Investigate missing 149m barrels of oil, SERAP tells Buhari (

Investigate missing 149m barrels of oil, SERAP tells Buhari

If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel your government to comply with our request in the public interest.

The allegations by both the AuditorGeneral and NEITI are different from a whistleblowers claims that 48 million barrels of Bonny Light crude oil allegedly sold in China in 2015 are missing or unaccounted for.

The reports by the AuditorGeneral and NEITI suggest a grave violation of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 as amended, and the countrys anticorruption laws and international obligations, as well as the public trust.

These damning revelations also suggest your government is failing to prevent and combat the plundering of Nigerias wealth and natural resources, name and bring suspected perpetrators to account and recover any proceeds of crime.

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Poor and socioeconomically vulnerable Nigerians have continued to pay the price for the stealing of the countrys oil wealth apparently by both state and nonstate actors.

The countrys oil wealth ought to be used solely for the benefit of the Nigerian people, and for the sake of the present and future generations.

These allegations can promptly be investigated and suspected perpetrators named and shamed.

Section 15(5) imposes the responsibility on your government to abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power.

Under Section 16(1) of the Constitution, your government has a responsibility to secure the maximum welfare, freedom and happiness of every citizen on the basis of social justice and equality of status and opportunity. Section 16(2) further provides that, the material resources of the nation are harnessed and distributed as best as possible to serve the common good.

The UN Convention against Corruption and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party obligate your government to effectively prevent and investigate the plundering of the countrys wealth and natural resources and hold public officials and nonstate actors to account for any violations.

Specifically, article 26 of the UN Convention requires your government to ensure effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions including criminal and noncriminal sanctions, in cases of grand corruption.

Article 26 complements the more general requirement of article 30, paragraph 1, that sanctions must take into account the gravity of the corruption allegations.

The proposed panel should be headed by a retired justice of the Supreme Court or Court of Appeal, and its members should include people with proven professional records, and of the highest integrity that can act impartially, independently, and transparently, the statement added.

SocioEconomic Rights and Accountability Project has told the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to set up a presidential panel of enquiry to promptly probe the allegations that over 149 million barrels of crude oil were missing, as documented in the 2019 audited reports by the Auditor General of the Federation and Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

SERAP also said he should ensure the effective prosecution of anyone suspected to be responsible for the plundering of the countrys oil wealth and the full recovery of any proceeds of crime.

According to the 2019 audited report by the Auditor General over 107 million barrels of crude oil were lifted as domestic crude without any document or tracing.

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