President Muhammadu Buhari’s receipt of a list from the United States’ officials containing names of Nigerians involved in the stealing of crude oil is reportedly a major positive outcome of his recent working visit to Washington.
This list, it was alleged, is shocking enough to compel the president into immediately delving into the probe of the immediate past administration of Goodluck Jonathan.
In the words of the source who anonymously spoke to the Punch: “I can tell you that the President already has the list of names of the people engaging in the stealing of Nigeria’s oil. The list, when released by the President, will shock Nigerians. But let’s wait and see first”.
It was learnt from the member of Buhari’s entourage to the U.S that the President was taken aback when he saw the names of past government officials on the list. The said list contains names of highly placed government officials, and retired as well as serving military officers.
A Presidency source, who also confirmed to the newspaper that Buhari had such a list but that “the President has been keeping the list to himself”, explained that the US gave Buhari two separate lists, where one contains the names of top government officials who have been stealing the country’s oil, using their high offices to perpetrate the stealing; the other contains names of illegal oil bunkerers.
The official noted that while the President has refused to divulge the names on the list of oil thieves, he has vowed that none of them will go scot-free, revealing that, “The President will probe all of them and make sure they return whatever fortune they had made from their thievery”.
The source said the President was already tinkering with the idea of constituting a panel to investigate those on the list with a view to arriving at how to deal with them based on the findings of the committee.
However, it was gathered that, unlike the usual probe panels, the President would likely set up a special security team to handle the probe.
It could be recalled that President Buhari had stated last week that some ministers in the cabinet of Jonathan were stealing as much as 250,000 barrels of Nigeria’s crude daily.