By Foluso Ajibulu
Finance Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, says the report, headlined, “WikiLeaks: Okonjo-Iweala Ferried $50 Million Jobs To Brother”, published by Sahara Reporters, is “baseless fiction totally devoid of even a semblance of truth”.
The minister said, in a statement, yesterday, that “the reference to Dr Okonjo-Iweala in this story lacks substance and credibility”. The story, according to the statement, is based on two sentences in the alleged Wikileaks cable allegedly uttered by an unidentified person alleging that Dr Okonjo-Iweala “steered” contracts worth $50m contract to her brother for “consulting work” in 2004.
The statement went on: “First, the minister has no brother called Jon-Jon, as the alleged “brother” is identified in the story.
Second, no brother of the minister was awarded any such “consulting” contract as alleged.
Third, as Minister of Finance in the Obasanjo government, Dr Okonjo-Iweala earned a name as a high performing public servant of impeccable integrity.
Fourth, this “revelation” obviously refers to a previous allegation about one of her brothers which was thoroughly investigated and discredited because it was found to have originated from vested interests.
“It is shocking that something that was discredited so long ago is being rehashed. It is clear that this is another ploy by vested interests who are desperate to stop her from contributing to the realization of an improved Nigeria. They will fail again.
“It would therefore be extremely unwise to give credence to such a flippant statement by an unknown and unconfirmed source. The story is simply a “tales by moonlight” account by an unknown source about something that never happened.”