The African Energy Chamber (AEC) has issued a response to an article published by The Namibian on Friday, denouncing what they assert to be a misleading representation of their chairman and the organisation’s intentions.
The article raised concerns surrounding the AEC’s upcoming plan to honour president Hage Geingob in South Africa next month.
The initiative, led by the controversial Cameroonian businessman, NJ Ayuk, aims to recognise Geingob for his contributions to the energy sector and fostering international cooperation.
The Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) reported in 2021 that Ayuk (also known as Njock Ayuk Eyong) was identified as a key player in the network of Gabriel Mbega Obiang Lima, Equatorial Guinea’s former oil minister and son of the president.
The OCCRP story quoted anti-corruption expert Lucas Oló saying that Ayuk, the chief executive of Centurion Law Group – a law firm with offices across seven African countries – represents an important channel for winning oil-related contracts in Equatorial Guinea.
Political and policy experts in Namibia stressed the importance of safeguarding Namibia’s emerging upstream petroleum sector from “corrupt influences and individuals”.
“Attacks on Mr Ayuk’s legal work and the fundamental principle of independent and confidential legal advice not only undermine the very fabric of a democratic society but also adversely impact clients and public interests. The Namibian’s evident lack of understanding of these principles is regrettable,” the AEC said in a statement issued after the article was published.