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Integrity Watchdog repudiates the allegations of money laundering against the person of the Minister of Petroleum Resources Dr. Ibe Kachukwu by the Patriots of Anti-Corruption League in her publications in ThisDay newspaper on the 9th of September, 2018 titled EFCC, Magu Shielding Kachukwu from Prosecution, Says Coalition” The publication which alleges that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and its acting chairman is shielding Dr. Ibe Kachukwu and three others who are currently being investigated for money laundering and fuel subsidy fraud.

The report we got from officers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission regarding the case is that the investigation is ongoing and the suspected persons have been invited and questioned however, the status of the case is still “under investigation” and any statement made regarding such would be preempting the investigation of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

However, in the publication which graced pages of ThisDay newspaper as well as their website, a picture of Dr. Ibe Kachukwu was displayed under the rather misleading title mentioned above. It has unclear how the person of the Minister of Petroleum was brought into this story and how the writer cropped Dr. Ibe Kachukwu in a scenario that is unconnected to begin with. Dr Ibe Kachukwu is not the person being investigated for subsidy fraud involving the three companies neither is his involvement clearly stated in the copy of the petition which started the probe.

This group strongly believes that the article spewed on the pages of ThisDay newspaper by Patriotic Anti-Corruption League is malicious and a desperate attempt to draw attention to themselves. The Minister of Petroleum Resources acted under the purview of his office and all protocols and due procedures were strictly observed. It is however, wrong to imply that the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu is shielding anyone connected to this case. Let’s not forget that the same Economic and Financial Crimes Commission under the leadership of Ibrahim Magu recently charged to court persons whose cases they began investigating as far back as 2015. Let’s not also forget that the focus of the investigation is not the Minister of Petroleum Resources but Mr. Dumebi Kachukwu and that the anti-graft commission has not come to a conclusion yet.

Comrade Prince Kpokpogri, the Chairman of Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum in his reaction to this article stating that “The publication was concocted by power leeches for either popularity or for political gains. The publication is a poor attempt to malign Dr. Ibe Kachukwu’s image and assassinate his character. The allegations are unconnected and Dr. Ibe Kachukwu’s involvement cannot be established in this matter. Dr. Ibe Kachukwu deserves to be respected and his office accorded same the level of respect as any other minister. The ungrateful crop of persons from the South-South are obviously behind this article and they often forget that Dr. Ibe is the first petroleum minister to emerge from the South-South. Instead of being proud to have someone on our side at the helms of affairs of a commodity that is being explored and exported from our part of the country, we are busy trying to bring him down. It is such a shame. Dr. Ibe Kachukwu has done no wrong so far.” He is a well established person before he heeded his call to serve his country which in all honesty is a blessing to the nation. His expertise has helped stablized the Oil and Gas industry in Nigeria and that is an indisputable fact.

Integrity Watchdog will take to the pages of the same newspaper to respond to this allegation and set the record straight.

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