Thursday, 18 February 2016

Alleged Money Laundering: EFCC Interrogates Diezani’s Husband, Admiral Madueke • How Ex-Oil Minister Imposed Illegal Firms on NNPC in $24bn Oil Deal – Reps

FORMER Chief of Na­val Staff and husband of embattled former minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani, Rear Admiral Allison Madueke (retd), was arrested by operatives of the Economic and Fi­nancial Crimes Commis­sion (EFCC) yesterday in Abuja.

The former navy chief was picked up from his Abuja residence for ques­tioning and was interro­gated for several hours.

It was also gathered that his arrest was in con­nection with the ongoing probe of his wife’s finan­cial transactions while she served as oil minister in former president Good­luck Jonathan’s adminis­tration.

A source told Daily Sun that it had to do with an alleged money launder­ing case but did not give details of the amount in­volved.

EFCC spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, was said to be away on official duty in Lagos when Daily Sun called at his office for confirmation of Ma­dueke’s arrest. Also, his phone was switched off.

However, it was gath­ered that the former min­ister’s husband was still being quizzed as at past 7:00pm on Wednesday and would likely be de­tained.

Madueke’s wife, Die­zani, who is a cancer pa­tient in London, has been under intense probe by the present administration over alleged high-scale illegal financial transac­tions and money transfers in office. She is also fac­ing court trial in the Unit­ed Kingdom for a similar offence.

Meanwhile, hearing continued yesterday at the House of Representatives ad hoc Committee inves­tigating the N24 billion oil swap deal with a revela­tion that Alison-Madueke, allegedly imposed illegal companies on the Nigerian National Petroleum Cor­poration (NNPC).

The House disclosed that it has received the list of illegal companies registered by Nigerian Na­tional Petroleum Corpo­ration (NNPC) and some Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) which operated the deal without being registered with the Federal Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI) as required by law.

Government-owned en­tities such Duke Global Energy Investment Limit­ed, a subsidiary of NNPC, is one of the companies alleged to be conducting business with its parent company illegally as it did not have a representative of MOFI on its board, as required by law.

Duke Global Energy Investment Limited was listed in the documents obtained from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) for the ongoing investi­gative public hearing on the $24 billion crude oil swap scandal, according to Hamman Pategi (APC-Kwara), a member of the committee.

Duke Energy Invest­ment Limited was regis­tered with Corporate Af­fairs Commission (CAC) in 2012 by NNPC, as an arm of Duke Oil Incorpo­rated registered in Panama in 1989, to deal in crude oil on behalf of NNPC at the international market.

Pategi, who said MOFI did not have a representa­tive on the Board of Duke Energy Investment Limit­ed, as obtainable with oth­er companies established by MDAs and privatised companies, however, did not mention the other companies who operated the deal illegally.

Also, former NNPC group managing director, Joseph Dawha, also said yesterday that he inherited the controversial crude oil for products exchange deal.

Dawah said NNPC en­tered into the arrangement and the Offshore Process­ing Agreement (OPA) contracts with the trading companies in 2010 to ter­minate between 2013 and 2014. He said further that Alison-Madueke, only approved the renewal of the contracts in August 2014, months after it had expired.

He insisted that, “as of August 2014 when I as­sumed office, the con­tracts were still being run long after they had all ex­pired. Based on legal and compelling need to recon­cile the contracts to ensure actual delivery and receipt of the agreed volume of products against the crude lifted, it became impera­tive that the arrangement under which the parties had been operating for several months prior to my assumption of office without formal contracts be formalised to provide legal basis to the parties’ rights and obligations. Subsequently, we request­ed approval from the then minister of Petroleum Re­sources for renewal of the contracts. Upon receipt of the then minister’s ap­proval granted on August 29, 2014, the contracts were formally extended to cover the periods from their respective dates of expiry until the end of December 2014. If I had not got the approval, I may have been the GMD with the shortest tenure because there is no way I would have allowed it to continue,” he added.

He told the commit­tee that the oil swap ar­rangement was eventually dropped for OPA based on value, while adding that the same trading firms in­volved with the oil swap arrangement were con­tracted to continue with the OPA.

When asked why he continued with the com­panies despite the obvi­ous flaws in NNPC’s contracts with them, the former GMD said he de­cided to continue with the said companies because they were on the existing platform for supply, add­ing that the situation of fuel supply at the time left NNPC with no time to en­gage new companies.

The Zakari Moham­med-led committee equal­ly expressed concerns over 15-staff Duke Oil Incorporated that was reg­istered in Panama, with an office in the United King­dom (UK) and only an af­filiate in Nigeria, DUGIL.

The committee also asked why a Nigerian company registered off­shore pays tax to its host country, while a non-res­ident company Trafigura, based in the Netherland lifts Nigerian oil but re­fused to pay tax to the Ni­gerian government.



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