Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue, the embattled former Managing Director of the NNPC Retail, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, on Thursday denied that the stacks of dollars and other local and foreign currencies uncovered in a Lagos apartment on Tuesday belonged to her.
Mrs. Nnamdi-Ogbue, who was sent on compulsory retirement on Wednesday following the N14 billion missing petrol scandal involving Capital Oil & Gas Limited, gave the denial through her lawyer, Emeka Etiaba, of the law firm of Emeka Etiaba & Co.
On Wednesday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, announced it had uncovered wads of foreign currencies and Naira notes totalling over N13 billion, at the current Central Bank of Nigeria exchange rate of N306.05 to the dollar and N383.60 o the pound.
The exact amounts recovered were about $43.4 million, £27,800 and N23.2 million.
Following the report, speculations went wild that the hard currency belonged to Mrs. Nnamdi-Ogbue, who was alleged to be one of the occupiers of the four-bedroom apartment.
But, in her disclaimer circulated on Thursday to media houses, Mr. Etiaba dissociated his client with the uncovered cash.
PREMIUM TIMES could not independently confirm if Mrs. Nnamdi-Ogbue did authorise the disclaimer. Phone calls to her phone on Thursday to confirm if she authorised the statement by the law firm were not responded to. She also did not respond to a text message sent 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.
“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.
“It is our client’s belief that the source and ownership of the said uncovered sums of money is known or eventually will be known by the EFCC in due course. There is therefore no need for conjecture or speculation,” the law firm said. PREMIUMTIMES.M