17 December 2014, Monrovia – A contestant in Liberia’s upcoming Special Senatorial Elections and a former National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) boss Christopher Neyor has termed the sale of four oil blocks by the government of Liberia as illegal under the prevailing New Petroleum Law adopted June 2012 and has threatened a lawsuit against the entity.
D. Neyor at a news conference on Tuesday said the process leading to the sale of the oil blocks violated Chapter IV, Section 4.4 of the New Petroleum Law.Neyorthus threatened to file a lawsuit against NOCAL for the sale of four oil blocks under dubious circumstances. “I am preparing an affidavit with additional factual information as part of the filing to our high court,” he said.
“As a stakeholder and one whose leadership our people look up to especially in the oil sector, I [Neyor] have consulted lawyers to file an injunction to the honorable Supreme Court against ratification of these illegally obtained oil blocks.” Dr. Neyor said that he would be forwarding information in his possession to the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission [LACC] for investigation.
“I have strong reasons to believe that some stealing is being perpetrated against our country and following the advice of counsel will be forwarding the information,” he said.”I have written to the LACC for opening of a full investigation into the hurried and unwise sale of these oil blocks.”
“It is a pity that not only were these oil blocks sold in the midst of the Ebola epidemic and against the opposition of a cross section of the citizenry, but the entire sale process was illegal under the prevailing New Petroleum Law of Liberia adopted June of 2012.” – Dr. Christopher Z. Neyor
He told journalists that the bidding process, evaluation of bids and award of contracts were outsourced to a private accounting firm adding that it contradicts the law. “All of the evaluation work was done in secret in London, the United Kingdom,” the former CEO of NOCAL said. He noted that a fragment of the Hydrocarbon Technical Committee was used in a controlled and unprofessional manner as a rubber stamp.
He disclosed that those were used in an attempt to legitimize a predetermined objective not in the interest of Liberia. “Moreover trained Liberian legal and technical experts within NOCAL were sidelined in the entire process for sales of these oil blocks,” he said.
“Four oil blocks have been sold under dubious circumstances and now President [Ellen Johnson Sirleaf] has asked the lawmakers to defer their break again for the sole purpose of ratifying contracts for this illegally sold national asset that belong to all of us.” Dr. Neyor explained that the speed of the process could lead one to conclude that the Liberian people have been taken for a ride again.
“It is a pity that not only were these oil blocks sold in the midst of the Ebola epidemic and against the opposition of a cross section of the citizenry, but the entire sale process was illegal under the prevailing New Petroleum Law of Liberia adopted June of 2012,” he claimed.
He furthered that the government is insensitive to the plight of Liberians by selling the oil blocks while people are dying from Ebola, noting that unemployment remains high and the education system a mess, while a small group of people are living at the expense of the vast majority of the citizenry.
“Our people cannot be dying from Ebola, our young people across the country remain unemployed, the education system is in a mess, roads to densely populated communities in our country are deplorable and a small group in the government forms a criminal syndicate at the expense of all of us,” he added.
The lawsuit is the second by a former official in the oil and gas sector in recent times suing the Oil company. Harry Greaves, former LPRC Managing Director is also suing NOCAL.
Neyor: ‘Four Oil Blocks Have Been Sold’
Press statement of Mr. Christopher Z. Neyor President & CEO of Morweh Energy Group and Senatorial candidate for Montserrado County on the illegal sale of four oil blocks by the government of Liberia