President Muhammadu Buhari said on Wednesday that the Federal Government was examining pieces of evidence that would lead to the arrest and prosecution of some former ministers and other government officials for looting and stealing of Nigeria’s crude oil.
Buhari said this at the Nigerian Embassy in Washington while answering questions at an interactive session with Nigerians in the Diaspora.
He lamented that some of the affected officials were involved in illegal sale and diversion of crude oil monies belonging to the Federal Government to multiple private accounts abroad.
“We are now looking for evidences of shipping some of our crude, their destinations and where and which accounts they were paid and in which country.
“When we get as much as we can get as soon as possible, we will approach those countries to freeze those accounts and go to court, prosecute those people and let the accounts be taken to Nigeria.
“The amount of money is mind-burgling but we have started getting documents.
“We have started getting documents where some of the senior people in government, former ministers, some of them had as much as five accounts and were moving about one million barrel per day on their own.
“We have started getting those documents. Whichever documents we are able to get and subsequently trace the sale of the crude or transfer of money from Ministries, Departments, Central Bank.
“We will ask for the cooperation of those countries to return those monies to federation accounts and we will use those documents to arrest those people and prosecute them. This, I promise Nigerians.“
The President frowned at the way and manner the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was being managed, saying his administration would check the excesses of the corporation.
He said that his administration was carefully studying the issue of oil subsidy.
He said that he would not be a party to taking decisions that would further impoverish Nigerians in the name of removing oil subsidy.
“When people ask you to remove subsidy ask them to define it. Who is subsidizing who? Let me make it clear. The people are gleefully saying `remove subsidy`.