A former Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Roland Owie, defended, weekend, the integrity and nationalism of the Chairman of the Ocean Marine Solutions Limited, Captain Hosa Okunbo, even as he described as “satanic”, false reports in some online media of his likely involvement in the controversial Offshore Processing Agreements (OPAs), popularly known as oil swap.
A former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke and two of her associates – Jide Omokore and Kola Aluko – have been named by the US Justice Department as persons of interest in a civil complaint that had been reportedly filed at a District Court in Houston Texas.
The complaint, according to media reports, detailed how the duo of Omokore and Aluko laundered millions of dollars on Allison-Madueke’s behalf, which were used in buying properties in the U.S. and the UK in return for oil contracts.
Owie, who is a leading voice in Edo South senatorial zone where Okunbo hails from, said in a statement that he vouched for Okunbo’s uprightness in business, pointing out that the malicious reports were calculated to cast a doubt on his reputation built in business since 1988, with a view to destroying it.
Expressing confidence that such negative enterprise at demonising Okunbo would fail, he said the business mogul has always been a “God-fearing, law-abiding and due process-adhering citizen.”
“As a Benin socio-political and cultural leader, it behoves me to speak up for Captain Okunbo whom I know very well as a thoroughbred Benin man and to call on those who have constituted themselves into faceless campaigners of calumny against him to desist from such odious acts,” Owie stated.
He advised “satanic agents in this country who pursue innocent people out of envy to leave Captain Okunbo alone to do his business as a bona fide citizen of Nigeria as long as he continues to operate within the ambit of the law and to dissipate their energy on something else.”
He declared that Okunbo is “a worthy Ambassador of the ancient Benin Kingdom and Nigeria,” and assured that he would always enjoy the goodwill of well-meaning Benin people.