• Monday, April 22, 2024
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Ex-UK cop probes alleged fraud in Nigeria’s oil tracking scheme

Tarique Ghaffur, a former high-ranking London police officer is diving into allegations of corruption surrounding a Nigerian government contract.

Ghaffur, an assistant commissioner in the Metropolitan Police before his retirement, is leading an investigation into the awarding of a contract for a cargo and crude oil tracking scheme.

Donnington Nigeria Ltd, a company passed over for the contract, alleges the award to Belgian firm Antaser BV was fraudulent. They believe the contract was intended to benefit those involved in oil theft, a significant problem in Nigeria.

The firm is also in legal tussle with Antaser Belgium and Antaser Nig Ltd, Velocity Logistics and Maritime Services, Winslow Logistics, Equal Logistics and Saham Crystal Investment Nig Ltd and individuals, the purported beneficiaries of the project to implement the Advanced Cargo Declaration/Cargo Tracking Note Scheme.

Donnington, which alleges wrongdoing and breach of extant laws in the contract award, engaged the services of Ghaffur to dig into the contract award, as it alleges that the award was in breach of relevant provisions of the Public Procurement Act.

This was disclosed in a statement issued by Mohammed Sani, the managing director of the company, who stated, “We have some compelling information which leads us to suspect that wrongdoing within the high levels of the Federal Government, its ministries and agencies, has taken place.

“Accordingly, we have engaged Tarique Ghaffur, a former Assistant Commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police, and his team of public corruption and economic crime experts, to investigate such wrongdoing, which appears to have its foundations in the continuation of thefts of crude oil.”

It is widely believed by a cross-section of Nigerians that government officials and top brass of the military are complicit in the crude oil theft.

“Former President Olusegun Obasanjo recently said that one of the reasons why Nigeria’s economy is in ruins is that while other oil-producing countries have records of their oil production, Nigeria cannot account for hers due to theft.

“And this investigation by ex-Scotland Yard’s crime chief would be welcomed by commonplace Nigerians, who are currently lumbering through a historic hardship, amid soaring prices and high cost of living,” it stated.

The statement stated that Kroll Associates UK, a financial investigation company, was also engaged to investigate and expose the beneficial owners of the six companies favoured by the Nigerian government – using money trail to link the real owners and it was based on their preliminary report that a criminal investigation became necessary.

The firm stated that its efforts to get the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to react to the issue were unsuccessful.