A group, Concerned Maritime Association (CMA), has dismissed the linking of a renowned businessman Capt. Hosa Okunbo to the corruption allegations against former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke as nothing but a ploy by mischief makers to dent his hard- earned reputation.
CMA, in a statement, said there is no basis whatsoever to associate Okunbo with the alleged misappropriation of public funds by the former Minister.
It said: “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 traced the misinformation to a report published by an online news medium in 2015 to which Okunbo issued a rebuttal.
“For the past four years, a patently false story had been circulating about his purported business dealings with the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke, especially as regards the controversial offshore processing agreements (OPAs) popularly known as oil swap involving the former minister and her cronies.
“Captain 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.
“The former Minister has been under investigations since the outset of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration in 2015,” CMA chairman,Tunde Hamzat said.
He added: “No cowardly soul resides in the likeable billionaire businessman, Captain Hosa Okunbo, because he is no trembler in the world’s storm-troubled sphere.
“Cowardice and doubt disperse in the blaze of his scorching righteousness because his 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, who said he expected the media to end such malicious reports, expressed displeasure on 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.
He claimed that Okunbo has never stood before any administrative, judicial or legislative panels to answer any questions related to any shady deal.
He challenged anyone, in the NNPC, the media or anywhere else, to come forward with any evidence that can puncture his assertions.
According to him: “I implore cowards and mischief makers who are quick to broadcast unverified Whatsapp messages and the Nigerian media to be thorough, fair and objective in their journalistic responsibility.
“Capt. Okunbo is a globally-certified Ambassador of Peace who has been decorated home and abroad as a Citizen of Humanity.
“Though his businesses, which have added immeasurable value to the economy and philanthropy, Capt Okunbo makes history every hour and industriously adds page after page, volume after volume, as if nature were holding up a monument to his exploits.
“One of the few blessed men who started from the scratch, kept their nose to the grindstone and turned seemingly insignificant ideas into behemoth industries, Capt Okunbo is a man that would be sent to Mars and still treat it as a stepping stone to Saturn – the quality of constant invention and self-improvement that has earned him worldwide acclaim and prosperity.”