Oil Theft: NTG Calls On President Tinubu To Prosecute Musbahu Bashir, Owner Of Cobalt International Services
NIGERIA Transparency Group (NTG) has called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to urgently investigate and prosecute Mr Musbahu Bashir of Cobalt International Services for his involvement in oil Theft and economic sabotage which has brought the nation to its knees over the last three decades.
In a detailed petition mailed to the President and sighted by Trojan News Media Correspondent, NTG berated Mr Musbahu Bashir and his company over his unpatriotic and inhuman business tactics that plunged the oil industry into cesspool of highest fraud and extensive of robbery in the nation’s history.
Calling on President Tinubu to immediately investigate and prosecute Mr Musbahu Bashir, NTG intoned: “Furthermore, we urge you to investigate the circumstances surrounding Musbahu Bashir’s acquisition of the 5G license, as he outbid industry giants, including MTN. This transaction raises suspicions of corruption and requires immediate attention to uncover the source of funds used.
“Cobalt International Services Limited has been entrusted with the vital task of independent inspection and quality control of Oil & Gas, Rigs, and Shipping of products, including Crude Oil from Nigerian Export terminals. However, it has come to our attention that the company, under the leadership of Musbahu Bashir, has been involved in racketeering, corruption, and fraudulent practices that are severely detrimental to the Nigerian economy.
“Our investigations reveal that Cobalt International Services, operating for over thirty five years, with the collaboration of corrupt government officials, including those from NNPC, DPR, Nigerian Customs, and foreign oil and shipping companies, claims to be an independent inspection and quality control company in the oil and gas industry and has been systematically siphoning millions of barrels of crude oil by under-declaring quantities and tampering with meters at the point of loading vessels and oil cargoes from Nigerian export terminals. This criminal enterprise has caused significant financial losses for Nigeria, surpassing the combined theft carried out by all Niger Delta Crude oil petty thieves”, the petition read in part.
Alhaji Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (GCFR),
President & Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces,
Federal Republic of Nigeria,
Aso Rock Presidential Villa,
Abuja – Nigeria
PETITION TO INVESTIGATE AND PROSECUTE MUSBAHU BASHIR OF COBALT INTERNATIONAL SERVICES
WE, the Nigeria Transparency Group (NTG) as a reputable civil society organization, anti-corruption crusaders, and whistle-blowers, wish to commend and applaud your prompt and decisive actions in suspending the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, following the controversies about financial transactions authorized in her ministry. Your commitment to upholding the highest standards of integrity, transparency, and accountability in the management of the nation’s wealth is commendable.
Your swift action in response to the financial scandal demonstrates that there are no sacred cows and emphasizes that Nigerians can trust in your leadership. By suspending the Minister, you have shown that no one is above the law and that accountability will be upheld in your administration.
We appreciate your directive to the Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to conduct a thorough investigation into all aspects of the financial transactions involving the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation. This action will not only win back the lost public confidence of Nigerians but also ensure that justice is served.
TNG, as whistle-blowers, we are committed to identifying known and unknown individuals who are sabotaging the economy across the country. We commit ourselves to launch a massive search radar and bring out those economic saboteurs in order to expose their crimes for the public to know and for the government to take appropriate action by investigating and prosecuting them if found guilty.
As a civil society organization dedicated to promoting transparency, accountability and fighting corruption in Nigeria, write this petition to bring to your attention the alarming activities of Musbahu Bashir and his company, Cobalt International Services. We humbly request your immediate intervention and the establishment of a special investigative team to thoroughly examine these grave allegations.
Cobalt International Services Limited has been entrusted with the vital task of independent inspection and quality control of Oil & Gas, Rigs, and Shipping of products, including Crude Oil from Nigerian Export terminals. However, it has come to our attention that the company, under the leadership of Musbahu Bashir, has been involved in racketeering, corruption, and fraudulent practices that are severely detrimental to the Nigerian economy.
