Former House of representative member, Mr Dino Melaye has taken to his micro blogging site Twitter in quick response to okonjo iweala’s accusation to express his grief about the finance minister’s statement, linking him to a sponsored protest on oil theft.
Dino melaye wrote : ‘I will sue okonjo for Libel. She will have to name those she claimed sponsored us’.
The minister of finance Dr Okonjo Iweala through her spokesman, Mr Paul Nwabuikwu described Dino Melaye as a ‘disreputable’ individual adding that ‘Nigerians are, of course, not deceived by the antics of Mr Melaye who has not known pedigree as a civil society activist or even a reputation for honour or common decency.”
Dino was also accused of carrying out a protest sponsored by oil barons indicted and are currently being investigated and prosecuted for subsidy fraud.
In a swift reaction to Iweala’s release, Melaye in one of his twits said: “We asked why will (minister of) finance pay oil thieves without due diligence and scrutiny, so how does this relate to sponsorship from oil thieves?”
Dino Melaye on Wednesday November 7, 2012 led a group of protesters to the finance Ministry in Abuja, caling for Dr Ngozi Iweala’s resignation.
On of the request of the prtotesters is that ‘The minister must tell Nigerians who are the actual owners of Pinnacle as it is not known to Nigerian law and it is a made-in Taiwan company’.
Dino Melaye further said ‘We are demanding the immediate resignation or sacking of Madam Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. I want to educate Nigerians that the minister of finance and the Coordinating Minister of the economy released a list of 25 companies after the submission of the report by the Aig –Imoukhuede-led presidential committee on fuel subsidy claims. Number 22 on the list of the companies is Pinnacle Construction Nigeria Limited. Pinnacle got N2.7bn of tax payers’ money.
‘An investigation conducted by the Anti-Corruption Network at the CAC revealed that the company is not registered with the commission. We are here to find out: who approved the payment, who authorised the payment of the money? The minister must tell Nigerians who are the actual owners of the company’.
In a swift reaction yesterday, Okonjo Iweala had put the protests to the shenanigans of “indicted oil barons”
With no time, Dr Ngozi also responded to the news via her Senior Special Assistant (Communications), Mr Paul Nwabuikwu, the Minister said Dino Melaye and his cohorts were just bent on mischief;
She said ‘Earlier today (Wednesday), a disreputable former member of the House of Representatives, Mr Dino Melaye, brought a handful of demonstrators to the Federal Ministry of Finance who conducted themselves in an unruly manner.
‘We have it on good authority that Mr Melaye’s group was sponsored by some of the indicted oil barons who are currently being investigated and prosecuted for subsidy fraud.
‘Their allegation of wrong subsidy payments made by the ministry is a mere ruse to conceal their true motives. It is important to note that the Federal Ministry of Finance does not pay any contractors directly. The relevant ministries do.
‘So this allegation by Mr Melaye and his group is completely wrong and without foundation.”
‘The Melaye demonstration was ostensibly to call for the resignation of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance who is well known for fighting the fraudulent oil barons whose names were published by the Federal Ministry of Finance for various breaches of the subsidy regime.
Fans of both party are really taking it hard on their opponent at the moment, but it seems Dino Melaye is having the edge.
To join the drama on twitter @dino_melaye and @NOIweala.