By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN—THE Chairman of Ocean Marine Security Limited, an off-shore asset protection company, Capt. Hosa Okunbor, has denied claims in some quarters that he was involved in the controversial offshore processing agreements, OPAs, known as oil swap, involving former Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke and others.
Ocean Marine Security Limited renders services to major oil companies in Nigeria, including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
Okunbor was reacting to an online publication which alleged that he was involved in the deal which the former Minister and others are being investigated for by the US Department of Justice.
In a statement by his Media Assistant, Olanrewaju Anjolaoluwa, Capt Okunbor said: “it is another highly falsified report establishing a link between me and the on-going investigations of the controversial offshore processing agreements by a U.S. jury.
“For the umpteenth time, the online media feasted on blatant falsehood and outright lies in relation to my business dealings. As this falsehood is being assisted with the ubiquity of social media, it is becoming increasingly clear that maintaining silence further will be misconstrued for consent.”
Tracing the report to an online news medium published in 2015, to which he said he similarly issued a statement of denial, he said: “I had believed the media would stop such malicious reports but sheer laziness and unprofessionalism on the side of some bloggers have sustained the tautological misrepresentation of the contract that formed the basis for the first publication. Ocean Marine Solutions, OMS Limited, was contracted by the NNPC to provide security coverage for the crude oil transportation because of its longstanding sterling reputation in maritime security.
“This became imperative after NNPC had offered PPP Fluid Mechanics Limited (his indigenous procurement and oilfield services company) a contract to transport crude from Escravos to Warri Refinery when it had become highly uneconomical to transport crude oil between these locations through the pipeline in view of government’s huge expenditure of about $121 million for the maintenance and repairs of the Escravos-Warri broken crude oil pipeline.”