Lawyers Warn Buhari Against Inaugurating Pinnacle Oil Over Alleged Corruption

By NewsBits

Concerned lawyers under the banner of “Enugu State Lawyers For Good Governance,” have petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari to stay away from the proposed presidential commissioning of Pinnacle Oil Tank Farm at Lekki Free Zone Terminal, scheduled to take place on Saturday October 22, 2022.

The private legal practitioners and indigenes of Enugu State in a petition sighted by our reporter in Enugu and dated October 19, 2022, informed President Buhari of an alleged deceitful plan of the promoters of the company to use the name and presence of the president to confer false legitimacy to the sordid event and thereby gain undue political advantage thereof.

In the petition signed by F.N. Ezea Esq, the lawyers alleged that on Wednesday April 18, 2012, the House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Resolution No. (HR.ll20l2) indicated Pinnacle Oil and Gas and Peter Mbah, the promoter of the company, who is currently the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Enugu State, for fraud arising from fraudulent receipt of oil subsidy payments.

According to the concerned lawyers, on July 24, 2012, the Presidential Committee on verification and reconciliation of Fuel Subsidy payments chaired by Mr. Aigboje Aig -Imoukhuede (Managing Director/C.E.O of Access Bank Plc) also indicated Pinnacle Oil and Gas and Peter Mbah for fraudulently obtaining payments from the Petroleum Supports Fund.

Also, the petitioners alleged that on July 19, 2012, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission filed Charge No. ID/lI7c/2012: FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA V. PINNACLE OIL & GAS, Peter Mbah And 2 Others at the Registry of the High Court of Lagos State, Ikeja Judicial Division for conspiracy to commit advance fee fraud and fraud of $986,154,970.41 from the Petroleum Support Fund of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

They claimed that the said -Charge No. ID/117c/2012 is still pending at the Ikeja Division till date and has been allegedly stalled by Pinnacle Oil and Gas Limited and Peter Mbah.

“That Peter Mbah and Pinnacle Oil and Gas intend to use the Presidential Commissioning of the Pinnacle Tank Farm to launder its image of corruption and corrupt practices, for political gains”.

“Furthermore, the said Peter Mbah was also indicted in the money laundering activities perpetrated as Enugu State Commissioner for Finance, wherein the said Peter Mbah superintended the fraud and embezzlement of the sum of over N6.5 billion from the allocation of the Local Governments in Enugu State in 2002 and established the said Pinnacle Oil and Gas with the proceeds of the money laundering Activities,” they alleged.

The petitioners further alleged that on 22/1/2007, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission filed Charge No. FHC/1/09c/2007: THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA v. PETER MBAH & ORS. at the Federal High court of Nigeria, Lagos Division for offences arising from the Money Laundering activities of Peter Mbah, the Managing Director of Pinnacle Oil and Gas as Commissioner for Finance, Enugu State.

And that “on 16/7/2007, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission also filed Charge No. FHC/1/230c/2007: FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NGERIA v. CHIMAROKE NNAMANI & other accomplices with Peter Mbah in the elaborate Money Laundering Activities from the treasury of Enugu State”.

The Enugu indigenous lawyers alleged that after laundering the funds of Local Government in Enugu State in 2002, the said Peter Mbah registered Pinnacle oil and Gas limited on 17/8/2004 with Registration Number 604760 solely for the importation of Petroleum Products with the laundered funds; and that “on 7/7/2015, Peter Mbah pleaded guilty to the offences of Money Laundering in Charge No. FHC/L/09c/2007 and entered into a Charge Bargain with Economic and Financial crimes commission.

“The plea of guilty Judgment order in Charge No. FCH/L/09c/2007 is herewith annexed as ANTNEXURE A”.

The petitioners also insisted that the said Peter Mbah and Pinnacle Oil and Gas Limited intend to use the Presidential Commissioning Project to show the whole world that “Your Excellency is in support of the fraud and money laundering activities that gave rise to Pinnacle Oil ard Gas Limited”.

The group said that they were very much aware that President Buhari would not allow “unscrupulous persons to utilize the integrity of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to cover up huge financial crimes against the people of Enugu State,” and therefore implored him to distance himself from the event.

“We write this petition against Your Excellency’s participation in the proposed Presidential Commissioning of Pinnacle Oil Tank Farm at Lekki Free Zone Terminal, and which proposed event has been scheduled to hold in October 22,2022”

NewsBits recalls that electronics and newspaper advertisements and news reports have been on in the last few days promoting that President Buhari would commission first offshore petroleum terminal in Lekki.

Located in the Lekki Free Zone, the terminal, owned by Pinnacle Oil and Gas Limited, was reportedly an ultra-modern purpose-built products intake, storage and off-take facility conceptualized to revolutionize the Nigerian downstream oil and gas industry by enabling the direct delivery of petroleum products from large vessels which would otherwise have been unable to berth anywhere on the Nigerian coastline.

At the time of this report, NewsBits has earlier filed a long reaction from Dan Nwaomeh, Head, Media Office of Peter Mbah.

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