Some of the high profile suspects arraigned on Wednesday for stealing $6.8 billion oil subsidy funds have sent a strong warning to President Goodluck Jonathan to desist from prosecuting them or face a full disclosure of how they funneled close to $1 billion towards his 2011 presidential campaign through the oil resources minister Diezani Allison-Madueke and the Minister for the Niger Delta, Godsday Orubebe.
SaharaReporters sources say that operators of Ontario Oil and Gas Limited, whose Managing Director, Adaoha Ugo-Ngadi, was docked along with 20 others, have compiled information that was sent to President Jonathan that includes:
• How they specifically handed over $300 million through the Minister for Petroleum Resources, Allison-Madueke, towards the election of President Jonathan in 2011; and
• That they bought a mansion for Mr. Orubebe in Abuja worth N600 million.
Saharareporters learned that the accused Ontario Oil chieftains were shocked by the public humiliation brought upon them by the EFCC. The most powerful member of the Ontario clan, Walter Wagbatsoma, reportedly left Nigeria for Paris shortly before the commencement of prosecution by the EFCC.
Meanwhile, EFCC officials have confirmed to SaharaReporters that Mr. Wagbatsoma has not written any statement or appeared before the agency even though he was listed as one of those to be arraigned by the EFCC. He is believed to have the key to unlocking the involvement of Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke in the oil subsidy fraud.
Specifically, Wagbatsoma is reportedly in possession of a private jet bought last year that he is holding in trust for Mrs Allison-Madueke. A source in Abuja also said that Mr. Orubebe is on the board of Ontario Oil, although he may not be publicly listed. Wagbatsoma is listed as the owner of several companies used to siphon off funds from the oil industry, they include: Ontario oil & gas Ltd., Ontario trading Ltd, Ontario storage terminals Ltd., ontario vessels Ltd., Ontario Drilling and Engineering services.
In Lagos today, the prosecution suffered another setback as the court adjourned following the failure of Wagbatsoma to appear at the trial. The proceedings were equally stalled yesterday by the absence of the Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Bello Adoke.
Sources knowledgeable about the intrigues surrounding the trial have already predicted that due to the current threat to expose President Jonathan and some of his most powerful ministers, the case will fizzle out over time.