The House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee probing the loss of oil revenue has summoned the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, over his alleged role in the sale of 48 million barrels of crude oil a few years ago.
The panel heard at a public hearing on Tuesday that the AGF received funds from the sale of crude oil in a contract with China but failed to remit it to the Federation account.
Chairman of the House of Representatives Ad hoc committee looking into the alleged loss of $2.4 billion in revenue from the illegal sale of 48 million barrels of crude oil by Nigeria from 2014 till date, Mark Gbillah, who spoke at the public hearing said information provided by a whistleblower led to the hearing.
Gbillah regretted that Malami and other government representatives who had been earlier invited to the hearing were not present, adding that the committee summoned them to appear at a later time to explain the sale of crude oil and the subsequent loss of nearly $2.4 billion in revenue.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission, NEITI, oil and gas companies involved in export, and the Oriental Energy Limited were also summoned by the panel.
Oriental Energy Limited was given one week to provide necessary information regarding its involvement in lifting and selling crude oil during the review period.
He said: “We are looking at the issues that have to do with allegations of 48 million of crude oil barrels sold in China. We are looking at the issue of Crude oil export in general from Nigeria for the period under review. We are also looking at the whistleblower revelations and recoveries, in which the federal government publicly declared that they have made recoveries.
“It is unfortunate that the Minister of Finance is not here, the Attorney General of the Federation is not here either.
“This is a formal request from the committee that they should appear before this committee because they have received a formal invitation to do so. And a lot of what we have to investigate regards to whistleblower policy is saddled within the Ministry of Finance and the Attorney General of the federation.
“There are responses received from the accountant general’s office which shows that the Minister of Finance has been approving payments to whistleblowers in percentages at variance with the policy says they should be paid.
“There have been allegations of the Attorney General being involved also in the receipt of funds from outside the country without these funds being remitted into the federation account in line with the provisions of the constitution.
“There have been allegations that there has been expenditure from these recoveries done in complete violation of the provisions of the constitution.”