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Monday, June 17, 2024

NNPC, PPMC Decline Appearance Before N10bn Chartered Jet Probe



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Teddy Oscar, Abuja

With less than 10 days to the scheduled House of Representatives’ probe of the alleged N10 billion spent on chartered private jet by the minister of petroleum resources, Mrs. Deiziani Allison-Madueke, two key entities of the oil and gas sector have disclosed that they would not appear before the probe panel.

Hearing on the matter has been scheduled to be conducted at the House on Thursday, June 26 by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

But the duo of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Petroleum Prices Marketing Corporation (PPMC) have officially written to the committee to register their refusal to honour the invitations extended to them to appear before it.

This is coming just as the embattled minister was alleged to have vowed not to appear before the committee until the matter, which is still pending before the courts were resolved.

In the wake of the crisis, Allison-Madueke had approached three different courts to seek perpetual injunctions to stop the probe.

While Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja refused to grant the request to stop the probe and fixed hearing for today the other two courts were yet to take any action on the matter.

The two corporations are accused of bank rolling the cost of the charter jet based their positions.

In two separate letters, however, NNPC and PPMC informed the committee that they would not appear before the committee since the matter was already before different courts of competent jurisdiction.

Both argued in the letters, which were addressed to the committee chairman, Hon Solomon Adeola Olamilekan, that it would be prejudice to appear before the committee since all the information being requested from them were already subjects of litigation.

It was also learnt on Tuesday that there are mounting pressures on the committee, as well as the House leadership to stall the probe, which prompted the minister and NNPC to go to courts to obtain injunctions when it became clear that the House was bent on going on with it.

Addressing news men on the matter on Tuesday, Olamilekan declared that there was no going back on the probe as directed by the House.

“As we speak, we are set to commence the probe. There is no court injunction barring our committee from doing our job. So, whether they appear or not, it is not our problem. The law is very clear on this. We will do our job, write our report and submit our report to the House,” he said.

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