Oil Theft: Whistleblowers Network lead protest against Reps Ad-hoc committee

adminApril 12, 20234 min

The Rep. Gbillah Committee is investigating crude oil sales from 2014 till date, as well as Whistleblower Information and Recoveries and expenditure of these recoveries

Under the aegis of George Uboh Whistleblowers Network, some protesters on Tuesday staged a march at the main gate of the National Assembly against the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee over alleged 48 million barrels of stolen crude oil, which was later sold in China for $2.4 billion.

Led by Joseph Peter Umoh, the protesters carried different banners and placards with inscriptions condemning the decision of the House of Representatives to set up a Ad-hoc Committee led by Rep. Mark Gbillah when the crime, according to them is already being handled by the court of law.

According to their spokesperson, the protesters noted that as whistleblowers, they exposed the unlawful sales of stolen crude oil in China to the lawmaker and Nigerians generally, adding that, his decision to go with a planned investigation without carrying them along raised suspicions of vested interests.

READ ALSO: $2.4bn Revenue Loss: Reps investigate illegal sale of 48m barrels of crude oil

In a written statement made available to journalists during the protest, Umoh claim that the Mark Gbillah-led Ad-Hoc Committee was superfluous because the issue was already being pursued in court.

“The Whistleblowers who furnished Hon Mark Gbillah the information germane to the 48 million barrels of crude oil stolen did not file any petition to the National Assembly for any investigation or hearing,  neither were they called as witnesses to testify during the hearing.

Because Gbillah did not follow this sacrosanct due process, the purported public hearing by the Ad – hoc committee is a sham predicated on unilateral action driven by greed. Therefore we, the whistleblowers at this protest, authoritatively assert that the National Assembly does not hear or deliberate on any matter in court.

Two different competent courts of jurisdictions are already handling the case filed against the Chief Executive Officer ( CEO) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mele Kyari, to account for proceeds from the stolen crude oil, which are roughly estimated to be $2.4billion at $50 per barrel and $4.8billion at $100per barrel.

(The) Hon Gbillah-led Adhoc Committee of the House of Representatives should therefore hand off the matter by not sitting or carrying out any public hearing on it,” part of the statement reads.

READ ALSO: Reps to unravel facts behind ‘illegal sale’ of 48m barrels of oil

Four months ago, the House of Representatives had resolved to probe the alleged loss of over $2.4 billion in revenue from illegal sales of 48 million barrels of crude oil exported in 2015 and the external sale of commodity exports from 2014 to date following the adoption of a motion moved by Rep. Isiaka Ibrahim (APC, Ogun).

According to the sponsor of the motion, a whistleblower had, in July 2015, brought to the attention of a Committee purportedly set up by the President for the recovery of missing crude oil exports, the existence of 48 million barrels of Nigeria’s Bonny Light crude oil in storage at several ports in China, under the authorisation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to sell the cargo.

The House thus resolved to examine all crude oil exports and sales by Nigeria from 2014 till date with regards to quantity, insurance, revenue generated, remittances into the federation accounts or other accounts, as well as utilisation of the revenue for the period under review.

The Ad-hoc Committee was thus set up to investigate the whistleblower`s allegations of the illegal sale of 48 million barrels of Nigeria’s Bonny Light crude in China in 2015 and the insurance status of the cargo. Proceeds recovered through the Whistleblower’s Policy and the level of compliance with the policy were also to be investigated and reported back to the House within four weeks for further legislative action.

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