20 June 2014, Abuja – A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, Thursday, aborted moves by the House of Representatives to commence hearing on the allegation that the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, spent about N10billion on chartered private jets.
In a ruling, Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed, ordered the legislative house to shelve its plans to flag-off probe into the allegation on June 25.
The judge further directed all the parties to maintain status-quo till July 3, a date the high court slated to hear the substantive suit that is challenging the powers of the Public Accounts Committee, PAC, of the House of Representatives to investigate such allegation.
The court order was sequel to an oral application that was made by counsel to the embattled Minister, Mr. Etigwe Uwa, SAN, who informed the court that despite the pendency of the suit, he said the House of Reps, on May 23, wrote a letter to both the Petroleum Minister and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, asking them to ensure that they appeared before its probe committee on June 25, 26 and 27.
Uwa, SAN, told the court that the House of Reps had in the said letter, threatened that it would not hesitate to invoke its powers and issue a warrant of arrest against the Minister should she fail to appear before the committee on the aforementioned dates.