Stolen crude: Whistleblowers group tackles Gbillah-led panel, blocks N’Assembly
The George Uboh Whistleblowers Network has taken a protest to the National Assembly against the Mark Gbillah-led ad hoc committee on the sale of 48 million barrels of stolen crude oil in China.
The protesters, who blocked the entrance gate to the National Assembly, were wielding placards with inscriptions such as ‘NASS is not bigger than the courts’, ‘The whistle-blowers who gave the information on the illegal sale were neither asked to write petition nor allowed to appear as witness at the committee’, ‘Niger Deltans are tired of thieves stealing their oil’ and ‘Justice is what we need’.
They described the ad hoc committee as a busybody panel, adding that there must be a petition on a controversial matter before a committee is set up to investigate it.
According to the group, there was never a petition to formally legitimise a committee hearing on the matter, despite that Gbillah was verbally briefed by Dr. Uboh’s whistleblowers network.
Uboh said: “The scheduled Gbillah-led ad hoc committee hearing on the illegal sale of stolen 48 million barrels of Nigeria’s crude oil in China is in violation of two principles.
“The whistleblowers, who furnished Gbillah with the information germane to the 48 million barrels of stolen crude oil, did not file any petition to the National Assembly giving rise to the hearing, and neither were they called as witnesses during the hearing.”
He said the whistleblowers’ network is a civil society organisation with the mandate to fight corruption; hence, he expressed surprise that neither their attention drawn nor were they called as witnesses during the hearing.
“I, Dr. George Uboh, a known whistleblower, whose petition to the National Assembly led to the sack of former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Lamorde, can authoritatively state that the National Assembly does not delve into any matter unless a petition is filed and laid on the floor,” he asserted, while accusing the committee chairman of greed for ignoring process leading to public hearing on issues he knows too well.
They further stated that there were two court matters initiated in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court and Federal High Court against the Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mele Kyari, to account for the proceeds of the sale and the National Assembly respectively.