The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) have cleared the Executive Director of A-Z Petroleum Products Limited, Prof Charles Ononuju Ofoegbu, of any breach of the financial regulations guiding international transfer of funds.
Prof Ofoegbu was wrongly arrested on February 19, 2013 at the departure hall of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport with the sum of one million, eighty seven thousand, and six hundred American dollars ($1,087,600.00), even though he declared the money.
After extensive investigation, both the EFCC and NCS found out that the money was entirely legitimate and released the money accordingly to Prof Ofoegbu.
Confirming this in a letter to the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Mr D.I. Abdullahi, dated June 14, 2013, a copy of which was made available to this reporter, the Chairman of the EFCC, Mr Ibrahim Lamorde, stated as follows: “Subject was confirmed to be a Director of A-Z Petroleum Products Ltd, a major player in the Nigerian oil and gas sector. Extensive investigation conducted on the source of the money indicates that it was entirely legitimate and was not connected to any illicit activity. No criminal liability was established against him.”
Writing to the Managing Director of A-Z Petroleum Products Limited, the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service, Mr D.I. Abdullahi, stated as follows:
“Investigations following the arrest of Professor Charles Ononuju Ofoegbu, a Director of A-Z Petroleum Products Ltd, on February 19, 2013 at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos with a cash amount of US $1,087,600.00 (One Million, Eighty-Seven Thousand, Six Hundred Dollars), have established the following:
(i) “that the said Professor Charles Ononuju Ofoegbu has officially declared the money to the relevant authority, and
(ii) “that the source of the money was entirely legitimate and not connected to any illicit activity. The total amount has accordingly been released to him.
“In view of these, no criminal liability has been established against the said Professor Charles Ononuju Ofoegbu and is therefore exculpated from any blame.”