SAMANO: NNPC sues firm over 48m barrels stolen crude

August 2, 2020

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said it is preparing to take legal action against SAMANO SA DE CV, a Mexican international oil firm.

Counsel to NNPC, Afe Babalola & Co., disclosed this in a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday.

NNPC accused SAMANO of attempting to swindle the Nigerian government of over $125 million.

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Babalola said that NNPC has already initiated plans to seek redress “for the injury to the Corporation and its officials through series of falsehoods peddled by SAMANO and its agents”.

The Nation’s oil Company through its lawyer,Babalola & Co, stated emphatically that these publications are replete with falsehoods, offensive, gold-digging and a calculated attempt by the said SAMANO SA DE CV working in concert with its local and international agents to intimidate, blackmail and extort money from the Federal Government of Nigeria and NNPC.

NNPC said: “SAMANO first contacted officials of the Federal Government of Nigeria sometime in 2015 indicating that it had been approached by an unnamed group in the People’s Republic of China to buy 48 Million Barrels of Nigerian Crude Oil which they believed to have been stolen from Nigeria.

“According to SAMANO, this crude had been stolen and shipped to China before the inception of President Buhari’s administration in 2015.”

Babalola continues: “SAMANO requested that it be allowed to purchase the stolen crude after its recovery by the Federal Government.

“Shortly thereafter, SAMANO indicated that it was not interested in buying the said stolen crude as it only obliged the Federal Government with the information to assist the President Buhari-led administration’s fight against corruption.

“The Federal Government and NNPC receive hundreds of spurious claims of this nature daily, and they always turn out to be false.

“NNPC also believed that based on the operations and state of the international crude oil market in 2015, it was impossible to ship 48 Million Barrels of Crude Oil from Nigeria to China without any record or trace of same.

On its part, SAMANO SA DE CV allegedly that some Nigerian government officials and NNPC staff colluded and sold the 48 million barrels of stolen Nigeria crude oil and shared the proceeds.

It spoke through its Solicitors, Messrs. Lords & Temple, in the letter signed by Gboyega Oyewole, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).

SAMANO accused the Nigerian government officials and NNPC of reneging on an agreement to pay it 5 per cent of whistleblower compensation for information furnished them over an oil deal.

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Mr Oyewole made reference to discussions between his client and the officials involved in 2015.

He cited an information about 48 million barrels of Nigerian Bonny Light Crude Oil allegedly stolen from Nigeria and stored in various ports and terminals in the People’s Republic of China.

The law firm said that SAMANO top officials, Messrs Marco Ramirez Ramirez and Jose Salazar Tinajero, had contacted the senior officials of the Nigeria government.

They offered to purchase the alleged stolen oil apparently abandoned by some unknown persons.

The firm claimed the officials used the information provided leading to the sale of the crude oil deposits.

It, however, expressed disappointment that it was not carried along in the sharing of the proceeds from the sale.

It also alleged that their firm was not paid the agreed five per cent whistleblower compensation.

However, the NNPC through its lawyers, said the reports were replete with falsehoods.

It also alleged that they were calculated attempts by SAMANO to intimidate, blackmail and extort money from the Nigerian government and NNPC.

NNPC accused SAMANO of being a criminal syndicate working in concert with local and international agents.

For the full NNPC response, read also:

NNPC Reacts to Alleged Stolen Crude In China

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