Oil Swap Probe: House Committee Summons Alison-Madueke

The House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee investigating the Refined Product Exchange Agreement/Crude Oil Swap between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation/Petroleum Pipelines Marketing Companies (NNPC/PPMC) has summoned the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, to explain her role in the award of contracts worth $24billion without valid agreements signed with the befitting companies.

Three former Group Managing Directors (GMDs) of the NNPC, Mr. Austin Oniwon, Mr. Andrew Yakubu and Mr. Joseph Dawha, who appeared before the committee last week, indicted the former minister, accusing her of extending the oil swap contracts for Duke Oil Company Incorporated and Trafigura B.V, without valid agreements.

The contracts for both firms had expired in October 2011, but they had continued to lift crude without formal contract extension for 20 months, lifting crude worth $24billion.

The contracts were formalised in December 2014 and backdated to cover the period from when they earlier expired.

The Chairman of the ad hoc committee, Hon. Zakari Mohammed (Kwara APC) in a telephone interview with THISDAY disclosed that the former minister would be invited by the committee.

“The former oil minister’s invitation will definitely go to her tomorrow (Monday). We are going to invite her, because contracts expired for 20 months, there was no renewal of contract, but the GMDs wrote to her, and she, on her own, approved the contracts,” he said.

It remains unclear how the former minister would be expected to honour the invitation following reports of her arrest in the United Kingdom, where her passport was also seized as part of her bail conditions.

Mohammed however explained that her not being able to appear is not a matter for the commitee, which has to have it on record that she was informed “that we need her attention…if we are now saying she will not show up, that is a matter of speculation.”

The lawmaker however debunked insinuations that the probe was targeted at the former minister, insisting that the House is determined to avoid a repeat of the sort of happenings that have been revealed in the course of the oil swap deals investigation.

“We need to know where she got her authority from, especially knowing fully well that the threshold of a minister is N100million, and these transactions were above N100million, so they ought to have gone the Federal Executive Council. These are the issues under which context we would invite her,” Mohammed added.

Credit: Thisday

Leadership Crisis Rocks PDP Caucus Over House Committee Chairmanship

Some members of the Peoples Democratic Party in the House of Representatives are contemplating passing a vote of no confidence on their leadership over what they described as partisanship and favouritism in the appointments of members of the party into the standing committees of the House.

Sources among the aggrieved PDP lawmakers  mainly from the South-west caucus said that they  are up in arms against the  leadership led by Minority Leader, Hon. Leo Ogor,  over the way the affairs of the caucus are being managed,  alleging that the leaders are running a one man show and  not consulting other members before taking important decision that affect  them.

The lawmaker who wants to remain anonymous  also  accused the leadership of favouring PDP members from the South-south in the appointments made so far including the ongoing constitution of the membership of the standing committee of the House.  They also accused some South-south governors of using money to influence the appointments of South-south members in the minority caucus to juicy House committee chairmanship positions to the detriment of  members  from other zones.

“We (PDP members from the South-west)  are even contemplating pulling out of PDP if the leadership continues to marginalise us in the scheme of things, particularly in the composition of leadership of the committees…”

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