In a statement made by veteran journalist Fisan Bankale, he dismisses the recent allegations of fraud against former Minister of Power, Olu Agunloye, as a mere media frenzy. Bankale, a retired diplomat and former Managing Director of the defunct Sketch Newspapers, discusses the controversy surrounding Dr. Agunloye and the Mambilla Power Project.
The statement addresses a leaflet circulated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on social media, which claims that Dr. Agunloye is being investigated for a $6 billion fraud. Bankale asserts that any suggestion of wrongdoing on Agunloye’s part is false. He highlights that Agunloye awarded a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) contract for the Mambilla Power Project to Sunrise Power and Transmission Company Limited at no cost to the government. He further emphasizes that the government has not paid any money towards the project.
Bankale calls on the EFCC to withdraw their publication and insists that the trial should be based on facts rather than media frenzy. He questions how Dr. Agunloye became classified as being involved in a “$6 billion fraud,” stating that it seems like an attempt to give a bad name to hang a dog. Bankale urges the EFCC to act in accordance with natural justice and remove the libelous publication.
The statement concludes by asserting that well-meaning Nigerians and advocates of justice will remain vigilant and intervene in the public space to ensure that Nigerians are well-informed. They will insist that the trial operates on facts and not on misrepresentation and media frenzy aimed at public lynching.
Overall, this statement from the veteran journalist challenges the allegations against Dr. Agunloye and calls for a fair and factual examination of the case.