The Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property says an oil giant, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (ExxonMobil), is indebted to the Federal Government to the tune of $1.6bn.
The money translates to about N684bn at N360 to $1 exchange rate.
According to the panel, which is led by Mr Okoi Obono-Obla, the money represents the balance of the renewal fee of $2.5bn (N900bn) for three oil blocks, Oil Mining Leases 67, 68 and 70, which the company has allegedly refused to pay since 2009.
The panel’s chairman, who said the investigation into the indebtedness was ignited by a petition by human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), told our correspondent that the SPIP was planning to report the company to the United States of American government. He stated, “The petition against Mobil was filed before the panel by one of Nigeria’s illustrious lawyers, Femi Falana, SAN.
USA has a law known as Foreign Corrupt Practices Act 1977 which prohibits American companies doing business abroad from indulging in corrupt practices; the panel shall lodge a complaint against Mobil to the USA government.
“USA will open a criminal investigation against Mobil for economic sabotage against the Federal Government of Nigeria.”
Falana confirmed to our correspondent on Sunday that he petitioned the panel to investigate the alleged payment of only $600m (N216bn) out of payable fee of $2.5bn (N900bn) for the renewal of the three oil blocks since 2009.