Again, Petroleum Ministry Denies Complicity in Fraudulent Purchase of Pens

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Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja

The Ministry of Petroleum Resources has again denied complicity in the alleged fraudulent purchase of pens worth N116 million by some unnamed officials of the ministry, insisting that the incident predated the current leadership at the ministry.

In a statement yesterday signed by the Special Adviser to the Minister of State, Petroleum, Mr. Garba Deen, on behalf of his principal, Chief Timipre Sylva, the ministry noted that the alleged culprits are currently being investigated by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

While reacting to online discussions on the matter and reports in some traditional media concerns, the ministry stated that some of the affected civil servants had either retired or redeployed to other ministries in line with routine civil service rules.

It stated: “The attention of the ministry of petroleum resources has been drawn to numerous publications on the above subject which have appeared in several newspapers since Friday, December, 11, 2020 and have also been trending on the social media.

“Since these publications relate to issues that predated the present leadership of the ministry of petroleum, we initially did not react. But it has become obvious that some people are determined to misinform the public on this matter, despite the clarification made by the ministry.

“The general public should note that while it is true that the Auditor General raised audit observations on infractions committed by the ministry of petrole um resources, these infractions related to the 2015 accounts of the ministry of petroleum resources.

“It should be further be noted that these infractions appeared in the 2015 report of the Audit General for the Federation which is presently under consideration by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the senate.

“The public should further note that the officers the report of the Auditor General for the Federation indicted have since been retired or redeployed out of the ministry petroleum resources in line with the practice in the civil service.”

In the release titled: “Re: Buhari’s oil ministry reels under corruption allegation”, the ministry insisted that neither the current administration nor the present leadership of the ministry were in charge when the alleged breaches happened.

“The ministry of petroleum resources appreciates the genuine concern of well wishers who have drawn our attention to these publications and wish to assure them that the infractions happened way back in 2015.

“The officers involved have been under investigation by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC),” it