A Civil Society Groups coalition have condemned alleged blackmail and extortion against the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) and other government agencies over allegations of 48 million barrels missing crude oil.
The co-convener of the group, Mr Declan Ihekaire made the condemnation at a news briefing in Lagos on Friday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the House of Representatives in December 2022, resolved to probe the alleged missing 48 million barrels of crude oil purportedly sold in China by some Nigerian officials.
The resolution followed a motion moved by Ibrahim Isiaka (APC – Ogun), who claimed that the allegation was provided by a whistleblower, Mr George Uboh.
However, the house adhoc committee that investigated the alleged missing of 48 barrels of crude oil on June 7, had said that the claim was false and unsubstantiated, urging the EFCC, ICPC, and Police to arrest, prosecute purveyors of allegations.
The co-convener decried that Oboh’s continuous attempts to blackmail and extort NNPCL and other government agencies not only undermined the rule of law but also compromised the integrity of the institutions.
He said though it stood firmly against any form of corruption within public and private institutions, however, appropriate channels for addressing such concerns were through established legal processes, not through blackmail or extortion.
According to him, the coalition firmly believes in the principles of due process and the rule of law. Every citizen, regardless of their status or affiliation, is entitled to a fair and just legal proceeding.
“We find it necessary to shed light on the disturbing actions of Mr George Uboh, who has been engaged in a relentless campaign of serial blackmail and extortion against Kyari and other government agencies including corporate institutions.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Uboh upon, a self styled whistle blower who is known to have allegedly published false information against hundreds of individuals and organisations, in Nigeria, over the past years.
“It may interest you to know that it was the same Uhoh that ran to the National Assembly to constitute a panel toward unravelling his petition.
“After the national assembly dismissed his petition and cleared NNPCL of such lies, he ran to the court.
“His activities, have earned him several arrests and convictions.”
The co-convener called on Uboh and his gang, to immediately cease attempts at blackmail and extortion and to respect the legal processes already in motion.
He said no individual should place themselves above the law or seek to manipulate it for personal gain.
Ihekaire noted that the court was the appropriate forum to address the concerns raised, and they trust that justice would be served in accordance with established legal norms.
He urged the public to remain vigilant when faced with sensationalist claims or attempts to manipulate public opinion, adding that it was their collective responsibility to uphold the principles of justice, fairness, and due process.
The co-convener reiterated their commitment to the rule of law and due process, calling on all stakeholders to support the proper legal channels to address any concerns within the society. (NAN)