• Demands Payment Of Compensation For Exposing Theft
A whistle blower, who exposed the theft of 48 million barrels of Bonny Light Crude Oil from Nigeria and the sale of the crude oil by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is now threatening court action against the Federal Government over the government’s refusal to pay the five percent of the cost of the 48 million barrels of crude oil as provided by the government’s whistle blower policy.
The whistle blower, who is the Chief Executive Officer of SAMANO SA DE CV, Mr Jose Salazar Tinajero, wrote a letter dated July 23, 2020, through his counsel, Gboyega Oyewole (SAN), giving 14 days ultimatum to the federal government to pay the five per cent or be dragged to court.
The letter, which was addressed to the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr. Mele Kyari; was copied to the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami and Director of the Department of State Service (DSS), Yusuf Magaji Bichi.
Documents relating to the sale of the 48 million barrels of crude oil as well as communication between the whistle blower and NNPC GMD were attached.
Tinajero said, sometime in 2015, he was approached by a group in China with the intent to sell 48 million barrels of Bonny Light Crude Oil believed to have been stolen from Nigeria and stored in various ports and terminals in China. He added it was revealed to him that the NNPC authorised certain companies to sell the stolen products in China.
The letter read; “It is general knowledge that corruption has eaten deep into the fabric of the Nigerian society and has now, over the years, become a bane to good governance and proper fiscal administration. This spurred the Buhari-led administration in 2016, in its fight against corruption within the Nigerian Government, to introduce the Whistle Blowing Policy (the “Policy”) through an Executive Order.
“Sequel to this policy, our Client, being a reputable and credible company, promptly brought to the knowledge of the Nigerian Government information as to criminal activity involving the NNPC and the stolen products. This information was given to high-ranking officials of the Nigerian Government to wit: Mr. Mele Kyari, the Managing Director of NNPC, Mr. Abba Kyari, the then Chief of Staff to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Mr. Umar Mohammed.
“Consequently, it was agreed that an investigation into the stolen products should be made to ascertain the veracity of the information and garner more facts as to the fraudulent activities. It was also agreed that if the information is found credible, the perpetrators of the offence will be apprehended and that compensation due to our Client for the information so brought forward will be awarded.
“Further to the above stated discussions, our Client, through its Chief Executive Officer, Mr Jose Salazar Tinajero (its Representative), wrote to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari (the President), notifying him of the stolen products, as advised by the said high-ranking officials. The said letter was delivered to Mr Umar Mohammed who, to the surprise of our Client, failed to deliver it to the President.
“In October 2015, our Client got wind of the fact that the stolen products
were being moved from their location in China by the Nigerian Government, in calculated steps, to recover the said products. Our Client then caused a letter to be written to Mr. Mele Kyari, through Mr. Marco Ramirez, offering to legally purchase the said products from the Nigerian Government if available for sale.
“Our Client, through its representative, subsequently wrote to Mr Umar Mohammed clarifying its intention to expose the criminal activity in respect of the stolen products and not to make illegal purchase of same.
“To date, our Client has unfortunately not received any form of compensation for the information provided to Nigerian Government in respect of the stolen products and/or a response to its offer to legally purchase same when recovered.
“The upright act of reporting the criminal activity to appropriate quarters, was not protected by the expected confidential nature of the Policy thereby exposing officials of our Client to serious consequences including threat to life, harassment, institutional discrimination and economic exclusion, reprimands, and other forms of persecution. All efforts made by our Client to receive compensation, including writing to the Senate of Nigeria, through the then Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio and the Department of State Services in Nigeria (DSS), through the then Director-General, Mr Lawal Musa Daura, proved futile and thus, were to no avail.
“Our Client has documents including bank transfer details, names of vessels and their Captains to show that the stolen products have been illicitly sold by some officials of the Nigerian Government and the NNPC, who are involved in the implementation of the Presidential Directive to investigate matters pertaining to stolen crude oil. These documents will be made available on request.
“On the basis of the integrity of the Nigerian Government in its fight against endemic corruption, fairness and dire need to uphold assurances, we humbly urge you to use your good office to intervene promptly and remedy the situation by prevailing on the appropriate authority to pay the compensation legitimately due to our Client.
“Please note that if after 14 days of the receipt of this letter, we do not receive a positive response to our Client’s request, in respect of the payment of the whistle blower’s compensation, we shall be constrained to proceed to the law court for the enforcement of the civil rights of our Client.”
Source: Wazobia Reporters