By Patience Danjuma
The Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property has accused five oil companies of failing to remit over one billion dollars in taxes and royalties to the Federal Government.
Speaking during a press briefing in Abuja on Monday, the Chairman of the panel, Okoi Obono-Obla, accused the yet-to-be-identified oil companies of being complicit in the economic challenges facing Nigeria.
He said the panel had already commenced investigation of the companies to determine the extent of their culpability.
He said, “We are investigating some of these companies for tax evasion, failure to pay royalties. Five oil companies have not remitted over one billion dollars to government. We will get to the root of the matter.”
While reeling out other achievements of the panel in 2018, Obono-Obla said that with the Executive Order 6, which had to do with travel ban, the panel had compiled the names of about 39 public officers who were under investigation.
“We have compiled their names and submitted to the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service so that they would be placed on travel ban,” he said.
On the Panama Papers, he said the panel was in partnership with the Nigerian Intelligence Agency (NIA) investigating Nigerians allegedly implicated in the Paradise Panama Papers.
“Findings will be made available to Nigerians in due course.
“The panel is investigating the Tumsah brothers – Tijani Tumsah, Vice Chairman, Presidential Initiative on North East (PINE) and Ibrahim Tumsah Director, Finance and Accounts, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing for alleged abuse of office and corruption.
“The panel has recovered an assortment of 86 brand new luxury and sophisticated cars from the duo; 23 of these vehicles are bullet-proof without the requisite permits.
“We have since obtained an interim order of forfeiture from FCT High Court in Abuja in respect of these properties,” he said.
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