By Ed Malik, A | November 22, 2022

Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA), on Tuesday, said they were stunned by the weight of crude oil thefts and urged the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) to go the whole hog to disclose the identities of the people behind the huge loss of oil revenue to the nation.

The group applauded the manifest resolve of the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Alhaji Mele Kyari to render full disclosure of information available to his good offices on the identities of those economic saboteurs within and outside Government and security forces perpetrating diversions and outright thefts of massive crude oil resources from the Niger Delta Oil producing Communities.

Besides, HURIWA has urged the hierarchy of the NNPC to go ahead to name and shame those behind oil theft across the country just as the Rights group stated that millions of Nigerians look up to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to ensure that those who engage in thefts of Nigeria’s crude oil resources are prosecuted to a logical conclusion and the stolen crude and assets traceable to these economic saboteurs taken over by the Government of Nigeria on behalf of the good people of Nigeria.

HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, asked the Federal Government to set up an independent team of forensic auditors on crude oil to conduct investigation and publicly announce their findings within one month.

The group said the composition of the Independent Forensic investigators by President Muhammadu Buhari would mean that the Federal Government is determined to frontally address the numerous issues and revelations raised by the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd, Mele Kyari even as the Rights group urged the President to personally ensure that the life of the GMD of NNPC being threatened by crude oil thieves is protected so Nigerians will be able to reap the fruits of the exemplary character of the GMD of NNPC in this instance to expose the gangsters diverting and stealing crude oil resources which is directly an action meant to destroy the economic mainstay of the Country.

Under his auspices, Kyari had engaged private security firms to rid the Niger Delta of oil theft after the military’s failure and alleged collusion with oil bunkering actors. Kyari also recently lamented the spate of oil theft in the country, saying those that engage in the act use technology to lay pipelines.

Kyari also alleged threats to his life, after he said that the NNPC uncovered an illegal oil connection from Forcados Terminal that operated for nine years with about 600,000 barrels per day of oil lost in the same period.

Similarly, a former militant leader, Government Ekpemepulo, popularly known as Tompolo, said about 58 illegal oil points were discovered so far since the operation to end oil theft on the waterways of Delta and Bayelsa states began. A vessel arrested by Tompolo’s security firm was also burnt by the Nigerian military with the authority defending the destruction without investigation or any arrest.

Commenting, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The all-out war on crude oil theft declared by the GMD of NNPC and the threats to his life made by crude oil thieves could be an indication that his hands may be clean of the charges of conspiracy.

“From available indicators, Kyari has so far put out deep insights on the modalities adopted by crude oil thieves and these are veritable tools for the Federal Government to use as sound reason to set up an independent team of forensic auditors on crude oil thefts with wide-ranging mandate.

“The team should have a time frame of one month to conduct investigation and publicly announce their findings by way of naming individuals within government, military and other circles who are involved.”

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