The House of Representatives on Monday said a Federal High Court order stalled investigation in the alleged N10 billion spent on chattered aircraft by Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, Minister of Petroleum Resources.
The house on March 27, mandated the Public Accounts Committee to investigate Alison-Madueke use of state funds in the last two years to charter, operate and maintain a jet for her personal use.
The Chairman of the committee on Media and Public Affairs, Rep. Zakari Mhammed (APC-Kwara), who addressed newsmen, described the court order as frustrating.
“For us as legislators, our responsibility is to expose corruption but of course, this is another demonstration of part of the frustration we face as an arm of government,’’ he said.
He said that the house as a law abiding institution of government would wait and study the court order before taking any position on the matter.
“As a law abiding arm of government, we will tarry a while and of course take a legal opinion as far as issues are concerned,’’ he said.
According to him, the court order is a clear case of frustrating a matter under investigation.
“We are studying the papers, taking legal opinion and very shortly we will let you know our official position on this matter,’’ he said.
The Chairman, Committee on Public Accounts, Rep. Solomon Adeola (APC-Lagos), said the committee had received responses from Vistajet International and Executive Jet Hangar involved in the transaction.
He said that the only responses being awaited by the committee was that of the NNPC, NCAA, FAAN and the Minister of Petroleum Resources relating to the investigation.
“Today is April 28, the committee scheduled to receive the honourable Minister of Petroleum Resources and other agencies that have stake in this investigation.
“But as we speak, there is a court order, which has been served to the office of the speaker, even though the committee has not gotten the copy of that order,’’ Adeola said.
“As you are all aware, we are law abiding citizens and a house that has respect for the rule of law, we have decided to hold on until further directive after wider consultation will be done.
“The nature of the court order is simple. They are just restraining us from carrying out our own investigation. I don’t know what they are afraid of that they have gone to court.’’
Adeola expressed surprises that the minister waited until the day of the commencement of the investigation before coming up with a court order.
He said that as the chairman of the committee, he was not under pressure from any quarter to stop the investigation.
It would be recalled that the committee had fixed April 28 for the hearing. [NAN]
Nigeria Ranks Third On Global Terrorism Index Despite Drop In Deaths – Report
Nigeria has been ranked as the third most terrorized country in the world according to a 2020 report by the Global Terrorism Index (GTI).
The report which was released on Wednesday, ranked Nigeria third only behind war-torn countries of Afghanistan and Iraq.
According to the GTI report, Nigeria witnessed an increase in Boko Haram attacks in the period under review, witnessing her worst terrorist attack in 2019 in northeastern Borno State, where at least 70 people were killed and 10 others wounded when insurgents attacked at a funeral.
“Over the past year, Boko Haram increased attacks on military targets, with deaths rising from 26 in 2018 to 148 in 2019,” the report said.
However, the report recognized that terror-related incidents in the country fell by 27% in the same period due to a significant reduction in violence attributed to killer herdsmen.
“This reduction occurred despite a small increase in deaths attributed to Boko Haram, which has been the most active terrorist group in the country over the past decade. Deaths from terrorism in Nigeria are now 83 percent lower than at
their peak in 2014.”
Nigeria’s Communications Minister, Isa Pantami, Loses 13-year-old Daughter
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, has announced the loss of his 13-year-old daughter, Aishah Isa Ali.
The Minister took to his Twitter account on Monday night to announce this sad news.
Pantami stated that the funeral prayer for the deceased will be conducted in Abuja on Tuesday at Annur Masjeed, Wuse 2.
The post by the minister announcing the incident reads; “Inna lil Laahi wa inna ilaiHi Rajiun! My 13-year old daughter, Aishah Isa Ali (Amal) passed away just a moment ago.
“Due to some necessities, funeral prayer tomorrow at Annur Masjeed, Wuse 2, immediately after Zuhr prayer In sha Allah. May Allah forgive and be merciful to her.”
Inna lil Laahi wa inna ilaiHi Rajiun!
My 13-year old daughter, Aishah Isa Ali (Amal) passed away just a moment ago.
Due to some necessities, funeral prayer tomorrow at Annur Masjeed, Wuse 2, immediately after Zuhr prayer in sha Allah. May Allah forgive & be Merciful to her.
— Isa Ali Pantami, PhD (@DrIsaPantami) November 23, 2020
Cult Violence: Wike Imposes Two-Week Curfew Around Okoro-Nu-Odu
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has imposed a 24-hour total curfew for two weeks on some parts of Port-Harcourt, the state capital.
The Governor made this known during a broadcast on Sunday where he noted that the curfew begins from Monday 23rd November 2020.
The statement noted that the upsurge noticed by the state government in cases of cult activities, other forms of violence, and killings is responsible for the curfew.
Wike in the statement declared that the entire area along and around the Okoro-nodu flyover up to a one-kilometre radius from Saint Emmanuel Anglican Church, Rumuokoro, extending to the Rumuodomaya Slaughter and Local Government daily market will be affected.
He added that no form of trading, human or vehicular movement is allowed in the affected areas until further notice.
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