Reps grill Malami over $2.4bn crude sale
By Itodo Daniel Sule
Media Trust Limited
The House of Representatives’ adhoc committee probing a whistleblower’s claim that 48 million barrels of Bonny Light crude worth $2.4 billion were illegally sold in China in 2015, yesterday grilled the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN). Chairman of the committee, Mark Gbillah, said the probe was not a wild goose chase while responding to Malami’s insistence that there was no justifiable ground in the first place for the National Assembly to have embarked on probing the allegation. The committee had asked Malami whether a presidential committee was set up to look into the allegation, but he said there was none because there were no justifiable grounds and details to embark on any investigation. But Gbillah faulted the claims made by Malami, insisting there were justifiable grounds for the investigation, saying the committee had documents and communication that related to the matter. “There are documents showing email exchanges between some top members of the government which were corroborated with regards to these transactions including the DSS and I’m surprised your office is not aware of this. The DSS made exchange of correspondences with these individuals and we are in possession of those documents, sir. “It’s confidential documents that have been made available to the committee, so contrary to your assertion sir, I say we take exception to your response, we do not embark on a wild goose chase.” Gbillah assured Malami the committee would avail him of relevant documents at its disposal in the course of the investigation. Responding, Malami said he was ready to cooperate with the committee if given the relevant documents regarding the probe, saying, he had helped the country in the recovery of over $1 billion for the country and would not in any way frustrate any efforts aimed at recovering the country’s revenues stashed anywhere. Meanwhile, the committee asked Malami to furnish it with documents regarding all the recoveries his office made for the country within the period under investigation.