The House of Representatives committee investigating the allegedly missing 48million barrels of crude oil has summoned the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, to explain the missing N32.5billion, said to have been paid to two companies – Messrs GSCL Consulting and Biz Plus without formal documentation.
The lawmakers also summoned the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (AGF), Abubakar Malami, the Accountant General of the Federation, Oluwatoyin Madein, the Auditor General of the Federation, Adolphus Aghughu, the Managing Directors of Exxon oil, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Nigeria Agip Oil Company.
The House committee chaired by Mark Gbillah, issued the summon, on Monday at its sitting in Abuja.
The Chairman of the committee while speaking during the resumption of a rescheduled investigative hearing said that the available records revealed that CBN paid the sum of N16.5 billion each to the two companies on the same day contrary to Malami’s earlier submission that he didn’t know about the payment.
Gbillah said that “Because of lack of response to the committee invitations, summon had to be issued by the House to the Managing Director of Nigeria Agip Oil Company, Minister of Foreign Affairs, SNEPCO and SPDC, Auditor General for the Federation, Central Bank Governor because of their lack of appearance to issues requested by the House, GSCL Consulting Limited and Bizplus with regard to payment of N16.5billion on the same day.
“So clerk, you do a letter to AGF to avail us the detail of the approval for the engagement of the legal team and the related companies to carry out this investigation and provide us details of that legal team.
“In the letter, you request that the former AGF, former DG NIMASA also provide information on the status of this investigation and they will be invited in line with the submission of the report.”
He expressed displeasure over the representative of Shell Petroleum Development Company who identified himself as Igo Weli for lack of proper supervision.
Gbillah while responding to an earlier remark by the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Bashir Yusuf Jamoh, who appeared before the committee about a $1.7 billion judgment sum still outstanding for the Nigerian government to claim from a company that was found guilty of making false declaration about the crude oil taken away from the country, said the money belonged to the Nigerian people.
He said, “There exists about 9 other cases with regard to the alleged theft of Nigerian crude. This issue is not in our imagination.
“There is a formal legal judgment on this issue and there are cases still pending with regard to Nigerian crude. I call on the Tinubu administration, relevant stakeholders and the anti-graft agencies to realize that Nigerians are waiting for an explanation regarding why the $1.7 billion has not been recovered from Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept with regard to the judgment against them since 2020.
“This is money that belongs to all Nigerians and we expect that it should be appropriately accounted for.”