by Jackson Ude
About 100million barrels of crude oil illegally shipped from Nigeria in 2015, kept in tank farms in Qingdao, China’s eastern Shandong Province, was secretly sold for $800million, and the money shared by ranking members of the President Mohammadu Buhari cabal, investigations have revealed.
Buhari’s late Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari, Late Group General Manager, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Maikanti Baru, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, Minister for Power, Saleh Mamman, as well as the current GMD, NNPC, Mele Kyari were reported to have shared of the $800 million.
Also reported to have participated in the sharing was the now suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, Air Commodore Mohammed Umar Rtd, former Director-General, State Security Services, Mallam Lawal Daura.
Codenamed “The China Deal” illegal crude oil sale has become a subject of litigation in far-away Mexico following the refusal of the cabal to pay 5% of the value of 48 million barrels to SAMANO, an Americo- Mexican company that discovered the abandoned crude in Qingdao, Zhoushan and Rizhao, both in China.
Shortly before the 2015 general elections, several vessels of crude left the shores of Nigeria for China. By the time the crude berthed in the Chinese Port in Qingdao, oil buyers backed off after learning of a change of government.
The crude which had been discharged in several tank farms in the port city of Qingdao, Zhoushan, and Rizhao, were abandoned.
Upon Buhari’s inauguration, SAMANO approached certain officials of the new administration, alerting them of the Nigerian crude oil abandoned in China.
According to a court paper exclusively obtained, SAMANO, received a letter in August 2016 from Hamman Saleh, now Minister of Power, through his company, Northon Oil and Gas Services, inviting them to Nigeria to meet with Government officials to discuss the matter.
Sources confirmed that the invitation letter to SAMANO came after the company refused to send details of the found crude via electronic means.
A team from SAMANO, Mexico, led by Messrs. José Salazar Tinajero, arrived in Nigeria. He was accompanied by A. Nick Cadena, and Juan Carlos Jaramillo García, and they held a meeting at No 1 Gado Nasko Close, Asokoro, Abuja, the home of Air Commodore Umar, a close ally of President Buhari.
After the meeting, and with Buhari’s approval, Umar and other members of the cabal, including Mele Kyari, then GGM Crude, NNPC, set out to locate the crude oil
When Umar and Kyari got to China, they connived with others back in Nigeria and agreed to declare that the information was a hoax and that there was no crude oil in any of the tank farms in China.
According to a sworn affidavit, Umar and late Abba Kyari had assured SAMANO of 5 percent of the total value of 48 million barrels of crude oil found. However, to their shock, between October and November 2015, SAMANO officials who had returned to Mexico, received intelligence from China that the crude had been sold.
The affidavit claimed that when SAMANO confronted the Nigerian government about their own share of the sale of the crude, they were rebuffed and some of their officials blackmailed, arrested, and locked up in Nigeria.
The affidavit alleged that the GMD NNPC, Mr. Kyari, had told a SAMANO representative via WhatsApp chat that the late Abba Kyari and Umar had taken advantage of the information they provided and sold-off the crude and that they should forget about the deal, promising to make things up for SAMANO.
A very reliable source said that after the sale, the Nigerian officials shared the proceeds and told President Buhari that the buyers were no longer willing to buy the crude because it had no DNA.
According to the sources, crude oil secretly shipped to China in 2015 was over 100 million barrels. SAMANO was only able to trace 48 million barrels. The cabal was said to have found an additional 52 million barrels stored in other tank farms in China and sold them off.
SAMANO’s lawyer, Joaquin Esparza Mendez, said that the Mexican Court could not continue with the matter for lack of jurisdiction. He said the Judge had advised they file the case in Nigeria since the Whistleblowers Act for which they are relying on is domiciled in Nigeria.
Sources said that officials of SAMANO have no faith in the Nigerian judicial system and are very unlikely to file the case there. Instead, the Mexican company is said to be preparing to file the matter in a court in London once the pandemic is over.
I am in possession of documents relating to the crude deal, Vessels used, WhatsApp Chats, and others and will make them public as we continue to dig into the dirty deals.