Confusion as disquiet over alleged N170m fraud by Zinox lingers

The last may not have been heard about the long-drawn battle between Zinox Group and an Ibadan-based IT firm, Citadel Oracle Concepts over alleged N170 million contract scandal following a publication by Premium Times that, contrary to the report by some online newspaper a fortnight ago that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Nigeria Police have cleared the company of wrongdoing, the two agencies of government have distanced themselves from such claim.

Citadel Oracle Concepts had accused and sued Zinox and its officials of allegedly impersonating it and forging its documents to secure a contract with the Federal Inland Revenue Service in the neighbourhood of N170 million.

In the publication, the spokesman of the EFCC, Mr Tony Orilade, was quoted to have said,” As a rule, the EFCC does not give clearance to any person or group in cases under prosecution.

It is only the courts that are authorized to do so after the matter has been diligently prosecuted and the accused person or group discharged.

” In the same vein, Police spokesman, Frank Mba, had said, “I am not aware of any of such report(of clearance of Zinox officials),I can assure you, I don’t know anything about it and I don’t have anything to do about it for now.” However, the Head of Corporate Communications, Zinox Group, Gideon Ayogu, in a statement said there was no time any of the companies in Zinox Group or its staff indicted in any of the reports by the police and the EFCC on the matter.

Ayogu accused Premium Times of being a willing tool in the hands of its accusers to publish bogus and ridiculous allegations against the CEO of Zinox Group, Leo Stan Ekeh – an action he described as shouting evidence and negation of the spirit and ethos of journalism.

“We are an ethical company and we will continue to resist any attempt by anyone to blackmail us. It is of note that Mr Leo Stan Ekeh and his groups have been championing the growth of the ICT industry in Nigeria for more than 35 years.

There has never been any single case of fraud or criminality levelled against any company or staff in the group by anybody”, he said It would be recalled that in May 2017, Zinox had filed a suit seeking Premium Times and some of its officials from continuing to report the alleged N170m contract fraud.

culled from dailytimes

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