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|Gej To Buy Time To Discredit Subsidy Probe!,AWAITS SENATE CONCURRENCE TO ACT! by onomeasike: 3:42am On Apr 22, 2012|
Fuel subsidy probe: Tambuwal faces impeachment threat
By Yusuf Alli, Abuja21/04/2012 00:34:00
Following Wednesday’s release of the report of the House of Representatives’ ad hoc committee on the scandals surrounding the management of oil subsidy, an impeachment threat now hovers around the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal.
Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee, Alhaji Farouk Lawan, is also facing threats from unnamed forces on account of the panel’s recommendations.
In its report, the committee had indicted the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), oil marketers and others for unbecoming acts and asked them to refund a total sum of N1.07 trillion.
The alleged plot, it was gathered yesterday, is already generating tension in the National Assembly.
As a first step, security may be strengthened around Farouk Lawan who, sources said, resisted the pressure mounted on him not to expose public officers and oil marketers involved in the fuel subsidy scam.
Investigation by our correspondent revealed that some forces in government are uncomfortable with the findings and recommendations of the House Ad Hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy.
A principal officer of the National Assembly said: “The House leadership ignored pressure to water down the panel’s report or treat it in confidence.
“The argument of these forces was that the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee would hurt the economy and make investors to lose confidence in Nigeria. But the House saw the Ad Hoc Committee’s activities as part of a new era to usher in transparency.
“Since the report was released to the public, we have got sufficient signals that some forces are unhappy with the House. Although we do not give a damn, we are watching our back.
“These forces have renewed their plot to move against the Speaker and deal with Lawan and members of his committee. They want to remove the Speaker for his refusal to check the Lawan panel. They have branded the Speaker as “disloyal” to the PDP and a stooge of those opposed to the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.
“Although the Speaker has maintained that he is putting national interest above partisan consideration, the forces have vowed to unseat him.
“We are suspecting that some oil marketers are funding the anti-Tambuwal project. In fact, some of these forces are also planning to blackmail Lawan. The House leadership has, however, asked Lawan to lie low and avoid further comments on the report.
“We will throw the debate open as from Tuesday and Nigerians will know where their representatives stand on fuel subsidy management.
“One of the strategies of the forces is to frustrate the report of the committee by lobbying members to reject the recommendations.
“They are also trying to prevail on some House members to ensure that the debate on the report of the Ad Hoc Committee is suspended until the Senate completed its own probe into the fuel subsidy regime.”
A member of the committee also said: “We have been receiving knocks here and there over the report, but we are standing by our position. The rot in the oil industry cannot continue.”
When contacted, the Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Publicity, Hon. Zakari Mohammed, confirmed the plot.
He said: “The attention of the House of Representatives has been drawn to calculated attempts by indicted firms and their backers in government to plot the removal and discrediting of the House leadership for allowing the subsidy report to get to the public without being doctored to spare them.
“The antics being employed range from fanthom charges to intimidation via security agencies. This type of plot will discourage parliamentarians from unraveling corruption and rot in the society.
“In spite of all this, I want to assure Nigerians that we will continue to promote transparency in governance and we will not cave in to any form of blackmail from anybody or institution, no matter how highly placed.
“In accordance with our legislative agenda, we will continue to partner with patriotic Nigerians to rid our system of rots in whatever form.”
|Re: Gej To Buy Time To Discredit Subsidy Probe!,AWAITS SENATE CONCURRENCE TO ACT! by onomeasike: 3:45am On Apr 22, 2012|
Shocking: Unregistered Companies Benefitted From Subsidy: FG sacks Akintola Williams, Adekanola coys
On April 22, 2012 · In Headlines
*Marketers deny culpability
*Saraki, the whistle blower, in soup
By Jide Ajani,Emmanuel Aziken & Emma Ujah
Some of the companies that benefited from the allocation of petroleum products and were, therefore, entitled to draw from the subsidy funds were neither registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, nor the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency, PPPRA.
This slipshod in effectively certifying documentation has already compelled the Federal Ministry of Finance to sack two accounting firms mandated to carry out certification.
Meanwhile, it was gathered at the weekend that the presidency may await the report of the Senate Committee on Downstream, which is also carrying out a similar probe of the sector just like the House, before acting.
Yet, some marketers are already crying wolf that they may have been wrongly indicted by the House committee, at a time when Senator Bukola Saraki, the man who first blew the whistle on the seeming mismanagement of the subsidy funds is having some challenges with the authorities as he is expected to face the Special Fraud unit of the Nigeria Police Force, a move his close associates claim may not be unconnected with his whistle-blowing move on the floor of the Senate.
In a telephone chat with the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee which probed the management of subsidy funds, Hon. Lawan Faruk, after an earlier interview, Sunday Vanguard was made to understand that there were some firms that also benefited from the subsidy funds but which were not registered.
According to Lawan, “during our investigation, we discovered that some firms that also participated in the process were not registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC.
“Some of the firms were not even registered by the PPPRA, yet they participated in the process and benefited from the subsidy”, Faruk said.
Asked to mention some names, the lawmaker said he could not mention the names off hand but that the report makes reference to them.
FG FIRES AUDITORS
In a statement issued by the Ministry of Finance, signed by Paul C Nwabuikwu Senior Special Assistant to the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, and dated April 19, 2012, the auditors who were supposed to certify claims were sacked. They are Akintola Williams and Co and Adekanola and Co.
The statement, titled SUBSIDY PAYMENTS: FINANCE MINISTRY TERMINATES SERVICES OF ACCOUNTANTS AND AUDITORS, reads:
“Concerned about the management of the subsidy regime, the Federal Ministry of Finance has for the last two months been reviewing aspects of the implementation of the subsidy regime related to its functions. The review has produced a lot of useful details on what was wrong with the system and what needs to be done to ensure improvement going forward.
