*It’s a frame up- society’s ex-president
By Evelyn Usman
The annual general meeting of the Nigerian National Petroleum Cooperation, NNPC Cooperative Multipurpose Society Limited held at Regency Hall, Ikeja, witnessed a rowdy session, following agitations by members on the outcome of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,EFCC investigation of alleged N800 million fraud by the society’s former president.
Recall that the society’s former president , Mr Adeleke Ojeyemi , was arrested by the EFCC in January 2017, following a petition of alleged diversion of funds and the society’s assets to the EFCC.
In response to members demand on the update of EFCC ‘s investigation, the society’s incumbent president, , Mr Akin Akinrera informed that : “The EFCC has taken a lot of steps in the matter. The Society’s management, this year, had a meeting with the EFCC’s operatives. We’re going through the process of change of ownership of the Bureau De Change. Management of NNPC is still holding to his(former president) Pension and gratuity to serve as deterrent to others. The EFCC has carried out the evaluation of some of the projects Ojeyemi did as President.”
During the outrage, some members expressed displeasure over what they described as slow pace at which the investigation was going, calling on the commission to also investigate some key members of the executive during Ojeyemi’s tenure who were signatories of money withdrawn for questionable reasons.
Members further lamented that the alleged missing funds had set the society back, adding that they were at the receiving end owing to lack of funds to access loans. Some of them threatened to pull out of the society , owing to the delay at getting loan , noting that the essence of being members of a multipurpose society was being defeated.
They said : “ We urge the Society’s management to approach the EFCC, in order to obtain documents of their investigation. This will assist the NNPC management on its decision with respect to this fraud.”
Vanguard gathered that the society’s election was at the corner . However, members called on the need for the alleged financial discrepancies to be unearthed and the alleged missing money returned before the election, revealing that there were moves to sponsor candidates that would truncate the ongoing investigation.
However when the man at the centre of controversy was contacted, he described the allegation as a frame up and a move to cause panic in members.
Speaking with Vanguard, Ojeyemi said : “ Yes, I was arrested by EFCC on my birthday over a framed up issue and a smear campaign. I did not embezzle any money, the auditors report is not true, what is happening at the moment is politics,, not fraud and I don’t understand why someone will want to damage my reputation.
“An allegation was leveled against me and the Director of Cooperative, Lagos state government, Alausa, sent a letter inviting me to explain. But the letter was withheld by successor, until the EFCC came to arrest me. I can account for all the money spent, part of which was the acquisition of parcels of land in Kaduna state and the Dubai investment. I know how I met the society in 2011 and how much labour I have put into it, transform it to its present state
“Since the matter is with the EFCC , I suggest that we wait for the outcome of its investigation. I was asked to come back to EFCC in September and whatever it comes up with is final. The president president is the one causing problem in the society and members are not happy with him.”