Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, has said former Head of State, Ibrahim Babangida, started the act of hijacking the country’s oil blocs to share among his allies.
The lawyer said the practice which has continued till today has placed the wealth of the nation in the hands of a selected few but is against the constitution.


He lamented that the oil and gas as well as solid minerals sectors which are managed by the President's appointed ministers and approved by the Senate, but done without any consultation with the state and local governments is a wrong practice.
Falana disclosed these in during his keynote address at 4th Justice Aniagolu Memorial Lecture which was the 10th Year Remembrance.
The senior lawyer titled it “Justice Anthony Aniagolu’s Contribution to Human Rights and Political Development of Nigeria” delivered at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu State, last Thursday.
He said, "Under the defunct military junta the oil blocks belonging to the Federation were hijacked by the Federal Military Government.
"In 1986, General Ibrahim Babangida (retd) allocated some of the nation’s oil blocks to his personal friends and cronies. The illegal practice has since continued to date in utter violation of section 16 of the Constitution which stipulates that the commonwealth shall not be concentrated in the hands of a few people or a group.
"Like the oil and gas resources the solid minerals of the nation have been taken over by the Federal Government.  It is the Federal Ministry of Minerals that exclusively manages the solid minerals owned by the Federation. The Ministers of the Petroleum Resources and Mines and Steel Development are appointed by the President and approved by the Senate without any consultation with the State and Local Governments.
"The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation was established by the Federal Military Government with seed fund from the Federation Account. But due to the gross mismanagement of the Corporation by the Federal Government it has been unbundled by the National Assembly.
"Even though the NNPC is a Federation Enterprise the Federal Government has taken over the companies established pursuant to the Petroleum Industry Act. The Board members of the NNPC and other subsidiary companies have been appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate." 

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