$24bn Contracts: Diezani, Momoh Ignore Reps’ Panel

Source: thewillnigeria.com

SAN FRANCISCO, March 02, (THEWILL) – Former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, has failed to appear before the ad-hoc committee of the House of Representatives investigating the crude oil swap contracts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

The committee had summoned Alison-Madueke and a former Managing Director of the Pipelines Product Marketing Company, Mr. Haruna Momoh, in connection with the lifting of crude oil worth $24billion in exchange for refined petroleum products.

The former minister neither appeared in person nor sent any representations to the hearing of the committee investigating reports that two crude oil trading firms, Duke Oil and Trafigura had lifted crude between 2011 and 2014 without valid contracts.

The summons were issued after three former Group Managing Directors of the NNPC, Mr. Austin Oniwon, Mr. Andrew Yakubu and Mr. Joseph Dawha, had informed the committee that Alison-Madueke “approved” the contracts without signing any valid agreements with the firms.

However, both the former minister and Momoh were absent as Momoh sent his younger brother, Mr. Suleiman Momoh, to inform the committee that he was ill and would not be able to appear for the hearing.

The committee Chairman, Zakari Mohammed, was left puzzled when he called for appearances and realised that the duo were absent.

He vowed that the committee would take the “appropriate steps” to address the absence of the former minister, but he did not elaborate on the nature of the steps.

THEWILL recalls that Diezani had rejected claims of any wrongdoing describing them as “ fabricated tissues of lies”.

Story by David Oputah