, bogus and bizarre.
“Contrary to the false and malicious narrative projected in the cyberspace by Peoples Gazette, the true state of affairs remains that our client bought a Jaguar car in 2009 from Dazz Motors Nigeria Ltd, Victoria Island, Lagos.
“Our Client paid fully for the car. After using it for some years, our Client shipped the car to the United States of America, as a gift to a relation.
“However, the US customs erroneously impounded it, mistaking it as a stolen car and for emission control infringement as cars with European and African emission control specifications cannot be used in the USA.
“Our Client availed the US authorities of the details and they reached out to the car dealer. The US authorities apologized for the error in seizing the car after they were unable to establish any basis or proof of the suspected stolen vehicle.
“Whereupon, the car was subsequently released to our Client who brought same back to Nigeria and returned it to the car dealer. The car dealer subsequently refunded our Client, the money he had paid for the Jaguar.
“It is pertinent to state that our Client never stood trial in respect of the said car before any court in the US. Rather, it was he who as a claimant initiated Administrative proceedings at the United States District Court in which the Jaguar car was a defendant”.
He, therefore, prayed the AGF to “approve that a full-scale investigation is promptly launched into the weighty contents of this petition”.