***Commences Probe Thursday
The House of Representatives panel on Public Accounts has summoned the Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited Mele Kyari, and accounting officers of 18 subsidiaries of NNPC over allegations bothering on the nonrendition of audited accounts between 2014 and 2019.
According to the audit queries issued by the office of the Auditor General of the Federation, over N663.89 billion was not remitted by NNPC into the Federation Account in 2019.
The report further showed that while NNPC Upstream arm of National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) claimed to transfer the sum of N1.27 trillion into the Federation Account, the audit report revealed that NNPC remitted the sum of N608.71 billion.
The oAuGF report observed that the sum of N519,922,433,918.46 was transferred to the Federation Account by the NNPC based on transfer mandates.
To this end, oAuGF requested the “reconciliation statement for the difference of N88,787,862,853.96 between AGF’s figure of N608,710,296,772.42 and NNPC’s figure per transfer mandate of N519,922,433,918.46.”
The Audit report further observed that 107,239,436.00 barrels of crude oil were lifted as domestic crude, while the allocation of crude oil to refineries for a billing date of 9th January to 29th May 2019 was 2,764,267.00 bbls valued at N55,891,009,960.63.”
It stated further that “Information on Sale of unutilized crude oil by Refineries for 2019 was not provided, and Information on crude oil allocations from 30th May to 31st December 2019 was not provided for scrutiny.
While alleging possible diversion of domestic crude, diversion of sale of unutilized crude as well as possible loss of Federation Account revenue, the report said the management of the NNPC failed to respond to the audit query.
Auditor General also alleged that NNPC spent US$6.410 million, (=N1.955 trillion at N305/US$1) to fund Joint Venture Cash Calls (JVCC) and other federally funded upstream projects such as Gas Infrastructure Development, Brass LNG, Crude Oil Pre-Export Inspection Agency Expenses, Frontier Exploration Services, EGTL Operating Expenses and NESS Fee and another N55.157 billion on Pipeline Security and Maintenance without first paying the money into the Federation Account.
The invitation to the NNPC Group Managing Director was signed by the Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, Hon. Oluwole Oke via a letter titled: ‘Re-Consideration of Auditor General of the Federation annual report for 2019 financial year,” with Reference No: HR/PAC/SCO5/9NASS/QUE.40/43 was dates 1st April, 2022.
“I refer to your appearance before this Committee on Tuesday, March 29, 2022, on the above subject matter and the Committee’s resolution to request that you come along to the next session with the Chief Accounting Officers of all NNPC Subsidiaries.
“A new date has been fixed for your appearance. You are to cause appearance before the Committee on Thursday 7th April, 2022 at 11:00am in Meeting Room 446, House of Representatives’ New Building.
“This is to inform you that the Committee does not allow representation, you are to appear in person to defend your accounts laid before the Parliament.
“You are to come along with Officers who are familiar with the issues at stake and may assist you to provide answers to any question that could arise during the Session,” the letter read in part.
Some of the NNPC subsidiaries are; Nigeria Petroleum Development Corporation Limited; Kaduna Refinery & Petrochemical Company; Pipeline & Products Marketing Company Limited; Duke Oil Company Inc.; West Africa Gas Limited; Nidas Marine Limited Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG); Hayson (Nigeria) Limited and Nigeria Gas Company.
Others include; National Engineering & Technology Company; National Petroleum & Exchanges; NNPC Pensioner Limited; Warri Refinery PetroChemical Company; Port Harcourt Refinery Company; NNPC Retail Limited; Integrated Data Service Limited; National Petroleum Investment & Management Services (NAPIMS) and Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) now NUPRC.
Akpabio debunks impeachment rumour, says Senate is stable, harmonious
The Senate President Godswill Akpabio has debunked the rumour that some senators were plotting to impeach him.
Reating to the insinuation through his special adviser (Media and Publicity) Eseme Eyiboh in a statement, he said the Senate is stable and harmonious as it cannot be distracted by the innuendo of the merchants of political tar brush.
Eyiboh describe the rumour as a syndicated media attack from outside the precincts of the National Assembly
Reacting to what he described as syndicated reports in some weekend newspapers about plots to distabilise the Senate and its leadership, Eyiboh said the reports were complete imaginations and sometimes laced with malice to achieve what senators are yet to comprehend.
According to him the Senate has since gone past the experience of the keenly contested leadership election
Eyiboh said the plot to drag in Senators who initially did not support the emergence of the present leadership into a conspiracy that does not exist was uncharitable to the senators and a needless umbrage.
“Senators are presently concluding their holidays in their constituencies and other places they have chosen to spend their time after the rigours of the inauguration and ministerial screening and other constructive engagements,” Eyiboh said.
