An oil and gas trading company, Samano SA DE CV, has accused officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and other personnel in government of stealing 48 million barrels of Bonny Light Crude oil.
In a July 23, 2020 letter from Lords and Temple, signed by Gboyega Oyewole, SAN, and addressed to the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mele Kyari, the legal firm said its client was approached in 2015 by a group in China with the intent to sell the stolen crude.
It said the crude was believed to have been stolen from Nigeria and stored in various ports and terminals in China.
“It was revealed to our client that the NNPC authorised certain companies to sell the product in China,” the legal firm said in its letter, which was entitled, “Formal request for the payment of five per cent whistleblower compensation for information furnished in respect of crude oil stolen from the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
The legal firm said despite assurances to its client that investigations into the matter would be made, as well as the award of due compensation to its client, no payment had been made to its client since then.
“To date, our client has unfortunately not received any form of compensation for the information provided to the Nigerian government in respect of the stolen products and/or a response to its offer to legally purchase same when recovered,” it said.
When contacted, NNPC’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Kennie Obateru, said the oil firm was aware of the accusation but would not respond now.
“We won’t respond to it now, but at the appropriate time we will make our position known to the public,” he said.