Press Release
ANEEJ Hails FBI for Slapping Charges Against Top NNPC Official for Accepting $2.1 Million in Bribes

ANEEJ Hails FBI for Slapping Charges Against Top NNPC Official for Accepting $2.1 Million in Bribes

BENIN CITY, NIGERIA. February 28, 2024… The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) commends the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for levying three-count bribery and tax-related charges against Mr. Paulinus Iheanacho Okoronkwo, a General Manager of the Nigeria Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL), in a California Court. This action follows the discovery by the FBI that Mr. Okoronkwo utilized his position within NNPC’s upstream department to illicitly obtain at least $2.1 million in bribes.

Mr. Leo Atakpu, Acting Executive Director of ANEEJ, expresses satisfaction with this development, emphasizing that the United States, as the host of the December tenth Conference of State Parties on Anti-Corruption (COPS 10) in Atlanta, Georgia, is demonstrating its commitment to combatting grand corruption by meting out severe penalties.

ANEEJ condemns the exploitation of Nigeria’s resources by individuals entrusted with positions of authority, which disproportionately affects the majority of citizens. Recent reports indicate that Addax Petroleum, under the ownership of Sinopec and based in Switzerland, offered bribes totaling $5,263,157.89 to Mr. Okoronkwo, including an immediate payment of $2,105,263.16 in October 2015. This occurred subsequent to threats made by the new administration of President Muhammadu Buhari against a contract signed in May 2015.

Mr. Atakpu underscores the importance of international cooperation in combating illicit financial flows, which significantly undermine the economies of developing nations like Nigeria and contribute to global insecurity. ANEEJ urges intensified efforts by the United States, Europe, and other global stakeholders to crack down on perpetrators of financial malfeasance.

During COPS 10, ANEEJ engaged in discussions with US Government officials advocating for stricter sanctions against kleptocrats from Nigeria and other impoverished nations who exploit the US as a safe haven for laundering illicit finances.

In light of the prevailing economic challenges facing Nigeria, exacerbated by corruption at the highest echelons of government, ANEEJ calls upon President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration to redouble its efforts in the fight against corruption.

For further information, please contact 08187674339 or and follow us on twitter, Instagram and facebook: @aneejnigria, @Latakpu, aneej__nigeria and

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