*May indict former Minister over alleged shady deals
03 June 2015, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The House of Representatives yesterday dismissed the report of an Ad-hoc committee which sought to exculpate the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, over allegations of involvement in shady oil deals.
The refusal by the lawmakers to adopt the report through a voice vote meant that it could go ahead to indict the former Minister, who is already the subject of numerous controversies surrounding her management of the oil and gas industry during the last administration.
The report, which was compiled by the Muraina Ajibola-led Ad-hoc committee and contains three recommendations and didn’t see any wrongdoing by the Former minister.
The House had last year set up an ad hoc committee to investigate the alleged shady deals involving the Minister of Petroleum Resources, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Ltd; Septa Energy Ltd with respect to the farm-out or allocation of oil mining leases (OML 4, 26, 30, 34, 38, 41 and 42.
The investigation was aimed at uncovering the truth about the alleged shady deals involving the Minister and agencies under her control including the NNPC, the NPDC, SPDC, Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Ltd, Septa Energy Ltd and any other entity with respect to the Farm-out or Allocation of Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) 4, 26, 30, 34, 38, 41 and 42 respectively.
Legislators also blocked moves to consider the recommendation of report as was announced. by the Presiding Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha.
On first attempt, Ihedioha put the question as to whether the House should consider the report but was met with a nay vote out-sounding the ayes.
Determined to achieve a consensus and clarity on the matter, Ihedioha again put the question and there was a resounding nay in rejection of the report.
According to some lawmakers, the recommendations by the committee in no way met the expectation of many lawmakers who had hoped for an indictment of the former minister known for the controversial manner in which she ran the Ministry during the reign of former President Jonathan.
The recommendations include that operators in the industry should deliberately encourage openness/transparency in their operations;
Another recommendation stated that companies involved in the nation’s Petroleum Industry should be required to ensure timely dissemination of information regarding their transactions, especially those involving Government Agencies and Corporations as this would forestall suspicions and sentiments of having been cheated that are always bound to arise in circumstances where a section of the relevant stakeholders in the industry are left in doubt as to transactions in the industry;
Also, the report further called for a clean bill of health be given to all the parties involved in this transaction as the
entire transaction conformed to all the applicable laws.