The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, Thursday told the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee investigating the alleged loss of $2.4bn from the sale of 48 million crude oil barrels that the claim by the whistleblowers was baseless and unfounded.
Appearing before the committee, Malami said the government refused to be chasing shadows as there no basis for wasting resources because the whistleblowers made the allegations to defraud the government.
He said his office had filed a criminal suit against the whistleblowers, alleging that the individuals involved had earlier attempted to defraud the government.
“Sometimes in 2016, allegations were rife and hyped in the social media. There were allegations of existence of stolen 48m barrels of Nigerian crude in China said to have been valued at N2.4bn. President Muhammadu Buhari informally requested the Attorney-General, my humble person; Mele Kyari; Lawal Daura, former DG of DSS and the Late Abba Kyari to look into it and advise…we reported to the president that we were unable to confirm the veracity of the allegation hence no further action was taken by my office.”
Noting that whistleblowing thrives on confidentiality and protection of information, he said disclosing details of whistleblowers at a public hearing breaches the confidentiality provision of which his office was committed to on the account of personal security and the national security.
The deputy chairman of the committee, Ibrahim Isiaka, replied Malami thus: “You’re a key critical stakeholder and a key player on the determinants, not to influence, but to determine. We’ll still need that report by your committee that you submitted to Mr President.”