The House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee to Investigate Alleged Loss of Over $2.4bn in Revenue from Illegal Sale of 48 Million Barrels of Crude in 2015 Including Crude Oil Export from 2014 Till Date, is to write the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), and the Directorate of Public Prosecution to demand details of the case against some whistle-blowers.
The Chairman of the committee, Merk Gbillah, decried the alleged harassment and pursuit of whistle-blowers who exposed the alleged illegal oil sales by operatives of the Nigeria Police Force and INTERPOL, asking why the ministry, the DPP and the security agencies decided to reopen the abandoned case after the lawmakers commenced their investigation.
However, the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, who denied the allegation, asked the committee to forward its enquiries to the justice ministry and the DPP.
The House had on December 20, 2022, resolved to constitute an ad hoc committee to investigate a whistle-blower’s allegation of illegal sale of 48 million barrels of Nigeria’s Bonny Light crude in China in 2015 and the insurance status of the car
The committee is also to investigate all crude oil exports and sales by Nigeria from 2014 to date, with regards to quantity, insurance, revenue generated, remittances into the Federation Account or other accounts as well as utilisation of the revenue for the period under review.
In addition, the panel will investigate all proceeds recovered through the Whistle-Blowers Policy of the regime led by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and the level of compliance by the policy.
These resolutions followed the unanimous adoption of a motion moved by a member of the House, Ibrahim Isiaka, titled ‘Alleged Loss of over $2.4Billion in Revenue from Illegal Sale of 48 Million Barrels of Crude Oil Export in 2015, Including Crude Oil Exports from 2014 till Date.’
The committee, which held its inaugural meeting on December 29, held its first investigative hearing on Thursday, where the lawmakers grilled an Assistant Inspector General of Police and the Head, INTERPOL National Central Bureau, Nigeria, Garba Umar, who said he represented the IGP.
Chairman of the committee, Mark Gbillah, while echoing the allegations made by the whistle-blowers, mentioned the role played by a presidential committee.
Made up of a former Chief of Staff to the President, the late Abba Kyari; a former Group Managing Director of the defunct Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Maikanti Baru; a former Director-General of the Department of State Services, Lawal Daura; and the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Mele Kyari; and the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN).
Gbillah said, “There is an allegation that sometime in 2015, a presidential committee was set up, which included the late Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari; the late GMD of the NNPC, Baru; the former DG (of) DSS, Daura. It was chaired by retired General Mohammed Umar and the current CEO of NNPCL, Mele Kyari, who was then the Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Department. The Attorney-general at some point also became a member of the committee.
“That committee is said to have travelled to China at the instance of a whistle-blower of Mexican citizenship, about the existence in China of millions of barrels of Nigeria’s crude. And this individual expressed an interest to purchase this crude, which the government at the time allegedly needed to investigate first.
“So, this committee went to China, confirmed the existence of this crude, but this individual concerned alleges that when the process of selling this crude commenced, they were no longer contacted and they have evidence of the fact that the crude was sold without the money being remitted to the coffers of the Nigerian Government.”
The chairman added, “Now when these issues started to occur, they (whistle-blowers) said that they were being intimidated and threatened, and had spurious allegations made against them that involved them being charged to court over this matter. Eventually, the matter was discontinued.