Oscarline Onwuemenyi 14 October 2015, Sweetcrude, Lagos – The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is expanding its investigation into allegations of fraud against the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.
A source at the anti-graft agency who spoke with our correspondent in Abuja explained that, “We are closing in on some of the former Minister’s business associates, including her aides. We are expanding our investigation to other players in and around the sector.”
According to the source, the Commission’s investigation was going beyond the ex-minister to ensure that all the perpetrators involved in looting or mismanaging the industry’s funds were brought to book.
“You know how this industry operates. Fraudulent acts occur in a chain fashion. The scandal in the sector runs through a syndicate. Some of these people will need to explain one or two things,” he said.
He added that the EFCC may, in the days to come, also interact with some former general managers, executive directors and group managing directors, GMDs, of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
“Preliminary investigation showed that one or two former GMDs may have resisted certain unsavoury developments in the oil sector when Mrs Alison-Madueke was in charge,” he added.
The source also confirmed that the Commission raided some offices and homes in Lagos and Abuja, and confiscated some documents and phones belonging to the suspects.
He added that the Commission is in the process of screening the call logs of the former Minister’s business associates, friends and selected players in the oil and gas sector as part of the investigation.
Six companies are being investigated by the anti-graft agency, but our source did not name the companies involved.
When asked about those companies, he said: “At least about six companies, but we will not release their identities so as not to jeopardise the investigation.”
Another source confirmed the screening of call logs of some suspected oil magnates and business associates of the former minister.