The Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has described reports of an alleged $2.4 billion crude oil theft as baseless and lacking in merit.
The Minister spoke when he finally appeared before the ad hoc committee probing alleged loss of over $2.4 billion in revenue from illegal sale of 48 million barrels of crude export in 2015.
After several invitations, the Minister, accompanied by the Permanent Secretary, is before the legislators.
Abubakar Malami apologises for his inability to honour the Committee’s invitations and reaffirms his respect for the parliament.
A one-page document is sent to him for his eyes only and after going through it in silence, says he will not agree to a closed door meeting
That settled, he provides responses to the numerous questions posed to him in the course of the Committee’s correspondences to his office.
The Minister describes the petitioners as a syndicate poised to defraud the nation.
He therefore believes the committee should not waste its time on the probe
He also insists his office is not in charge of recoveries but the Minister of Finance and that all recovered funds are deposited in an Assets Recovery Account domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria.
After speaking for more than one hour, the Committee halts his flow, demanding that his memorandum be made available, to be digested for further action
The Committee seeks guidance in provisions of Section 162 of the Constitution which states that all government revenues shall be deposited in the federation account.
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