AITEO Refutes Corrupt Relationship With Diezani
AITEO Eastern E&P Company Limited has raised the alarm that some persons are trying to bring up a long dead case involving the company, its founder Benedict Peters and former Nigerian Oil Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
The objective of the claims, according to the company is to cause serious damage to its reputation.
The allegation was made in a text read by Barrister Tochukwu Ohazuruike, who spoke on behalf of the company at a press briefing on Monday.
The African Centre of Justice and Human Right, Arewa Consultative Movement and the Niger Delta Council of Youths endorsed the text read by Ohazuruike.
In March this year, a foreign media house released an investigation on AITEO E&P and its founder, Peters, regarding the case linking the company’s founder and the former Nigerian Oil Minister.
The matter has been in court for over four years with verdict on some of the allegations still pending.
The convener claimed that the media house undertook the investigation to “achieve a predetermined objective”.
He said it is “obvious that the answers to these questions are not the object of the proposed article, because till date in all the courts, Mr. Peters has continued to deny any and every wrong doing and has been accordingly vindicated.
“Knowing that the answers to his question do not and will not lead to an indictment of Mr Peters, the obvious use of the so-called story being written by Mr Whoriskey is to cause serious damage to the image of Mr. Benedict Peters and AITEO using the ordinarily credible platform, The Washington Post”.
The matter began in 2016 when the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) indicted Peters over a corruption allegation involving Alison-Madueke.
In 2017, a U.S. Department of Justice’s (DoJ) document had linked Mr. Peters’ company AITEO to the 2015 INEC bribery scheme that saw Mrs. Alison-Madueke’s son, Ugonna Madueke, allegedly distribute $115m to INEC officials through Fidelity Bank in 2015.
He was also accused of benefiting from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation leading to AITEO’s acquisition of Shell assets.
But the state-owned corporation denied that the oil company was not owing it nor received favour.
Ohazuruike during the briefing insisted that the AITEO founder has “never received any favour by way of facilitation or otherwise from Diezani Alison- Madueke and there was therefore nothing for him to be grateful for to Mrs Alison Madueke”.
He claimed that the furnishing of the Harley House flat was in furtherance of Peters’ desire to furnish a property belonging to him.
“Those properties and furniture can be found even today at the said address of his property which is at 58 Harley House in London.
“No furniture that belongs to him can be found at another address or place than his own property. So. the question of furniture that was found in the UK address of Madueke could not belong to Mr Benedict Peters and certainly could not have been the same as his own property at 58 Harley House”.
He said FNB Bank later acquired the company alongside its assets and liabilities.
According to him, another default payment was made for the property from his personal account in Standard Chartered Bank, UK.
The converner said the property is currently a collateral for the FBN Bank UK.
He explained that with respect to another property of Peters- 58 Harley House UK, Melbourn road, London, the property is a leasehold property purchased by Rosewood Investment Limited, owned by Peters.
He stated further that the AITEO boss had purchased the company and acquired the property in the name of the company.