Following the ongoing investigations into the alleged bribery and fraudulent scandal involving Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, former Nigeria’s Petroleum Minister, who was arrested in London, and the activities of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has began moves to clamp down on more individuals and organizations who are said to be involved in the many criminal acts perpetrated by the former minister.
Findings have revealed that the EFCC has began to pay compulsory visits to homes and organizations of some individuaIs in the oil sector, who collaborated with the former minister to rip the country off her resources through their many petroleum theft activities.
The anti-graft agency is seeking the individuals and organizations to either answer questions to what they know about some of the nefarious acts perpetrated in the sector or to give an account of what they know about some of the theft operations that have been carried out in the industry during controversial Diezani’s ‘reign’ as the minister.
In the new move by the EFCC, any one found culpable would be brought to book and made to face the wrought of the law.
The hunted suspects include some serving and disengaged personnel of NNPC, PPMC, LNG, operators of private energy and oil and gas firms, among others.
Already, the EFCC has drawn a long list of individuals to be visited and invited to their office for questioning in order to track all possible routes through which the theft operations were carried out under the watch of Alison-Madueke as Petroleum minister.
As part of the moves, the anti-graft agency on Monday October 5, quizzed the Chairman of Atlantic Energy, Mr. Jide Omokore, over the ongoing investigations into the NNPC.
It was gathered, the Subsidy Unit of the EFCC, which is entrusted with the responsibility of probing the NNPC oil scandal, invited Omokore to the commission’s headquarters in Abuja to answer questions in relation to the investigations.
Omokore was said to have honoured the invitation and later released after he was quizzed by the EFCC.
His invitation was said to be in connection with the ongoing probe of the NNPC and the former Minister of Petroleum Resources.
Omokore was not detained by the operatives of the commission, who are working with their counterparts from the United Kingdom, to uncover alleged oil deals that were executed to the detriment of the nation’s economy.
A source, who confirmed that the Atlantic Energy Chairman was at the commission’s headquarters to answer questions in relation to the ongoing probe, however said, “I don’t think it would be right to say that he was arrested as he came to the office on his own and was interrogated. He was later released to go on administrative bail.”
The granting of administrative bail by the EFCC means that the suspect will make himself available whenever he is needed by the commission.
Already, some key officials of the NNPC, who worked with the former minister and other key players in the oil sector, had been interrogated by the EFCC and had also been released on administrative bail.
Findings also revealed that a Managing Director of one of the NNPC subsidiaries, three former Executive Directors and some senior members of staff were periodically invited to the the EFCC office.
Currently, Alison-Madueke, the NNPC officials and three companies which featured prominently in the nation’s oil business are being probed in relation with billions of naira worth of crude oil that were allegedly lifted without being paid for.
It was learned that a four-man team of crack detectives constituted under the Subsidy Unit of the EFCC extracted information from the NNPC workers who said they allowed the lifting of the crude in obedience to directives from the leadership of the nation’s oil industry under Diezani.
As at time of filling this report, all efforts to contact the Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, for further comment proved abortive as telephone calls put accross to him could not go through.