Buhari says he’ll keep respecting Jonathan, as Falana alleges theft of $12.7bn crude oil under ex-president

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President Muhammadu Buhari has again praised his predecessor, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, for peacefully handing over in 2015.

Buhari in 2015 became the first opposition candidate in Nigeria to win a presidential election after defeating Jonathan, who conceded defeat to the president even before the final tally of the results.
Since then, the President has repeatedly commended Jonathan for peacefully handing over.
While hosting members of the Kannywood entertainment industry to a dinner at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Thursday night, he lauded Jonathan for accepting defeat in the 2015 general elections.
Buhari, who recalled his political struggles since 2003 when he made his first attempt to clinch the presidential seat, said, “I’ll continue to hold former president Jonathan in high esteem as a result of that singular act.
“He (Jonathan) was in power as Deputy Governor, Governor (Bayelsa), Vice-President and President, all for about 10 years and he voluntarily accepted defeat and surrendered power to me,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, a human rights lawyer, Femi Falana SAN, has claimed that $12.7 billion worth of crude oil was stolen from Nigeria between 2011 and 2014, when Jonathan was president of Nigeria.
Falana made the comment on Thursday while speaking at the 40th anniversary celebration of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, in Abuja.
He said 60.2 million barrels of oil was taken from the country and discharged at a port in Philadelphia, US, adding that the records are with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA.
He called on the oil union to prevail on the government to trace the funds, saying past efforts to do so have been unsuccessful.
“The study revealed that the value of the money from oil stolen from Nigeria is $12.7 billion. The oil was discharged in one port,” he said.
“We have identified who the oil majors are and the shipping companies involved, but since 2014, we have been begging the Nigeria government to recover the money.”
Falana also said called for the immediate recovery of royalties accrued to the federation account since 2014 from oil companies.
He said the offshore and inland sharing contract act which provided that for 50 years, no royalty would be collected from oil and gas mined from below 1,000 meters depth had already expired in 2014.
Also at the parley with Kannywood industry players, Buhari reassured that the brutal activities of the Boko Haram sect would soon become history.
He said the federal government would not allow any group hiding under religion to unleash terror on innocent citizens.
Buhari, who spoke in local language, said: “It’s totally wrong for any believer in God to kill innocent people either in the Mosque, Church or the market place.
“You can’t be shouting Allahu Akbar (Allah is Great), Allahu Akbar, and killing innocent citizens and destroying properties all in the name of God.
“It is either you don’t know what you are saying or you don’t even believe in the existence of God Almighty. God has nothing to do with injustice.
“So, now we are confronting them and by the grace of God we will destroy them.’’
The president enjoined members of the Kannywood to use their respective talents in promoting the culture of peaceful co-existence and unity among the diverse socio-political groups in the country.

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