“All senators are also refreshing themselves ahead of the resumption, therefore, any suggestions that they are presently engaged in other subversive plots against the institution is rather uncharitable. “It is mostly uncharitable for those senators who initially did not support the emergence of the leadership but who have all unanimously endorsed the Senator Akpabio-led leadership. Continuing to link these senators with needless conspiracy with barely disguised innuendo is rather unkind.
“We call on the media not to give in to the conspiratorial tales, and not to give damage to the reputations that they have built over time,” Eyiboh concluded.
Senate says, rumour of impeachment of Akpabio is a ruse
The Senate on Saturday described as a ruse the rumour making the rounds in some media that some Senators were planning to impeach the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio.
A press statement by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Publicity, Yemi Adaramodu said, “our attention has just been drawn to a syndicated satanic verses in a section of the media, of purported and illusory plots of leadership change in the Senate.
Top politicians strongly opposed to the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, were alleged to have planned to remove him when the Senate resumes later this month.
The forces were reported to be upset that the former Akwa Ibom State Governor is playing the role of a lap dog for President Tinubu rather than serving the overall interest of lawmakers and Nigerians
They alleged that Akpabio’s closeness to the president has made him not pay full attention to his colleagues and work hard enough to meet the expectations of Nigerians despite the challenges in the country.
But Adaramodu said,
“The Nigerian Senate is one united and fraternal family. This imaginative composition is in the realm of the fake and fallacious story of 100m per legislator. It’s apt to note that the 10th Senate, under the leadership of Senator Godswill Akpabio, has carried out its legislative and constitutional duties diligently.
“Within a span of less than 60 Legislative days, the Senate has passed life enhancing bills and motions. It has screened and confirmed service chiefs and ministers, among others, apart from very essential oversight functions.
“We urge the fifth columnists, who operate undoubtedly outside the Senate, desperate to cause disharmony through media stunts and thus clipping the wings of Nigeria’s democracy, to take caution.
“The Senate should be allowed fresh air to settle down for its national assignments so that the Nigerian project can move forward. The media, too, should be discerning not to be used as hand tools to these retailers of fake and bad news,” the statement added.
Benue North-East Senatorial contest: Senator Suswam returns as Tribunal Sacks APC’s Udende
Senator Gabriel Suswam of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been returned as the senator-elect for Benue North-East as the National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sacked Senator Emmanuel Udende of the All Progressives Congress (APC)
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Udende as the winner of the Benue North-East senatorial election held on February 25.
Suswam, a member of the 9th senate, had lost his bid to return to the upper chamber of the National Assembly.
But he had proceeded to the court, arguing that Udende did not score majority of the lawful votes cast in the 25th February, 2023 for the Benue North East Senatorial District election.
Chairman of the three-man panel, Justice Ory Zik-Ikeorha and another member, ruled in the favour of Suswam and PDP.
The duo, in their judgment, averred that Suswam and PDP fulfilled the requirement of the law in proving their case of irregularities such as mutilation, non-signing of documents, non-inclusion of lawful votes, among others.
But, in a minority judgement, Justice Umar Mohammed, opposed the decision of the two other members of the panel, saying that the petitioner failed to proved his case.
Mohammed held that Suswam who called 19 witnesses most of who were irrelevant as the irregularities complained about were at the polling units and instead he called ward agents instead of polling unit agents.
Suswam and PDP’s petition was predicated on the ground that Udende did not score majority of the lawful votes cast during the election.
Justice Mohammed held that the evidence by Suswam was grossly insufficient to sustain his petition.
He therefore, dismissed the petition and awarded the cost of N100,000 in favour of each of the respondents against the petitioner.
Meanwhile, Innocent Daagba, on behalf of the APC, said, “we are not satisfied with the decision and will advice my client to appeal.”
The PDP, through Bemgba Iortyom, the State Publicity Secretary has applaude the judgment and congratulated the Senator.
The immediate past Governor of the State, Dr. Samuel Ortom, has also sent his congratulatory to Senator Suswam over his victory at the tribunal.
Ortom said the victory of Senator Suswam has further proven the capacity of the judiciary to uphold justice and serve as the bastion of democracy.
News From Kogi3 weeks ago
Echocho Challenges Tribunal Judgment ordering rerun in 94 polling units
Appointment5 days ago
Tinubu names El-Rufai, Tope Fasua, others in New appointments
Appointment2 weeks ago
Reps member commends Tinubu over critical appointments for Akwa Ibom people
News From Kogi3 weeks ago
Tribunal voids Kogi East senatorial election, orders rerun
News3 days ago
Tribunal declares Nasir Gawuna, winner of Kano governorship election, as it Sacks AbbaYusuf
Politics1 day ago
Ododo/Oyibo campaign in harvest of decampees as NNPP reps candidate, Amanabo Joins APC with Supporters
News From Kogi2 weeks ago
Natasha is the authentic winner of Kogi Central senatorial election, Tribunal declares
Law2 days ago
Nasarawa Guber: Agabi knocks INEC over inability to defend Sule’s purported victory