OPL 245 Scandal: Civil Society Groups Protests In Abuja Today

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 Yemisi Izuora

 To register their displeasure over the fleecing of Nigerian government in the controversial OPL 245 oil field award, in which Nigeria was swindled of about $6billion some Civil Society Coalition is organising an anti-corruption protest in Abuja today(Tuesday). 

The anti graft awareness march holds 8am at Unity Fountain, Abuja.

Hundreds of anti-corruption crusaders, civil society groups, students, workers and women groups are expected to gather at the rally.

The protest is being coordinated by the Civil Society Network Against Corruption, (CSNAC) led by the Human Environment Development Agenda, (HEDA).

 The Organisers said the rally will draw public attention to the brazen stealing of public funds associated with the Malabu oil scandal. Billions of naira of public funds went into private pockets in the Malabu case involving oil giants and several Nigerian officials.

 HEDA Resource Centre in conjunction with local and international partners have raised series of dusts exposing the fraudulent deals in the Malabu case. Late last month the groups made a public presentation in Abuja detailing the corruption practices associated with the scam.

 It was followed by a two day training workshop for members of the Civil Society, Government Anti-Corruption Agencies, NGOs, CSOs and the media. HEDA said the training objective was to further acquaint participants with technical details on the award of oil licenses leaning more towards the old suspicion that the award of OPL 245 was fraught with questionable undercurrent aimed at shortchanging Nigeria

 The CSNAC official, Sina Odugbemi said “Most importantly at the end of the workshop, it became very clear that OPL 245 deal viewed under the prism of experts is nothing but a dummy sold to Nigeria. More than meet the ordinary eyes was also revealed, the scandalous revelation of a monumental fraud committed against Nigeria by Shell and ENI and top government functionaries such as the erstwhile Petroleum Minister, Dan Etete and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Adoke which became apparent given a closer look by experts.”

 He said as a way of sensitizing Nigerians on questionable circumstances surrounding the OPL245 which experts say will cost Nigeria to lose an estimated $6 billion or more, rights groups will be staging the rally in Abuja to stir greater sanctions against corrupt individuals and corporate organisations.

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