Former finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Monday, May 23, 2016, responded to claims that she had been asked by a Federal High Court to account for the sum of N3 trillion which “went missing” during the Goodluck Jonathan administration.
The court order was said to have been issued in connection to a suit filed by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).
According to the judgment, reportedly delivered by Hon Justice Ibrahim Buba, at least N30 trillion “has either been stolen or unaccounted for, or grossly mismanaged over the last few years under the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s watch.”
Dr Okonjo-Iweala vehemently denied the allegation via a statement released by her media aide, Paul Nwabuikwu.
It reads in part:
"Dr Okonjo-Iweala hastens to state that she was never served with any court processes in relation to the said matter. She has not read the judgment and would therefore defer any comments on the matter."
"It is curious that the first time Dr Okonjo-Iweala is being made aware of a matter filed against her in court is in news reports reporting the delivery of judgment. She has instructed her lawyers to take steps to set aside the judgment as it affects her."
This denial is just one of the many that the former minister has felt the need to issue since leaving office.
There were reports that Okonjo-Iweala was being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), she issued a statement denying it.
Okonjo-Iweala was reported to have presented a document containing Jonathan’s alleged corrupt deals to President Muhammadu Buhari. She denied that too.
She denied participating in the arms deal fraud, attacked prominent lawyer, Femi Falana and Governor Adams Oshiomhole who criticized her over the corruption which allegedly took place under her watch and also went as far as denying an audio recording which even a deaf person could tell wasn’t made by her.
Why is Okonjo-Iweala so defensive? She needs to relax and stop letting her hackles rise every time someone accuses her of wrongdoing. The former minister needs to know that it’s okay to ignore some comments made about her unless formal charges are filed.
There’s no need for Okonjo-Iweala to reply every single person who speaks against her because as Winston Churchill said “You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.”
Defensiveness is also usually a sign of guilt, so if the former minister is sure she’s innocent, she should just chill out.