Ben Eguzozie, in Port Harcourt
State-owned oil company, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), says reports that it bribed the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and funded the All Progressives Congress (APC) to buy votes in the September 2020 Ondo State gubernatorial elections are false.
It said a section of the media (not including Business A.M.) had carried the false reports, and that it was considering legal redress against those identified to have published the false reports.
Kennie Obateru, the group general manager, group public affairs division of the corporation, in a statement on Friday, described the reports as mischievous and contrived allegations, without any substance in truth; ostensibly designed to serve the selfish ends of their sponsors to bring NNPC to disrepute and tarnish its image.
The corporation acknowledged receiving a letter from NANS, signed by a Danielson Akpan, seeking financial support to enable the association provide palliatives to stranded students at various schools during the lockdown, but that it could not accede to the request as a result of the peculiar circumstances and financial constraints brought about by the global oil market meltdown.
Obateru also dismissed as false the allegation that the corporation provided funds to support the All Progressives Congress (APC), in buying votes during the Ondo State gubernatorial election, stating that the NNPC being owned by the federation and indeed, all Nigerians, is non-partisan, and does not engage in sponsorship of political parties or causes.
The NNPC statement called on the concerned media houses to retract the reports, stressing that if they failed to do so, the corporation would be forced to seek legal redress as appropriate.
It urged members of the public to discountenance the reports, describing them as a crass display of unprofessionalism with predetermined conclusions aimed at serving the selfish purposes of their sponsors.