Keyamo Seeks Deziani’s Probe Over Alleged $50b Fraud | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Keyamo Seeks Deziani’s Probe Over Alleged $50b Fraud

Posted: Jun 18, 2015 at 9:20 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Tunde Opeseitan  – Lagos


Lagos lawyer and activist, Festus Keyamo, has urged the National Assembly to set up an open probe into alleged massive fraud in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) regarding the crude oil swap programme and the offshore processing agreements.

Keyamo, in a petition jointly addressed to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and House of Representatives Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, said it was important for the federal legislators to urgently investigate how Nigeria was massively defrauded via the two programmes to the tune of over $50 billion by some unscrupulous officials of the NNPC in collusion with some local companies in the oil and gas sector.

Specifically, the lawyer wants the probe to be extended to the immediate past Minister of Petroleum Resources, Deziani Allison-Madueke and the Managing Director of NNPC, Tony Moneke.

Others are Executive Director, Commercial, PPMC, Frank Amejo; Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division, Gbenga Komolafe; former Managing Director of NPDC, and later NNPC Group Executive Director, E & P, Abiye Membere and some private companies in the oil and gas sector.

They are: AITEO that is owned by Mr. Benny Peters; Sahara Energy owned by Tonye Cole, Tope Sonubi and Ade Odunsi; Ontario Oil and Gas owned by Walter Wagbatsoma and Taleveras founded by Mr. Igho Sanomi.

Keyamo recalled that the crude oil swap was an arrangement whereby about fifty percent (50%) of the nation’s daily quota of crude oil meant for domestic refining and consumption are given to some local companies in the oil and gas sector which then sell the products in the international market and thereafter import petroleum products, including derivatives or byproducts on behalf of the NNPC and PPMC for sale and distribution in the country.

“For the records, our daily quota of crude oil for local consumption is about 445,000 barrels. This arrangement was necessitated by the inability of our local refineries to operate at their fully installed capacities which would have been able to refine all the daily domestic quota of crude oil.

“The Offshore Processing Agreements (OPAs) involved the allocation of the daily domestic quota of crude oil to some local companies in the oil and gas sector. The companies then take the crude oil to refineries outside the country, refine them into petroleum products, including derivatives or byproducts, and import them into the country on behalf of the PPMC.

“The colossal fraud in both programmes have reportedly started and heightened in recent years. The frauds occur when far less quantity of petroleum products, byproducts and derivatives are imported into the country by the local companies in exchange for the crude oil allocated to them by the NNPC.

“The staggering shortfalls in the imported products are done with the active connivance, collusion and knowledge of the officials of the NNPC. The proceeds are, of course, subsequently shared between the NNPC officials and these local companies. In fact, it is reported that a colossal sum of about $50billion (fifty billion dollars) have been stolen by these people through these fraudulent programmes in the last few years,” Keyamo alleged.

Keyamo said though some of the actors are already being probed discreetly by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Department of State Security (DSS), he was concerned that, as usual, the Nigerian people whom the lawmakers represent would be perpetually kept in the dark about these investigations and their outcome, hence the need for the lawmakers to launch probe into the matter pursuant to their powers under Section 88(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

This, Keyamo said: “is to expose corruption, inefficiency or waste in the execution or administration of laws within its legislative competence and in the disbursement or administration of funds appropriated by it.”