Somalia clears Soma Oil on payments to officials
AN INVESTIGATION by the Somali government into questionable payments has exonerated Soma Oil & Gas, the exploration firm chaired by former Tory leader Lord Howard.
The Serious Fraud Office launched an investigation into Soma in July, relating to payments made to officials and advisors in Somalia following a leaked report by the United Nations Somalia And Eritrea Monitoring Group.
While this investigation is ongoing, a separate inquiry, launched by Somalia in September, has found no wrongdoing by Soma.
The independent committee reviewed the allegations made by the UN monitoring group against the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources but found no evidence it had reached a deal with Soma Oil on a ‘quid pro quo’ basis. It said the ministry acted in good faith and that there was no favouritism provided to Soma.
But it did find that some funds were used in a manner ‘not conforming to the provisions of the capacity building agreement’ and that disciplinary action should be taken, with the accounting and finance department restructured.