The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts is about now meeting to take a final stand on the planned probe of the alleged N10 billion used by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Deziani Allison-Madueke to charter private jets for both official and unofficial purposes.
The jets were allegedly chartered for the minister by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)
Before the House embarked on a two-week Easter break, the committee had written to the embattled minister, the NNPC, the Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and other agencies of the Federal Government demanding explanation on the allegation. All the affected recipients shunned the committee as they did not respond to the query.
Information Nigeria reports that the probe is sequel to a resolution by the lower chamber mandating the committee on public accounts to hold a public hearing on the alleged scam and report back to it within three weeks.
Sequel to the resolution, the committee sent a memo to the minister, the NNPC, the operators of the private jets and others involved in the deal ahead of the public hearings.
It was learnt that today’s meeting by the committee was called to deliberate on the next line of action following Mrs. Alison-Madueke’s perceived refusal to respond to the memo.
Chairman of the committee, Solomon Adeola Olamilekan, who confirmed that his committee would meet today, however, refused to give details of what they would deliberate upon.
He said: “All I can say for now is that our committee will meet today on the matter and thereafter we will revert back to the House for the next action”.
Likewise, a member of the committee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity said: “As I speak we have yet to hear from the minister and others. All what we are hearing is that the public hearing will not hold, but I can assure you that as lawmakers, we will do our part of it, even if there needs to be issuing of warrant of arrest on those involved. Nobody is above the law of the land”.
Speaking on the matter, House spokeperson, Zakari Mohammed, said there was no cause for alarm and that the committee saddled with the responsibility of looking into the matter was on top of the situation.