The linking of a multi-billionaire businessman, Capt. Hosa Okunbo to the humongous corruption allegations against former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke is nothing but a ploy by mischief makers to dent his hard-earned reputation, a group has said.
Concerned Maritime Operators (CMO), in a statement issued yesterday said "all the co-travellers of Diezani are either in exile or in court with her," insisting that there is no basis whatsoever to associate Okunbo with the alleged misappropriation of state funds by the former minister.
"Co-travellers of Diezani are either in exile or in court with her. From our findings, Captain has never written a statement in the EFCC or any anti-corruption agency to date. If he was with Dieziani, will he still be doing business in the NNPC where he is still a champion for service delivery?" the group queried.
Okunbo, a former commercial pilot, is the chairman of Ocean Marine Security Limited, an offshore asset protection company, rendering services to major oil companies in Nigeria, including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
CMO Chairman, Mr. Tunde Hamzat said in the statement that Okunbo's business and personal ethics are so firmly anchored on the steadfast rock of conscience and integrity.
"The renowned and revered businessman would never use gilded words to mask deceit; neither does he brandish fickle principles and statistics to conclude with a false truth. He is, indeed, unlike many rabble-rousers who flashes documents to lock down evidence but never real facts to back their proof."
Hamzat expressed displeasure over what he called sheer laziness and unprofessionalism on the side of some bloggers who have sustained the misrepresentation of the contract that formed the basis for the misleading publication.
According to him, the falsehood is being assisted with the ubiquity and freedom of social media, adding that it had become increasingly clear that maintaining silence further would be misconstrued for consent.
The group averred that neither Okunbo nor any of his business entities had ever been engaged "in any deal requiring lifting a drop of oil, crude or refined. I am not a trader; I have never submitted nor participated in any "Oil Swap" deal, neither do I own a company trading in any petroleum products," the group quoted Okunbo as saying.
Hamzat said that in Okunba's over four decades in business spanning engineering and technology, energy, integrated service in the petroleum sector, maritime, security, agriculture and others, integrity has been his guiding principle.