BY SULE TAHIR.
THE Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami and other government officials failed to appear before the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Wednesday over the alleged loss of 2.4 billion dollars from the illegal sale of 48 million barrels of crude oil sales.
Reports has indicated that, the ad-hoc committee said it is giving one last opportunity to Malami; the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed; and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele to appear before it and speak on inflows from recoveries from whistleblowers.
The Committee Chairman, Mark Gbillah stated this on Wednesday after the invited parties failed to honour last week’s invitation of the committee.
The lawmakers said that the AGF and the finance minister have failed to respond to any correspondence from the committee.
According to the chairman of the committee, documents from the Accountant General showed that payments have been made to whistle blowers and recoveries from whistle blowers but no evidence to show that those monies were expended in accordance with the relevant laws.
The committee said if the government officials failed to honour the invitation this time, they will be summoned and further statutory powers will be exercised.
Our findings has revealed that the Ad Hoc Committee on Oil Theft invited several high-ranking officials in the Federal Government over its investigation into the alleged loss of over $2.4 billion in revenue from illegal sale of 48 million barrels of crude oil export in 2015, but to no avail.
Some of the officials invited on a week ago to answer questions are the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed; and the Secretary General of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, among others, but major culprits have turn down the invitation just for unknown reasons.
Also summoned are the acting Accountant General of the Federation, Sylva Okolieaboh; and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), among others.
The committee is also concerned about the disparity in figures from crude oil sales from 2011 to 2014 and is accusing the minister of finance of approving payments to whistle-blowers in variance with the whistle-blower policy.
The ad hoc House committee is investigating a whistle-blower’s allegation of illegal sale of 48 million barrels of Nigeria’s bonny light crude in China in 2015, valued at $2.4 billion.
The committee, in February, had accused the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami as well as Interpol, on what it described as interference in the committee’s investigation.