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N10bn Jet: Reps Begin Public Hearing June 17

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The House of Representatives has disclosed that it will commence the investigation into allegations that the minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, spent over N10 billion public funds on chartering and maintaining private jets for her private use on the 17th of next month.

Making this known yesterday, spokesman of the House, Hon Zakari Mohammed (APC, Kwara), said the Committee on Public Accounts which is saddled with the probe, will lay the report of the investigation before the House before it proceeds on its annual recess in July.

“The committee held a meeting this morning. NGOs, bodies and whistle blowers are ready to appear and will be taken one after the other,” he said, adding that they are not embarking on the probe “to get anybody’s head”, but to ensure that the right thing is done by those in government.

“We are aware that it is not going to be a tea party because of the calibre of people involved…but I want to put it very clear that the House is very focused,” he said, adding that the committee had started updating and sending letters of invitation to agencies, individuals and all parties involved in the probe.

The Vista Jet and Jet Hanger have already submitted their submissions to the House, he noted.

Mohammed also responded to allegations that the executive had directed its staff to get permission from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation before honouring invitations of the legislature.

Reacting to a letter allegedly written by a permanent secretary in the ministry of Interior Mrs Bamidele to this effect, the lawmaker said the leadership of the House is currently scrutinising the letter and would take a stand which will be disclosed next week.

“No arm of government has the right to stop the legislature from carrying out its functions, not even the executive. Some people are trying to impede our functions and, as a House, we will not accept that,” the House spokesman declared.

Meanwhile, Mrs Deziani Alison Madueke and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) have dragged the National Assembly before a Federal High Court in Abuja over the private jet scandal.

In the suit, the minister told the lawmakers that they lacked the powers to summon or investigate her.

Speaking through her lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), Diezani asked the court in a fresh suit to stop the probe on the grounds that the committee lacks such powers.

Article Credit: Leadership

Updated 5 Years ago

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