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N10bn Chartered Jet Allegation: House Lied, No Order Stopping Probe, Says Court

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BEVERLY HILLS, CA, April 29, (THEWILL) â€' As confusion still surrounds the court order on the suit filed by the Petroleum Resources Minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison â€' Madueke, and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) seeking to stop the probe of the Minister by the House of Representatives over alleged reckless spending on chartered jet, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Tuesday declared that there was no order stopping the probe, saying the House lied on the matter.

Presiding judge of the court, Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed, therefore ordered the leadership of the House to come and present the purported order which stopped it from going ahead with the probe . Justice Mohammed said he was thoroughly embarrassed by various headlines suggesting that he granted an order restraining the House from going ahead with the ‎ probe.

'I am interested in where they got the order from since it did not emanate from this court,' the judge said , even as he demanded an explanation from the counsel to the Petroleum Minister and NNPC, Etigwe Uwah (SAN), especially on the source of the information which resulted in the misinformation .

Uwah however dissociated himself from the reports, telling the judge that the House was the source of the reports as he produced a statement allegedly issued by the Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Publicity, Alhaji Zakari Mohammed, purporting to show that the c‎ourt had restrained the House from going ahead with the probe.

The lawyer said he was equally shocked as he was bombarded with calls and text messages asking him for clarification on the purported court order, stressing that in his bid to ensure that the public was not misled, he was forced to issue a statement which he sent to two newspaper houses.

He also exonerated the Minister and NNPC from the misinformation.