By Emmanuel Aziken
Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, yesterday, exonerated himself from allegations of culpability in the alleged N2.7 billion fraudulent subsidy claim by a privately-owned company, Pinnacle Contractors Ltd.
Reacting to allegations that he owned Pinnacle Contractors Limited, which claimed N2.7 billion from the subsidy regime last year, the minister said he sold off his interest in the company to Masters Energy Limited, months before the company made the alleged fraudulent claim.
Reacting for the first time since the controversy broke, Wogu in a statement issued by Mr. Samuel Olowokere, Assistant Director, Ministry of Labour and Productivity, said: “The attention of Chief Emeka Wogu, Minister of Labour and Productivity, has been drawn to the false allegation concerning his involvement in the dealings of Pinnacle Contractors Ltd over Petroleum Subsidy.
“The minister wishes to state that Pinnacle Contractors Ltd was sold to Masters Energy Oil and Gas Ltd in March 2010 for an agreed sum of which payments have been effected in accordance to the sales agreement.
“The resignation of the minister from the Board of Directors and Shareholder of the said company was duly registered by the CAC on April 7, 2010 after his formal resignation on March 9, 2010.
“After the said sales and business takeover of Pinnacle Contractors Ltd by Masters Energy Oil and Gas Ltd the new owners took over the affairs of the said company completely and ran the enterprise without any recourse whatsoever to the minister.
“Their transactions were sometimes in August 2010, five clear months after they had taken full and effective control of the company.
“All documents relating to the sale and transfer of Pinnacle Contractors Ltd to Masters Energy Oil and Gas Ltd are public documents and are available to all Nigerians to see with the CAC.”