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NNPC To Sue Syndicate Over Claims Of Stolen 48 Million Barrels Of Crude Oil


The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is set to sue a Mexican international oil firm, SAMANO SA DE CV, which it has accused of being a crime syndicate.

The crime syndicate, SAMANO SA DE CV, and its officials had attempted to swindle the Nigerian government of over $125 million.

Over a week ago, there were reports that some top staff of the NNPC and other government officials had reclaimed 48 million barrels of crude oil stolen by a Chinese group and resold same and also shared the proceeds.

NNPC’s legal counsel, Afe Babalola & Co., said in a statement on Thursday said that the NNPC has already initiated plans to seek redress “for the injury to the Corporation and its officials through series of falsehoods peddled by SAMANO and its agents”.

In a letter signed by Gboyega Oyewole, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), the law firm said its client was accusing the Nigerian government officials and NNPC  of failing to pay its whistleblower compensation of 5% for information it gave them over an oil deal.

Mr Oyewole made reference to discussions between SAMANO SA DE CV and the officials involved in 2015 over information about 48 million barrels of Nigerian Bonny Light Crude Oil allegedly stolen from Nigeria and stored in various ports and terminals in the People’s Republic of China.

The firmed claimed the officials used the information it provided to sell the crude oil, but said it was neither carried along in the sharing of the proceeds from the sale nor were they paid the agreed 5 per cent whistleblower compensation.

According to the NNPC, not only were the reports replete with falsehoods, they were attempts by SAMANO, working in concert with its local and international agents, to intimidate, blackmail and extort money from the Nigerian government and NNPC.

How NNPC and SAMANO’s Relationship began

SAMANO approached NNPC and the Nigerian government in 2015, claiming a Chinese group had approached it to buy 48 million barrels crude oil believed to be stolen from Nigeria.

Prior to President Buhari assuming office in 2015, SAMANO approached NNPC to purchase the crude oil, however, changed plans to say it was no more interested in buying the crude oil as it was only obliging the federal government with the information as its support to the Buhari administration’s fight against corruption.

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