Ade Adesomoju, Abuja
The Special Presidential Investigation Panel for Recovery of Public Property has summoned the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr Mele Kyari, over alleged $1.8bn owed the Federal Government by Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (ExxonMobil).
The summons signed by the panel’s Chairman, Mr Okoi Obono-Obla, a copy of which was obtained by The PUNCH on Tuesday, directed Kyari to appear before the panel “unfailingly” on July 30.
The letter with acknowledgment stamp of NNPC GMD’s office dated July 22, 2019 was titled, ‘Summons to appear before the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for Recovery of Public Property to explain what Mobil Producing Nigeria Limited paid for renewal fees for Oil Mining Licences (OMLs) 67, 68 and 70’.
The PUNCH had exclusively reported that the SPIPRPP, led by Obono-Obla, was investigating a petition by human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), who accused Mobil of only paying about $600m out of the payable renewal fees of $2.5bn for three oil blocks in 2009.
The newspaper also obtained the panel’s June 13, 2018 letter addressed to Mobil’s Managing Director at Mobil House, Lagos, giving the company three weeks to pay the alleged outstanding balance of about $1.9bn to the Federation Account.
ExxonMobil had denied the indebtedness in series of correspondences addressed to the panel including its reply dated July 5, 2018.
But dissatisfied with Mobil’s explanation, the SPIRPP issued the summons dated July 19, 2019, and which bore the NNPC’s acknowledgment stamp dated July 22, 2019, to the NNPC’s GMD, Kyari.
It asked Kyari to appear before the panel “unfailingly” at its head office in Abuja by 12pm on July 30.
The summons also read, “Your corporation is expected upon appearance to throw light concerning a letter from Nigerian Petroleum Corporation dated December 19, 2011, to the effect that the renewal fees due from Mobil Producing Nigeria (ExxonMobil) for OMLs 67, 68 and 70 was at the agreed fees of $665m.
“You are requested to bring along the following documents:
“NNPC letter dated December 19, 2019 addressed to the Director, Department of Petroleum Resources titled, ‘RE: Renewal of Oil Minning Lease for OML 67, 68 and 70’; any other document(s) it consider relevant to the matter.”