By Abdulwahab Abdulah
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has been asked to commence an immediate investigation into allegations that $20 billion oil money is missing from the account of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
In the petition by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), it requested the commission to “urgently begin a thorough, transparent and effective investigation into allegations that $20 billion oil money is missing from the account of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).”
The petition followed last week’s allegation by the Central Bank, CBN, Governor, Lamido Sanusi, that “NNPC is operating a racket through which the federation has been losing billions,” at the resumed Senate hearing on the matter.
The petition signed by its executive director, Adetokunbo Mumuni stated: “We are concerned about the lack of accountability of the NNPC, which is not consistent with the attitude of a government establishment funded with tax payers’ money. This lack of accountability partly explains why ordinary Nigerians do not trust the NNPC to deal with corruption within its systems. The NNPC will need to come clean with the Nigerian people if it is to enjoy their trust and confidence.
“We believe that the allegation that this huge sum of public money is missing coming as it were from an influential government official demands an urgent investigation from the EFCC.”
It added, “The stealing of $20 billion from an economy already weakened by corruption will jeopardise sustainable development and hurt ordinary Nigerians who rely on the government to provide basic necessities of life such as water, good roads and electricity.”
It therefore urged the anti graft body to “ask the NNPC to reveal information about the systems it has established to prevent public money from being stolen or to recover the missing oil money. It is very important that the EFCC sends a strong message that it is willing and able to step up its efforts to detect, investigate and prosecute cases of corruption.”
The organization said that, “The allegation shows a serious breach of anticorruption legislation and Nigeria’s international obligations including under the UN Convention against Corruption and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption both of which the country has ratified.”