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NNPC dragged to court over failure to account for $2.04 billion, N164 billion in oil revenues



The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has initiated a lawsuit against the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, citing the company’s inability to account for and clarify the location of the purported missing $2.04 billion and N164 billion in oil revenues. 

This is contained in a press release statement on the official website of the group on Sunday.  

SERAP said the lawsuit was prompted by claims detailed in the Auditor General of the Federation’s 2020 audited report. 

According to the report, NNPC did not transfer the funds to the Federation Account, suggesting that the money might have been misappropriated.

In case number FHC/ABJ/CS/549/2024, filed last Friday at the Federal High Court in Abuja, SERAP is requesting an order of mandamus to instruct and require the NNPC to detail and clarify the location of the missing $2.04 billion and N164 billion in oil revenues, as recorded in the report by the Auditor-General.

SERAP is seeking “an order of mandamus to compel the NNPC to hand over suspected perpetrators to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for investigation and prosecution.”

SERAP is also seeking “an order of mandamus to compel the NNPC to ensure the full recovery and remittance of the missing $2.04 billion and N164 billion into the Federation Account.”

In the suit, SERAP is arguing that: “There is a legitimate public interest in providing the details sought. The NNPC has a legal responsibility  to account for and explain the whereabouts of the disappeared money.”

SERAP is arguing that, “The missing oil revenues have further damaged the already precarious economy in the country and contributed to high levels of deficit spending by the government.”

SERAP is also arguing that, “Without the full recovery and remittance of the missing USD$2.04 billion and N164 billion oil revenues, the dire economic situation may worsen, and Nigerians will continue to be denied access to basic public goods and services.”

According to SERAP, the Auditor-General has consistently reported on the disappearance of public funds from the NNPC for many years.  

SERAP said Nigerians have continued to suffer due to these missing oil revenues. 

The legal action was initiated on behalf of SERAP by its attorneys, Kolawole Oluwadare and Kehinde Oyewumi.  

Oyewumi said that the alleged missing oil revenues indicate a broader problem of accountability within the NNPCL. This is a systemic issue that persists across the institution, they said.

They also mentioned that the lawsuit further connects these financial discrepancies directly to the institution’s continuous failure to adhere to principles of transparency and accountability.

“The failure by the NNPC to account for and explain the whereabouts of the disappeared money is a grave violation of the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended], the Freedom of Information Act, national anticorruption laws, and the country’s obligations under the UN Convention against Corruption.”

“Had the NNPCL and its subsidiaries accounted for and remitted the disappeared public funds into the Federation Account, it is likely that more funds would have been allocated to the fulfillment of economic and social rights of Nigerians, such as increased spending on public goods and services,” they added.

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