The Federal Ministry of Finance Wednesday confirmed that the number of oil marketers recommended for further criminal investigations in the Aig-Imoukhuede subsidy report was actually 25.
The ministry's clarification has confirmed THISDAY's exclusive report on Friday, July 27, 2012 that 25 companies were recommended for criminal investigations by the Presidential Committee on Verification and Reconciliation of Subsidy Payments and not 21 as earlier announced.
THISDAY also reported exclusively on Wednesday that the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank Plc, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede had written to President Goodluck Jonathan clarifying that 25 Oil Marketing and Trading (OM&T) companies were actually indicted by his committee that verified the arrears of the 2011 subsidy claims and not 21 companies.
The committee, which was headed by Aig-Imoukhuede, had during the submission of its report on Tuesday, July 24 erroneously announced that 21 companies were indicted in the report.
THISDAY's investigation however revealed that the number of companies indicted and classified as "likely fraudulent cases for criminal investigation" was actually 25.
The Federal Ministry of Finance in an advertorial published in some national dailies on Friday, August 17, 2012, also listed 21 companies as having been indicted.
However, in a statement issued Wednesday by Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu, the Senior Special Assistant to the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said 25 oil marketers were listed as having been "recommended for criminal investigation."
The new number of 25, the statement added, has been confirmed by the Presidential Committee on Verification and Reconciliation of Fuel Subsidy Payments headed by Aig-Imoukhuede.
The four new marketers that were omitted initially include Ceoti Limited, Capital Oil Plc, Masters Energy Oil and Gas Ltd, and Heyden Petroleum Limited.