The House of Representatives has invited the Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Akali Baba, to appear before its ad-hoc committee investigating the alleged loss of over $2.4 billion in revenue from the illegal sale of 48 million barrels of crude oil in 2015, including crude oil export from 2014 till date.
The House in a letter dated January 25, 2023, signed by the committee Chairman, Hon. Mark Terseer Gbillah and addressed to the IGP, also directed the police boss to restrain AIG Garba Baba Umar, the Interpol National Central Bureau (NCB) in Nigeria and any other police officer and department from proceeding with any actions that will interfere with the statutory mandate and investigations of the committee and the House as it relates to the matter.
The House noted that the committee had written to the IGP in a letter with ref. NASS/HR/9/AD-HOC/104/12/2022/1/015, dated January 12, 2023.
The letter stated that in deference and observance of the committee’s statutory mandate and powers and in line with the whistleblower policy of the Nigerian government, Macaulay through his legal counsel voluntarily approached the House committee with information allegedly corroborating one of the issues under investigation by the committee, the alleged loss of over $2.4 billion in revenue by the federal government of Nigeria from the illegal sale of 48 million barrels of crude oil export in 2015.
“From information provided to the committee by Mr. Macaulay, this infraction was allegedly perpetrated by very high-ranking officials of the Nigerian government, some of whom are still serving while others are deceased and Mr. Macaulay alleges that the invitation from AIG Garba Baba Umar is orchestrated by these officials to intimidate, illegally incarcerate, and muzzle him from unearthing the truth about the circumstances surrounding this allegation,” part of the letter read.
The House said that Macauley alleged that in 2015, a similar tactic was employed by some officials in collaboration with a certain Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police, Mich Ogbizi (rtd) then in charge of Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID); Area 10 Abuja, who forced his sibling at gunpoint to sign an undertaking not to reveal any information related to this allegation.
He also alleged that in furtherance of the attempt by these officials to conceal the truth, suit No. FCT/HC/BW/CR/134/19 was filed in May 2019 by the Nigerian government through the office of the Attorney General of the Federation against him, his siblings and two foreign nationals (who were also knowledgeable about the facts) based on a frivolous alleged petition by a faceless civil society organisation (CSO) called Advocacy for Good Governance and Free Nigeria, which claimed they were a criminal group.
The whistleblower further alleged that the suit against them was curiously discontinued by the Federal Government because of the incriminating information revealed against these high-ranking officials by some of the exhibits the prosecution tendered as evidence against them.
“Mr. Macaulay believes the invitation by AIG Garba Baba Umar might be an attempt to resurrect the so-called petition by the still faceless Advocacy for Good Governance and Free Nigeria or fabricate a new petition against him and his siblings in order to illegally incarcerate them and prevent them from revealing the truth to the committee and the Nigerian people. He has therefore appealed for the intervention of the committee and the House of Representatives because of his fear for their safety and their lives.
“As representatives of the Nigerian people and custodians of the law, the committee takes any perceived injustice against a Nigerian or Foreign citizen in Nigeria very seriously and espouses the fundamental human right of fair hearing and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty for all concerned.”
The lawmakers stated that if the information and evidence in the committee’s possession are corroborated at the end of the committee’s investigation, then there is valid cause for the concern expressed by the whistleblower, but noted that the committee also recognises the duty of care it owes all concerned parties and will hereby like to also request that:
“The Inspector General of Police should restrain AIG Garba Baba Umar and the Interpol NCB in Nigeria from proceeding with the above-mentioned invitation of the committee’s witness, Mr Andrew Macaulay and any investigation related to this individual, his siblings and foreign nationals associated with this allegation as the impartiality and transparency of their intentions and investigation has been questioned and is alleged to be compromised.
“The Inspector General of Police provides the committee with a certified true copy of the petition, complaint or allegation received by the Inspector General’s Office or any police department in Nigeria against Mr. Andrew Macaulay for which he was invited by AIG Garba Baba Umar, the Head of Interpol NCB in Nigeria on 19th January 2023 including a certified true copy of the approved referral of this petition, complaint or allegation to AIC Carba Baba Umar and the Interpol NCB in Nigeria for investigation.
“The Inspector General of Police refers any legitimate petition, complaint or allegation against Mr. Andrew, his siblings and two foreign nationals to the Police Special Fraud Unit (PSFU) at FCID Area 10 Abuja or any police department with competent jurisdiction and should ensure impartiality and transparency of the investigation and clearly observing the statutory rights of every Nigerian citizen as enshrined in sections 35 and 36 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) which the committee will also not relent in monitoring.
“The Inspector General of Police provides the committee with a certified true copy of the petition by Advocacy for Good Governance and Free Nigeria against Mr. Andrew, his siblings and two foreign nationals which was forwarded to the Inspector General of Police by the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation via a letter Ref. DPPA/AGFN/123/19 dated 22nd March 2019 and a certified true copy of the referral of this petition by the Inspector General of police to the DIG FCID for investigation.
“The Inspector General of Police provides the committee with a certified true copy of the detailed (not summary) report of the investigation of this petition in 2019 by the FCID and a certified true copy of the alleged undertaking signed by any of the accused parties.
“The Inspector General of Police appears before the committee at 2p.m on Thursday 2nd February 2023 in meeting room 460, House of Representatives’ New Building, National Assembly Complex, Three Arms Zone, Abuja along with AIG Garba Umar Baba and DIG Mich Ogbizi (rtd) to brief the committee on the investigation or otherwise by the Nigeria Police of this allegation of illegal sale of $2.4 billion worth of crude and the allegations that the police was conscripted by high ranking government officials to persecute Nigerian and foreign citizens and prevent them from exposing the parties involved in this illegal sale.”