The House of Representatives ad hoc committee investigating the alleged illegal sales of 48 million barrels of Nigeria’s Bonny Light crude in China in 2015 has said it is not on a “witch-hunting” mission.
The Chairman of the ad hoc committee, Mark Gbillah, made this known at a session with the Inspector-General of Police, represented by the Head of INTERPOL National Central Bureau, AIG Garba Umar.
Gbillah said the legislature was fulfilling its constitutional mandate in the interest of the Nigerian people.
The ad hoc committee is investigating all crude oil exports from 2014 till date as well as the illegal sale of 48 million barrels of Nigeria’s Bonny Light crude in China in 2015 estimated at $2.4 billion
He queried why the individuals who were star witnesses and ready to give evidence would suddenly be tagged “fugitives” and declared wanted by the police.
“Harassing and intimidating the witnesses, while assuring that the House was determined to unearth the hidden issues in the alleged illegal deals.
“There is an allegation that sometime in 2015, a presidential committee was set up and members traveled to China at the instance of a whistleblower of Mexican citizenship about the existence in China of millions of barrels of Nigeria”s crude.
“This individual expressed an interest to purchase this crude which the government at the time allegedly needed to investigate first so this committee went to China, confirmed the existence of this crude.
“But this individual concerned alleged that when the process of selling this crude commenced they were no longer contacted.
“They have evidence of the fact that the crude was sold without the money being remitted to the coffers of the Nigerian government,” he said.
The chairman also alleged that the concerned individuals were being intimidated and threatened.
This according to him, involved them being charged to court over the matter and eventually the matter was discontinued, because the parties involved did not want it to become public knowledge.