The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) has condemned a media report linking Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to an alleged N100 billion fraud by Alpha Beta Consulting is one-sided.
According to a report by Punch Newspaper, a company in which Osinbajo has a stake, Simmons Coopers Partners, has been linked to another firm, Ocean Trust Limited, which was fingered in an alleged N100bn scam involving Alpha Beta Consulting Limited and Alpha Beta LP.
Ocean Trust Limited, which was accused of being a conduit for diversion and laundering of funds by Alpha Beta, listed Simmons Coopers as its company secretary, documents exclusively obtained from the Corporate Affairs Commission, says the report
However, in a press statement released on Saturday night, the agency described the exclusive report by Punch newspaper as unsubstantiated allegation, adding that the organization does not deal on hearsay, we act on facts and data.
See the full statement below:
“The EFCC has noted a story in Punch Newspaper, Saturday, July 13, 2019, titled: “Osinbajo’s firm linked to company fingered in alleged N100bn Alpha Beta scam”.
“While not denying the fact that petition was received on Alpha Beta by the EFCC, preliminary investigation showed that the petitioner did not substantiate the allegation contained in it. For the records, Alpha Beta investigation is ongoing. We have nothing to hide.
“As a matter of principles, the EFCC does not deal on hearsay, we act on facts and data. The EFCC will not allow anybody to drag its name and reputation into the mud for ill-motive reasons.
“To underscore the desperation of the editorial team that anchored the report, Mr. Tobi Aworinde contacted the EFCC’s acting Spokesperson at exactly 9.44 pm on Friday, July 12, 2019, on the subject matter. Aworinde called to know the position of the EFCC on the petition.
“Spokesperson sent a response. But this was not captured in the report. When contacted, Aworinde said: “I forwarded the message as soon as I got it. It must have been the race to press. We were behind on our production deadline when I called for the reaction. My apologies sir”
“There’s no doubt that the “race to press” and “we were behind our production deadline when I called for reaction”, as explained by Aworinde is suggestive of an agenda & motive. It’s erroneous for Punch to claim that the EFCC did nothing in respect of the petition for one year.
“It is also unfortunate and unprofessional for the Newspaper to champion such misinformation and rush to the press on a sensitive matter like this. As we continue our investigation, we urge the media to be circumspect, fair and balanced in their reports.”