Billionaire businessman, Captain Hosa Okunbo has, for the umpteenth time, distanced himself from any business dealings with former minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke.
Captain Okunbo was reacting to allegations doing the rounds in the media about his purported business dealings with the former minister, especially in respect of the controversial offshore processing agreements (OPAs) popularly known as oil swap involving the former minister and her cronies.
Captain Okunbo is the chairman of Ocean Marine Solution (OMS), an offshore asset protection company, rendering services to major oil companies in Nigeria, including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The former minister had been under investigations since the outset of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration in 2015 as the US Department of Justice listed her and two other businessmen as persons of interest in a civil complaint filed at a District Court in Houston, Texas.
The civil complaint detailed how the duo laundered millions of dollars on her behalf which were used in buying property in the U.S. and the UK in return for oil contracts.
There were reports that more names involved in the multi-billion dollar deal would be revealed as investigations continued.
However, some online media outfits had been concocting names of prominent Nigerians purportedly involved in the deal including that of Capt. Hosa Okunbo.
Despite his several rebuttals, his name still keeps coming up in a case he said he had no hand in.
But refuting the allegations, Captain Okunbo said, “All the co-travellers of Diezani are either in exile or in court with her. I have never written a statement in the EFCC or any anti-corruption agency to date.
“If, indeed, I was with Dieziani, will I still be doing business in the NNPC where I am a champion for service delivery?”
He traced the root of the misinformation to a report published by an online news medium in 2015, to which he said he similarly issued a strongly-worded rebuttal.
“I had believed that the media would end such malicious reports but sheer laziness and unprofessionalism on the side of some bloggers have sustained the misrepresentation of the contract that formed the basis for the first publication,” he stated.
According to him, the falsehood was being assisted with the ubiquity and freedom of social media and that it had become increasingly clear that maintaining silence further would be misconstrued for consent.
Capt. Okunbo averred that neither any of his business entities nor himself had ever been engaged “in any deal requiring lifting the tiniest drop of oil, crude or refined. I am not a trader; I have never submitted nor participated in any “Oil Swap” deal, neither do I own a company trading in any petroleum products.”
He further stated: “In my over four decades in business, spanning engineering and technology, energy, integrated service in the petroleum sector, maritime, security, agriculture and others, integrity has been my guiding principle and a core value with which I have been able to earn trust and confidence of companies and corporations of global repute.
“I have never stood before any administrative, judicial or legislative panels to answer any questions related to any shady deal.
“I have conducted my businesses with utmost openness, honesty and integrity. I am not oblivious of the fact that not a few people look up to me as a role model; the least I can do is to exhibit exemplary leadership quality to this group of young Nigerians, many of whom interact with me on a regular basis.”
He challenged anyone, whether in the NNPC, the media or anywhere else, to come forward with any evidence that could puncture his assertions.
“I implore cowards and mischief makers who are quick to broadcast unverified WhatsApp messages and the Nigerian media to be thorough, fair and objective in their journalisticresponsibility,” he stated.
Captain Okunbo is a globally-certified Ambassador of Peace who has been decorated home and abroad as a “Citizen of Humanity.”
Through his businesses, which have added immeasurable value to the Nigerian economy and philanthropy, Capt Okunbo makes history every hour and industriously adds page after page, volume after volume, as if nature were holding up a monument to his exploits.
One of the few blessed men who started from the scratch, kept their nose to the grindstone and turned seemingly insignificant ideas into behemoth industries, Capt Okunbo is a man that would be sent to Mars and still treat it as a stepping stone to Saturn – the quality of constant invention and self-improvement that has earned him worldwide acclaim and prosperity.
He exudes the lustre of the proverbial leading light, thus distinguishing his persona amid a range of middling men.
He radiates compassion, ardour and acclaim that no life’s odd could tame.
Having hacked his path to affluence in honest, industrious strides, he spreads out like a bastion of human aspiration even as his exploits become objects of the world affection.
Everywhere he navigates, he exudes a spirit of humaneness and generosity that even the world’s finest and most daring philanthropists live in awe of.
He was, in 2019, bestowed with the prestigious Order of Lafayette award at the United Nations day for Global Peace.
The Order of Lafayette is a patriotic, hereditary, nonpartisan, and fraternal organisation established in New York City in 1958 by Colonel Hamilton Fish III (1888-1991), a former Congressman from New York and decorated veteran of the First World War.
Captain Okunbo was especially honoured for his distinguished role in encouraging, engendering and entrenching peace and harmony in Africa and the world at large.
He was presented with his award by His Excellency, Robert Blum, chairman of the Order of Lafayette Awards.
Present at the auspicious and exclusive awards presentation were diplomats and political and economic leaders from all over the world who had all come to celebrate with one of their own.