Ministry of Petroleum Resources on Monday reacted to the allegation that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was shielding the Minister of State, Ibe Kachikwu, from prosecution.
Idang Alibi, Director, Press, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, in a statement stated that Kachikwu was not under probe.
A group known as Patriots of Anti-corruption League (PAL) had accused the EFCC of covering up corruption allegations against Kachikwu, some other individuals and four companies “involved in petroleum subsidy fraud”.
Reacting, Alibi said: “The invidious effort to impugn Kachikwu’s integrity first started in 2016 when a shadowy group of people came out with a claim that Kachikwu, in collaboration with some individuals and some oil and gas companies, had a case to answer in relation to oil subsidy fraud, a claim the EFCC thoroughly investigated and discarded because there was no substance to it.
“The recent claim by PAL is, therefore, an attempt to rehash and repackage an old plot with a view to either blackmail Kachikwu into conceding some unnamed and unknowable favour or tarnish his good name.
“Whatever may be the motive of his traducers, just as that initial action failed to achieve the sinister purpose of its sponsors, this one by PAL will similarly fail as there is nothing that Kachikwu has done in the dispatch of his remit to warrant prosecution.
“Kachikwu is a well-known individual and public official who has no stain on his character and every effort by mischievous and wicked individuals to prove otherwise shall fail woefully.
“It is key to note that the HMSPR has been the forerunner of the very successful reforms ongoing in the Nigerian Petroleum sector of which Transparency and Accountability are critical reforms ongoing in the sector.
“The publishing of the monthly NNPC financial report, resolution of the cash call bottleneck, the Gas revolution and many others are few examples of these reforms.
“He remains focused on ensuring that the sector is investor friendly and profitable”, the statement added.