Attorney General Malami dismisses $2.4bn diversion claim as baseless

Attorney General Malami dismisses $2.4bn diversion claim as baseless

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has dismissed claims that 48 million barrels of crude oil worth over $2.4 billion were sold to China. He made the statement when he appeared before the House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee on the alleged loss of revenue from illegal sales of crude oil.

Malami confirmed that allegations relating to the 48 million barrels of oil were baseless and lacking in merit, and that there were no reasonable grounds for suspicion.

The allegations were initially made in 2016 via social media, but Malami pointed out that there were no basic facts to support the claim. The origin of the purported product in China was not established, and the basic details of its existence and connection to Nigeria were not available.

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Malami added that there were no particulars of the vessels that transported the fuel to China, and that no Chinese authorities confirmed receipt and custody of the product in China.

Concerning the whistle-blower policy of the Federal Government, Malami noted that the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning coordinated the policy, and all payments to whistle-blowers were made by the ministry.

Disclosing the details of the whistle-blowers at a public hearing breaches the confidentiality provision, which could compromise the personal and national security of the whistle-blowers. Therefore, Malami said he would only provide information that would not expose the whistle-blowers.

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Regarding the details of accounts from which recovered funds were kept and withdrawals made from them, only the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation and the Central Bank of Nigeria could provide the details.

Malami listed some of the recoveries to include those from the late General Sani Abacha, former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori, and former Governor of Bayelsa State, the late Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.

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