Somalia Attorney General Cannot Let Off Petroleum Minister Scot-free

By O. D. Hassan

Mogadishu (Commentary) — According to the Somalia Attorney General Dr Suleiman Mohamed Mohamud, summons sent to the Petroleum Minister Abdirashid Mohamed refers to a lawsuit brought informally against the Minister by the Federal Government of Somalia. The informality of the lawsuit stems from the fact that the Attorney General did not notify the Office of the Prime Minister of the summons.

The Somalia Attorney General Dr Suleiman Mohamed Mohamud lacks the independence to ask the Petrolatum Minister the right questions.

The Attorney General used the word “illegal” to characterise the agreement. Two months ago, the Petroleum Minister told VOA Somali Service that Somalia President had been aware of agreement despite the Minister deferring last year in public to the presidential decree on the transition.

The Petroleum Minister with the US Ambassador to Somalia.

There is a conflict of interest at the heart of the production sharing agreement scandal. The Petroleum Minister is closer to the Prime Minister of Somalia Mohamed Hussein Roble, who has not so far relieved the Minister of duties for signing an agreement that the Federal Government of Somalia did not authorise.

The Petroleum Minister was not relieved of duty for signing a production sharing agreement not authorised by the Federal Government of Somalia.

The Attorney General will have to know if the Prime Minister had a meeting with the Petroleum Minister since the signing of the “illegal” agreement. In March, the Petroleum Minister met the US Ambassador to Somalia to keep the diplomat updated on, among other things, the production sharing agreement signed with the Houston-based company. The Attorney General may refer the file to the prosecution service (courts). Neither the courts nor the Attorney General can claim independence.

Puntland Post covered Presidential Candidates’ stance on “secret oil deals”.

Last year, the Union of Presidential Candidates warned against secret oil agreements, but now the two former Somalia Presidents Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, key members of the alliance of presidential candidates, support Roble to protect the Petroleum Minister, who falsely claimed that Somalia President had been aware of the decision to sign the production sharing agreement. Their hope is that possible prosecution of the Petroleum Minister could affect President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed’s candidacy. If their silence continues, it will become patently clear that the common clan interest of the two former leaders, the Prime Minister and the Petroleum Minister trumps the national interest of Somalia.

O. D. Hassan, Mogadishu