• Malami, Adeosun, Emefiele’s absence stalls probe of legal fees
• Summon NNPC, oil players for alleged $1b products’ diversions
The House of Representatives yesterday constituted a six-member delegation to visit South Africa and interface with its parliament over the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians.
The House leader, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, ahead of a five-day trip to South Africa explained that the delegation would find lasting solutions to the perennial xenophobic violence often targeted at Nigerians.
He disclosed that the delegation comprising the Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Nnena Elendu-Ukeje would push for the compensation of Nigerians whose properties worth N84 million were destroyed in the recent xenophobic attacks.
Elendu-Ukeje, representing Bende Federal Constituency of Abia State said: “We will be looking at pieces of legislation that says to them that they must resist structural racism, xenophobia. We will be reminding them that they are signatories to the United Nations treaties against xenophobia and racism.
“We will be reminding them that silence is complicity. I don’t see how that can fail because we are taking a message to them. Now in the event that now fails, we shall be reminding them that retaliation is only to the mutual detriment of both countries. And we will be reminding them of their businesses in Nigeria.”
Gbajabiamila explained that the delegation would also preoccupy itself with the task of engaging the South African parliament and other authorities on areas of mutual benefit and how much both countries could lose from xenophobia and possible retaliatory actions or severing of diplomatic ties.
Meanwhile, the absence of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami and his counterpart in the finance ministry, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun yesterday stalled the probe into alleged diversion of $86 million legal fees due to the legal firm Edwards and Partners that facilitated the recovery of $3.189 billion from the Paris and London Club.
The absence of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu and his counterpart of the Department of State Security Service (DSS) did not help matters as the chairman of the House committee on public petition, Mr. Nkem Uzoma Abonta saddled with the responsibility to resolve the issue had to postpone hearing on the issue sine die.
Abonta maintained there was no way he could commence work on the issue without the presence of both Adeosun and Emefiele who played “principal” roles over the alleged diversion of the monies.
He threatened to issue a warrant to compel their physical appearance if within 48 hours they fail to notify the committee on when to make themselves available.
Also, the House of Representatives ad-Hoc committee on the review of petroleum pump price yesterday invited Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and some major oil companies to appear before it next week to explain alleged diversions of products amounting to $1 billion.
According to the committee chaired by Raphael Nnana Igbokwe, the head of the division of the corporation in charge of crude oil marketing and sales, is to turn up with the management of Oando Plc to further give insight into its role in the recent upward review of PMS in the country.