There are indications that the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) might have retired the Managing Director of NNPC Retail Limited, Mrs. Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue and two others over the illegal sale of 130 million litres of petrol.
Her retirement comes less than 24 hours after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) uncovered $38,000,000.00 N23, 000,000.00 and £27,000.00 from an apartment in Ikoyi allegedly belonging Mrs. Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue.
On March 17, Henry Ikem-Obih, a chief operating officer (downstream) in NNPC, had revealed that about 130 million litres stored at the Capital Oil & Gas depot and over 30 million litres in MRS Limited depot, all in the Apapa area of Lagos, were not found when needed.
Ikem-Obih had said the infraction by the two downstream companies was a clear violation of existing contract which prohibited the firms from tampering with the volumes in their custody without express permission of the corporation.
He said the companies were called to explain and given two options to either return the full volume of what was stored in their depots or pay the full value of the products taken without approval.
He had also mentioned that NNPC alerted the Directorate of State Service (DSS), the Economic Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and relevant committees of national assembly with oversight function on the corporation’s downstream operation to help recover the assets.
The officials were reported to have been sacked and later advised to resign, but are now officially disengaged from the services of the corporation.
But counsel to Nnamdi – Ogbue, Mr.Emeka Etiaba, said the money and/or the apartment where the sums of money were found did not belong to her.
“Our Client is as shocked as many other Nigerians at the uncovering and recovery of the said sums of money, and wishes to salute the courage and efforts of the EFCC in the war against corruption,” the law firm said.
“She also wishes to commend the whistle-blowing policy introduced by the Federal Government in the fight against corruption, which policy has resulted in large scale uncovering and recovery of monies and assets.”
The statement called on the media to be “more circumspect” in what it publishes.”
“Mrs. Nnamdi-Ogbue believes that the source and ownership of the money is known or eventually will be known by the EFCC in due course. Therefore, no need for conjecture or speculation,” the law firm said.
Meanwhile, NNPC explained that the retirement of Nnamdi-Ogbue and two others were in line with the ongoing reforms in NNPC.
The two other retired staffs are Mr. Alpha P. Mamza, Executive Director, Operations, NNPC Retail Ltd and Mr. Oluwa Kayode Erinoso, Manager, Distribution, NNPC Retail Ltd.
The corporation equally redeployed Mr. Adeyemi Adetunji, Managing Director of NNPC Retail Ltd; Engr. Lawal Bello, Executive Director, Operations, NNPC Retail Ltd; Mrs. Affiong Akpasubi, Executive Director, Services, NNPC Retail Ltd; and Mr. Agwandas A. Andrawus, Manager, Distribution, NNPC Retail Ltd.
Until his new assignment as the Managing Director of NNPC Retail Ltd, Mr. Adetunji was General Manager, Strategy and Planning, Gas and Power and also former General Manager, Transformation Office.
On Nnmadi–Ogbue’s retirement, Etiaba said the letter interdicting her from the corporation was served her last week and not yesterday, saying that NNPC only decided to release the statement announcing her retirement from service on Thursday.
When Etiaba was asked why her client was retired having not attained 35 years in service or attained the mandatory 60 years, he said: ‘‘That is another issue we will take up later.’’