NGO petitions EFCC, seeks probe of Addax petroleum for ‘bribery and corruption’

efcc 

The Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) resource centre has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the bribery and corruption allegation against Addax petroleum.

HEDA said the report of Deloitte, an audit firm, indicted the China state-owned firm of corrupt practices in collaboration with some Nigerian officials as well as law firms.

In a petition sent to Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of EFCC, Olanrewaju Suraju, HEDA chairman, said the centre is requesting a full-scale investigation of the allegations and subsequent prosecution of all indicted officials.

HEDA cited a media report in which Addax was said to have paid “millions of dollars” in bribes to Nigerian officials to secure “juicy” contracts in the oil industry.

It said the media report followed Deloitte’s findings that a significant proportion of Nigerian contracts by Addax management involved bribing of government and other related officials as well as kickbacks.

The petition reads: “The audit revelations on the misuse of Addax corporate funds came amidst moves by the company, a subsidiary of Sinopec International Petroleum Exploration and Petroleum Corporation to wind up some of its operations across the world.

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“It is also noteworthy that in March 2017, Addax’s chief executive officer, Zhang Yi, and the legal director, were arrested and charged in Geneva with the offence of paying millions of dollars in bribe to some lawyers and an unnamed company in Nigeria.

“While in June, Addax Petroleum to pay 31 Swiss Francs (about N12 Billion) fine in Geneva to settle the bribery allegations.”

It cited some of the alleged bribery allegations to include payments for questionable transactions to four Nigeria Lawyers “in excess of $20 million, payments for “questionable ” projects/allegations of use of company funds to bribe Nigerian government officials.

It added: “The allegations included the use of company funds to buy a 75,000 Swiss francs (about N30 million) chopard watch intended as a “gift” for the then Nigerian minister of petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke. The wristwatch is suspected not to have reached Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.

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“Another allegation was the use of a Bermuda based company called “Winfield” to purchase about $150,000 worth of gifts to an unnamed Nigerian official.”

HEDA said the investigation had become necessary and urgent in view of the “monumental cases of bribery and corruption that has become commonplace in the petroleum industry — a sector that constitutes the major economic strength of our country.”

“Thus, all requisite investigations and actions aimed at ridding the industry of all corrupt practices should be taken with a sense of priority and urgency with a view to serving as deterrence to companies in the industry,” it added.