NNPC Vs House Of Reps: Court Orders House To Correct Impression

house_of_repsA Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has asked the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts to address a news conference to correct the erroneous impression that the court issued an order restraining the House from investigating the Minister of Petroleum Resources and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

At the resumed hearing of the suit, lawyer to the plaintiffs, Mr Etigwe Uwa, berated the actions of the House of Representatives for stalling the hearing of the suit challenging the constitutionality of the House of Representatives’ summon to the Minister of Petroleum Resources and some parastatals under the ministry.

Lawyer to the House of Representatives, Abubakar Mahmoud, however, apologised to the court for the misrepresentation of facts by his client, saying that it was not done intentionally.

Efforts by the plaintiff’s counsel to move his application for an order restraining the House of Representatives from investigating the Minister of Petroleum Resources was turned down by the court as Justice Ahmed Mohammed promised an accelerated hearing of the suit.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed, after listening to all the parties adjourned the hearing of the suit to June 19 and ordered that all processes must be served before the date.

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Account had on Thursday, May 22, issued fresh summons to the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Deziani Allison-Madueke, to appear before it over the alleged expenses of 10billion Naira on private jets.

Also summoned were the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Andrew Yakubu; Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Engr. Saleh Dunoma; the Managing Director of Pipeline and Petroleum Products Marketing Company, PPPMC, Mr Haruna Momoh; Vistajet International Limited and other stakeholders.

N10bn Private Jet: Reps Give Allison-Madueke Fresh Summons, Lawyer Protests

Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke
Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Account has issued fresh summons to the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Deziani Allison-Madueke, to appear before it over the alleged expenses of 10billion Naira on private jets.

Also summoned are the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Andrew Yakubu; Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Engr. Saleh Dunoma; the Managing Director of Pipeline and Petroleum Products Marketing Company, PPPMC, Mr Haruna Momoh; Vistajet International Limited and other stakeholders.

The Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Zakari Mohammed, said that all those summoned were to appear between June 15 and 17 to shed light on various aspects of the alleged N10 billion expenses.

He added that anyone who refuses to appear would face a subpoena under the law.

You Can’t Probe Deziani For Now, Lawyer tells House

Meanwhile, Constitutional lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mike Ozekhome, has warned the House of Representatives against making any move to resume probe of the Minister of Petroleum Resources, on the alleged N10B aircraft charter scam.

The senior lawyer asked the House to put the probe on hold for now since the Minister has a legal action before a Federal High Court in Abuja, challenging the legality of the House of Representatives’ decision on the over-sight function.

In a letter of protest delivered to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambawal, Mr Ozekhome faulted the announcement of the fresh move to begin the probe, warning that the move would amount to an affront to the law court where the legal action was pending.

The human rights activist, in the letter also copied to the Senate President, Senator David Mark, said that the practice in the world especially in a civilized society is for both parties in a dispute to take their hands off the disputed matter once a law court has been invited for adjudication on the issue.

He said that it was wrong and abnormal for the House to proceed to probe the Minister even when the House has already joined issued with her in a law court of record and in competent jurisdiction.

Lawmakers Summon PPMC Boss Over 10bn Naira Chartered Jets

house_of_repsThe House of Representatives’ committee on Public Accounts on Tuesday summoned the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC) and its managing director, Mr Haruna Momoh, to appear before it, as it continues its investigation on the charter of the 850 challenger aircraft by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke.

The company was given one week to submit in written form all they know about the issue.

Despite the court case instituted against the House by the Minister to stop them from probing the alleged 10 billion Naira (about 62.5 million dollars) expenses on chartered jets, the House seems to be forging ahead with the investigation.

In a letter, the chairman of the committee, Solomon Olamilekan, said the committee issued the memo as a result of new information from Vistajet International Limited, one of the companies involved in the transactions which showed that the PPMC and its boss played a central role in the charter of the challenger aircraft.

The committee in the memo requested for the following; details of the financial transaction on the amount paid by NNPC/PPMC to Vistajet International Limited for the charter, maintenance of the 850 challenger aircraft and other related aircraft from January 2012 till date as well as details of any financial liabilities that may be currently outstanding on the charter among other issues.

The committee said that failure of both the organisation and its boss to submit the memorandum requested and appear before it on a date yet to be communicated would be treated as a criminal offence.

Last week, there were reports that an Abuja High Court issued an order of interim injunction restraining the National Assembly from compelling the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, to appear before it for an investigative public hearing on the lease of aircraft by the Minister.

But the court denied such decision, summoning the House of Representatives to explain how it came about the purported order.

In the heat of the controversy, the House of Representatives insisted that it would continue with the investigation, accusing the Minister of reckless use of public funds for personal businesses.

We Have Plans To Curb Pipeline Vandalism – Madueke

The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezini Allison-Madueke

The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Deziani Allison Madueke has announced plans of collaboration with relevant security agencies in tackling issues of pipeline vandalism and oil theft in the country.

Mrs. Allison, who spoke with newsmen after a meeting with the Chief of Naval Staff, the Minister of Transport, Director General of the Nigeria Maritime Safety Administration and representatives from the Nigeria Police Force described crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism as a menace which must be tackled head on.

Recently, the Managing Director of the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, Mr Haruna Momoh gave assurance that the agency is set to bring to an end the incessant vandalism of petroleum products’ pipeline.