Press Release | 18 December 2012 10:16 CET

Oil Marketers Behind My Mum's Kidnap--Okonjo-Iweala Reveals

Source: Osaremen Ehi James/

If there was a recent kidnap case that shook the President of Nigeria, it would definitely be the kidnapping of the mother of Nigeria's Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Prof Okonjo, last week Sunday. Her eventual release came five days later.

Before the aged woman regained her freedom, a ransom of $1billion was first asked for along with her daughter's (Dr Okonjo-Iweala) resignation. Later on, a ransom of $200million was requested for.

Barely five days after the release of her mother, the Minister addressed a cross-section of the press where she claimed that her mother was kidnapped because of her 'sins'; not paying subsidy money to some indicted oil marketers and her blocking of some money to some components of SURE-P.

The Minister claimed in the statement, "While she (her mum) was in their custody, the kidnappers spent much of the time harassing her. They told her that I must get on the radio and television and announce my resignation.

"When she asked why, they told her it was because I did not pay “Oil subsidy money”. They also said I had blocked payment of money to certain components of the SURE-P programme."

While clarifying these allegations leveled against her by the kidnappers of her mother, Ngozi reinstated that the position of Mr President on indicted oil marketers in the shady subsidy caims remains the same and unchanged.

"For marketers whose transactions are proven to be fraudulent, the position of the Jonathan government is also clear: we cannot and we will not pay. We will not back down on this. We will continue to stand firm," Ngozi firmly and categorically stated

She however said that those cleared by the Aig-Imoukhuede Committee have been getting their payments. "We have been paying all marketers whose claims have been verified by the Aig-Imoukhuede Committee after going through the necessary processes," the Minister clarified.

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