“The review process kicked off in February when the ministry and relevant government agencies held a meeting with bankers and marketers at the instance of President Goodluck Jonathan. This was followed by a subsequent session with the accounting and auditing firms to re-evaluate their work.
“Based on the review, the Ministry has taken the following steps:
“The services of the audit and accounting firms responsible for certifying the documents and claims of marketers before payment have been terminated.
“The Ministry has established a committee made up of credible and experienced persons from the private and public sector with strong technical component under the chairmanship of Mr. Aigboje Imoukuede to examine the claims of payment arrears for 2011 currently being made by marketers. This is to ensure that only genuine claims are honoured.
“The ministry is also finalising a new and more effective system to replace the current arrangement and, in this regard, a second committee has been set up to propose a good way forward. Based on other outcomes of the review, the ministry will take further actions as necessary. In a related development, the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) has put on hold further depletion of the Excess Crude Account (ECA).
PRESIDENCY AWAITS SENATE PROBE REPORT
The nationwide clamour for the prosecution of those fingered in the report of the House of Representatives Ad-Hoc Committee on the utilization of fuel subsidy is not expected to get presidency attention any time soon it emerged at the weekend. The presidency it was learnt was expecting a concurrent report from the Senate into the sector before acting on the report.
The put-off by the presidency it was learnt is also giving room for a number of marketers and others indicted by the Farouk Lawan led committee to also put forward their case for exoneration as a number of them including a company owned by a former Minister of Transport, Capt.
Emmanuel Ihenacho, are claiming to have been wrongfully indicted. The house committee in its report submitted last week had alleged serial breaches of the process in the payment of subsidy and recommended that a number of the companies indicted should refund more than N1 trillion to the federal government.
The recommendation on refund was essentiallybased on the fact that a number of the companies indicted did not appear before the committee as requested. Following the report many prominent Nigerians including civil society groups, lawyers and opposition parties demanded for the prosecution of those indicted.
Government sources, however, revealed at the weekend that the presidency would follow the same process it adopted in handling the investigations into the affairs of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, in dealing with the matter of the payment of subsidy. In that case the federal government waited until the submission of the reports of the Senate and the house before taking action on the recommendations made by the two houses.
The Senate remarkably is also investigating the matter through its committee on Downstream Petroleum. The Senate committee has visited the nation’s major refineries and is presently being expected to visit the Takwa Bay landing terminal before concluding its work and making its recommendations.
“The government is actually following developments in the National Assembly as regards the subsidy probe closely. We are concerned about the need to cleanse the oil sector but the government needs to get a clear and complete message from the lawmakers so that we don’t act in isolation,” a source disclosed yesterday.
A member of the National Assembly privy to the developments also disclosed that the decision of the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke to initiate her own investigations shortly after the subsidy removal demonstrations of last January may have paid off for her.
The minister, the member disclosed, may have shielded herself from culpability with her invitation to erstwhile Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, to lead a separate government investigation of the sector. The Ribadu committee is also yet to submit its report.
Ihenacho, a former Minister of Transport in the Goodluck Jonathan administration and chairman of Integrated Oil and Gas, had rejected the House panel report pertaining to his company which directed that his company should refund N13 billion. “We totally and completely repudiate the substance of the report, our firm is not involved in any fraud whatsoever,” Ihenacho said following the presentation of the report.
The assertion for concurrence was, however, flayed yesterday by Mr. Bamidele Aturu, a leading civil society advocate who asserted that the issue of concurrence was no longer needed where the National Assembly’s power to expose corruption has been executed. “We are not asking for the president to act on the report, it is not for him.
It is for those who have been found guilty to be prosecuted and to go to jail and those exonerated should be set free,” Aturu told Sunday Vanguard yesterday. He further said that there was no issue of concurrence where the issue of exposing corruption is involved as required by the constitution.
SARAKI’S INVITATION BY SFU
In fact, there were fears over the weekend that the Police Force Special Fraud Unit, SFU, invitation of former Kwara State governor, Senator Bukola Saraki, may not be unconnected with the indicting report by the House of Representatives Committee which probed the management of the fuel subsidy funds. Senator Saraki raised the alarm on the recklessness of the management of the subsidy funds on the floor of the Senate and which kick-started the probes into the management of the funds.
Saraki has been invited to come and explain the N8.5billion loan granted by the defunct Intercontinental Bank to some of the companies in which Saraki is a shareholder. The SFU is asking Saraki to come and clarify how the loans owed the bank by the companies were written off – the companies are Skyview Properties Limited, Limkers Nigeria limited and Joy Petroleum. A source said this was “a private transaction between a bank and its customers and is not a matter for the SFU, as no fraud is involved”.
Sunday Vanguard has learnt that the suspicion by confidants of the former governor turned senator is that he is being “persecuted for raising the alarm of the mismanagement of the subsidy funds”.
Insisting that the Police has a right to do its job, the source however, maintained that since last Wednesday when the House Ad Hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy laid its report, “Saraki has been under intense pressure and condemnation from some forces and marketers and he has also spent a considerable time meeting influential people in government to explain that he meant well for the country with his motion.”
|Re: Gej To Buy Time To Discredit Subsidy Probe!,AWAITS SENATE CONCURRENCE TO ACT! by Alxmyr(m): 7:25am On Apr 22, 2012|
They have started with the conjuncture again. Nigeria Press and their lies.
Is Saraki the one that remove fuel subsidy?
Is he the one that organised 'Occupy Nigeria" protest?
How does Saraki relate with probe od HOuse of Rep?
The Senate probe which he was part of was neither here onr there.
How does this conjunction fit?
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