Our investigations reveal that Cobalt International Services, operating for over thirty five years, with the collaboration of corrupt government officials, including those from NNPC, DPR, Nigerian Customs, and foreign oil and shipping companies, claims to be an independent inspection and quality control company in the oil and gas industry and has been systematically siphoning millions of barrels of crude oil by under-declaring quantities and tampering with meters at the point of loading vessels and oil cargoes from Nigerian export terminals. This criminal enterprise has caused significant financial losses for Nigeria, surpassing the combined theft carried out by all Niger Delta Crude oil petty thieves.
The primary categories targeted by Cobalt’s inspections are quality and price verification, cargo verification, and quantity verification. However, the investigative agencies have never turned their attention toward Cobalt and Musbahu. Despite the absence of a known legitimate source of income or entrepreneurial ventures, Musbahu has managed to amass a significant fortune, silently defrauding and sabotaging Nigeria and its people.
Their actions, carried out under the guise of official capacity and under the protection of security, anti-graft agencies and government personnel, have resulted in the siphoning of millions of barrels of crude oil and white products because some of them were in their payrolls, where they were made more than what they received from the government as salaries and incentives. Their activities have silently and actively devastated the economic anatomy and physiology of Nigeria, with no trace left behind.
Musbahu Bashir is, without a doubt, the embodiment of all the known and unknown criminals and economic saboteurs in Nigeria, surpassing the likes of Dieziani, Emefiele, Tunde Sabiu, and others. His ascent into the economic underworld began as a front for former Finance Minister Nenadi Usman, facilitating the illegal stripping of Nigeria through phantom auctions of customs seizures and government properties under the shady monetization scheme. As a reward for his efforts, Musbahu received choice properties across Nigeria at bargain prices or even for free.
From this position, he graduated into being the number one state criminal by diverting Nigeria’s oil resources using his ‘metering equipment.’ Rumors suggest that he extracts and processes more oil than all local oil-producing companies combined.
Additionally, we have discovered that Musbahu Bashir, despite lacking formal education beyond secondary school, has mysteriously obtained a PhD from an undisclosed university. Through his registered companies under the pseudonym of Althani Group, Althani Energy, and Althani Investment, Musbahu has perfected the art of money laundering and surreptitious schemes. He diverts funds from the Nigerian government into these companies engaged in estate development and investments in reputable financial institutions and blue-chip companies like Jaiz and First Bank. By doing so, he creates the illusion of being a responsible investment guru and silent investor.
Despite his astounding success, his Althani Group of Companies operates from an inconspicuous office at Number 12A Yalinga Street, Wuse 2, Abuja, without any signboard. To maintain his anonymity and shadowy existence, Musbahu uses a Yahoo email address instead of a corporate email address.
His marital relationship with the daughter of former Katsina Senator Sen. Abu Ibrahim and his financial ties with the late Umaru Shinkafi provide him with essential political and financial cover. He is frequently sought after by Nigeria’s economic thieves, drawn to his expertise as a first-class silent operator who operates unnoticed from the shadowy backgrounds of Nigeria’s array of thieves, serving as a crony to corrupt government officials.
What sets Musbahu Bashir and Cobalt International apart is the fact that they operate under the guise of official inspections, enjoying the protection of security agencies and government personnel. These inspections are supposedly carried out based on the Nigerian Exports Proceeds Form (NXP Form) and the Request for Information Form (RFI Form), which contain all the necessary details of export shipments. The inspections are meant to ensure that exports meet international standards, possess competitive pricing, and maximize revenue for Nigeria. However, in reality, Musbahu Bashir has become a malignant economic cancer silently and actively devastating the Nigerian economy.
Furthermore, despite his extensive acts of robbery against Nigeria, and questionable activities, he rarely spends a full week in the country, while his family has resided in Egypt for the past two decades. These actions raise serious concerns about the legitimacy of his sources of income and demand a thorough investigation. Tax evasion and tax fraud are among the high-level crimes that Musbahu and Cobalt specialize in, grossly under-declaring tax returns annually. He employs a dedicated tax consultant to prepare his income statements, enabling him to continue his illicit activities year after year.
