From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Registered Trustees of Reality Advocacy Against Corruption and a team of private investigators and whistle-blowers have jointly asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to order the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC) and National Petroleum Investment Management Services(NAMPIS) to refund N29.3 trillion to the Federation Account being unremitted revenue from the sale of petroleum products between 2019 and 2020.
In a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1202/2021, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendants had between 2019 and 2020,manipulated the audited financial statements of the NNPC by fraudulently concealing Trillions of naira meant for the Federation Account.
The plaintiffs specifically alleged that Pedro Omontuemhen (Trading in the name and style of Price Water House Coopers); Abel Ataloy (Trading in the name and style of Muhtari Dangana and Co); Ismaila.M. Zakari (Trading under the name and style of Ahmed Zakari and Co); and Robert Odiachi (Trading under the name and style of SIAO Partners), listed as 5th to 8th defendants, had in the processes of auditing the financial statements of the NNPC allegedly manipulated its financial statements by producing two different Audited Financial Statements with one in the name of NAMPIS, showing accumulated confirmed profits of N7,487 Trillion, while another in the name of the NNPC showed loss of N1.529 Trillion.
The plaintiffs also includes First Synergy Resource Limited; Nubia Tigris Limited, Golden Dreams Nigeria Enterprises Limited, Sanusi Mammam Muri and Fidelis Uzonwanne.
The plaintiffs who attached relevant financial documents to back up their claims further alleged that audited financial statements by the 5th to 8th defendants showed the sum of $14. 5 USD, ascribed to the payment to the payment of tax by NAMPIS; the sum of $25.8 billion USD ascribed to payment of “dividends” by NAMPIS to unknown persons; the sum of $13billion USD being value of National Oil Assets (Oil blocks) unlawfully transfered to NPDC/ NAMPIS instead of the Federation Account; the sum of $5.1 billion USD being duplicated costs in both NNPC and NAMPIS audited financial statement etc.
They further alleged that the auditors also received billions in fees for “auditing NAMPIS” when in fact, NAMPIS is not a company known to law.
According to the originating sumons filed by a team of lawyers; Edwin Agbu, Mike Bello and Amarachi Osuji, the plaintiffs alleged that in 2020, the 1st defendant (NNPC), again connived with the 5th to 8th defendants and continue with the fraud in the audited financial statements of NAMPIS and that of the NNPC to wit: concealing retained earnings by over-bloating cost; concealing the sum of N9.940 Trillions being retained earnings under NAMPIS ‘Audited Financial Statements of 2019 and that of 2020 carried forward: paying secret “dividend” and / or payments under NAMPIS’ retained earnings.
That they (plaintiffs), drew the attention of the 1st to 4th defendants; NNPC, Federal Government of Nigeria, Attorney General of the Federation and Federal Ministry of Finance, to these anomalies under the policy of whistle-blowing and demanded the refund of the confirmed sums into the Federation Account and payment of their 5% commission on the refund sums.
They claim that the monies is in the accounts of NAMPIS, NNPC etc but that the defendants have failed to refund the same to the federation account within the time demanded by them.
The plaintiffs are therefore urging the court to make the following declaratory order: ” a declaration that NAMPIS not being an incorporated company known to any law, cannot purport to produce audited financial statement for official national records as it did in the circumstances.
“A declaration that NAMPIS, not being an incorporated company shall not, cannot and could not be the operator of bank accounts ascribed to it in the purported audited financial statements by the defendants and also could not have paid taxes ascribed to it in the audited financial statements.
A declaration that the audited financial statements of NAMPIS titled: ” Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(National Petroleum Investment Management Services) annual report and financial statements and other national disclosures of the federations upstream petroleum activities for the year ended 31December, 2019 and that of 2020 audited financial statements as at 31 December 2020 ended are audited financial statements belonging to the NNPC.
They are seeking an order of the court directing the NNPC for the refund of all the monies concealed and unremitted to the federation account including the sums of N7.487 Trillion or the sum of $24.5bn; N4.586, 918 or its equivalent sums of $12, 102, 687, 039.00 USD, being total comprehensive income of NAMPIS under its audited financial statements for December 31, 2020.
An order against the 5th to 8th defendants for the refund of N2.625 Trillion or its dollar equivalent of $14.5 bn USD to the federation account being total purported tax costs ascribed to NAMPIS in its audited financial statements by the NNPC and another $4.149bn USD being total unremitted monies of Profit After Tax withheld under NAMPIS in its audited financial statements in 2016 by the NNPC.
An order of court directing the Federal Government, Attorney General of the Federation and Federal Ministry of Finance, to pay the plaintiffs 5 percent sum of the total sums refunded or refundable by the 1st and 5th to 8th defendants in the suit in line with the Whistle -blowing policy of the federal government.