A social crusader group, the Grassroot Movement Against Corruption (GMAC), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately direct the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), the National Security Adviser and Directorate of State Security (DSS) to beam their searchlights on the alleged $2billion corruption scandal in the award of OPL 245 Zabazaba Agip/Shell JV Project.
The group, in an open letter to the President, accused Agip and Shell of planning to work against the re-election of President Buhari in 2019, saying that the two companies have no reason to award the OPL 245 Zabazaba Project to Bumi Armada Berhad (BAB), the highest bidder for the job.
According to the group: “Our findings revealed that Agip and Shell have perfected plans to award the contract to Bumi Armada Berhad that bidded highest as against Bluewater/ Saipem. Bluewater / Saipem bidded for 5,426,500,714 USD (98%), Bumi Armada Berhad 7,622,412,019 USD (134%) and 7, 630,575,309 USD (135%) .There must be transparency in the award of the Zabazaba project.
“Mr. president, this should not be allowed as it will rubbish the fight against corruption of your government. This $2billion fraud that is being spearheaded by Agip and Shell is to fight against the re-election of the president in 2019.
“We know that the president is not aware of this sudden manipulation by the two oil giant companies that are not pleased with the president’s fight against corruption, hence we are imploring you to direct the EFCC, DSS and National Security Adviser to investigate this unholy act of the two oil giants,” GMAC stated.
“Mr. President, this extra $2billion bribe is to be given to a well known Nigerian and former Petroleum Minister whose nephew is linked to Bumi Armada Berhad. This fraud money is to be used against the re-election of Mr. President in 2019”, the group added.
The open letter was signed by its President – Alhaji Mohammed Haku; Secretary – Hon. Bode Aremu and Public Relations Officer – Comrade Ebi Tutu.
According to the group also: “The corruption scandal of $2billion if allowed to see the light of the day will dent the image of the administration of Mr. President and it will be an international disgrace to the Nigerian government. The two oil companies are out to use the difference of the award amount ($2 billion) to fund the 2019 election against the president.
“The two companies must be questioned on why they are giving the job to the highest bidder. People around the president should investigate this wide scale fraud because it is a big embarrassment to the Nigerian government. These two oil giants are out to sponsor the 2019 election against the President with the extra $2billion. This sudden change of the award of the contract by the two companies to the highest bidder should not be tolerated.
“Those at the helm of affairs of these companies must be brought to book. The Nigerian government should urgently invite the Managing Director of Agip for questioning over this manipulation. Those around the president, if they love him and wants him to succeed in his fight against corruption must act fast to investigate the activities of the two companies regarding the award of the Zabazaba project.
“Those to carry out the investigation may not necessarily wait for a directive from the president before they act, delay on the matter should be avoided because the two companies are very smart and so they must be investigated quickly.
“They are awarding to Bumi Armada Berhad to pay somebody and nobody in Nigeria, in Italy, in Saipem is saying anything about it. If this is allowed to take place under the current administration, then the fight against corruption is useless. Corruption must be uprooted from the system, all and sundry must rise against Corruption in our nation.
“Our investigation also revealed that in a letter dated August 30, 2017 by, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote, the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board to the Managing Director, Nigerian Agip Exploration Ltd, it was clearly stated the bidders that have provisionally complied are therefore qualified for an award recommendation, contingent upon the satisfaction of the board prior to contract award.”