Furthermore, we urge you to investigate the circumstances surrounding Musbahu Bashir’s acquisition of the 5G license, as he outbid industry giants, including MTN. This transaction raises suspicions of corruption and requires immediate attention to uncover the source of funds used.
In its online edition after the 5G bidding by the NCC, The Sun newspaper online newspaper captioned its headline as “Meet Nigeria’s Silent Billionaire”. How can an Honest and legitimately honest billionaire be silent and unknown throughout his financial career? Musbahu is rather a Silent and calculative Serial Economic Rapist who has mastered the art of economically assaulting and devouring the sanctity of Nigeria’s economic femininity, leaving her perpetually quivering and vulnerable.
Given the gravity of the allegations against Musbahu Bashir and Cobalt International Services, we implore you to set up a special investigation team under the leadership of Special Investigator Jim Obaze, possibly with Hon. Gudaji Kazaure as a member. This team must be empowered to thoroughly probe these silent crooks and bring them to justice. We believe that proper investigations and prosecutions will not only restore faith in Nigeria’s justice system but also serve as a strong deterrent to future economic saboteurs.
In addition, we implore you to use your presidential powers to institute a presidential panel comprised of high-caliber individuals to investigate Musbahu Bashir and uncover the extent of his crimes and also request your urgent intervention in suspending Cobalt International Services from operating in all our oil and port terminals immediately until the investigations are concluded. This action is necessary to protect Nigeria’s economic interests and prevent further financial hemorrhaging caused by this company, and to also increase Nigeria’s oil production capacity by hundreds of thousands of barrels per day.
We also call on Mr President to as a matter of National Security and Economic urgency, either overhaul, recalibrate or completely change all Metering equipments in all our crude oil lifting facilities. Nigeria is being shortchanged every second of every minute of every hour year in year out.
Nigeria is currently bleeding financially due to the actions of individuals like Musbahu Bashir. If we address this issue and bring these silent thieves to justice, we can start to rectify the damage done and prevent further economic sabotage. If Musbahu and his cohorts are found guilty, they should be treated as national economic saboteurs of unparalleled magnitude, unlike anything Nigeria has ever witnessed. His multiple international passports should be confiscated, and he should be prevented from leaving the country to safeguard national security interests.
We understand that you have a personal relationship with Senator Habu Ibrahim, who is related to Musbahu Bashir, being his father in law, as Musbahu Bashir is married to his daughter, but we sincerely request that you prioritize this national security issue of gross financial magnitude over personal connections. Nigeria’s future depends on swift and decisive action against those who have caused it harm.
This petition is part one of a five-episode series, aimed at shedding light on the extent of the economic crimes committed by Musbahu Bashir and his associates. If President Tinubu can put an end to the financial hemorrhaging of Nigeria caused by silent thieves like Musbahu Bashir, he would achieve more in his first four years than the lamentable former President Buhari achieved in his eight years of wasted potential.
We trust in your commitment to promoting transparency, fighting corruption, and ensuring the prosperity of Nigeria and its citizens. With your decisive actions, we believe that Nigeria can reclaim lost revenues, increase oil production capacity, and restore faith in our governance.
However, we urge you to ensure that your administration does not repeat the mistakes of the past administrations, particularly the eight years under President Muhammadu Buhari. We hope that your actions will not merely distract Nigerians but lead to persecution and justice for those found guilty of financial impropriety. It is crucial for your administration to demonstrate that looting of national treasuries and wasting resources will not be tolerated.
Once again, we commend your commitment to integrity, transparency, and accountability. We will continue to support your efforts in fighting corruption and ensuring a better Nigeria for all.
Let us unite in our demand for justice and accountability. Nigeria deserves better.
Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter. We eagerly await your prompt response and the initiation of necessary steps to protect Nigeria’s economy.
Malam Hamidan Sulaiman Nabaguda,
Nigeria Transparency Group
Mr. Feyi Martins Lawanson,
Nigeria Transparency Group