The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Petroleum Prices Marketing Corporation (PPMC) have informed the House of Representatives that they will not be able to appear before its committee investigating the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, over her alleged spending of N10 billion on charter of private jets.
We gathered yesterday that the two agencies, which are under the petroleum ministry, had written to the House Committee on Public Accounts to state that they would not honour the invitations extended to them to appear before it.
In their separate letters addressed to chairman of the committee, Hon Solomon Adeola Olamilekan, NNPC and PPMC said they were currently before different courts of competent jurisdiction on the same subject and, as such, could not appear before the committee as it would amount to subjudice to do so.
It would be recalled that Mrs. Alison-Madueke had approached three different courts to seek perpetual injunction to stop the lawmakers from going ahead with the probe.
But 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 make any pronouncements on the matter.
However, the House has reaffirmed its earlier position to go ahead with the investigation despite the pending court cases.
Speaking on the matter yesterday, Hon Olamilekan declared that there was no going back on the probe as directed by the House of Representatives.
He said, “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”.