By Evelyn Okakwu with agency report
The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) has decried the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke over her continued refusal to honour the invitation to an investigation by the House of Representatives over an allegation that she spent N10bn on a chartered aircraft.
Alison-Madueke, who said that the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts lacked the power to summon her to appear before it, claimed that the NASS cannot investigate her without first obtaining the consent of President Goodluck Jonathan.
Speaking on behalf of the Coalition, its Executive Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran said that it is preposterous that political office holders would prevent an over-sighting arm of government from performing its constitutional duty.
He said, “It is so unfortunate that Nigeria has not been blessed with a good crop of leaders since the coming of democracy in 1999. It is preposterous that political office holders would prevent an over-sighting arm of government from performing its duty.
“The level of impunity in this present regime is so high that one wonders if the executive actually understands the principle of checks and balances. The claim that the President would have to endorse the invitation before the Petroleum Minister attends the probe is not only ridiculous but antithetical to the spirit of true democracy.
It is like Mrs. Madueke has forgotten that the National Assembly comprises of the elected representatives of the entire Nigerian citizenry who hold the sovereignty of this country on behalf of the people.
“Investigation of this nature makes it possible for the parliament to restraint the excesses of other arms of government. It is only corrupt officials that will be searching for avenues to circumvent such probe.
“What does it take out of Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, as a public official, to honour the invitation to an investigation that will vindicate her from all suspicions if there are no skeletons in her cupboard? Her refusal to honour the NASS’ invitation is a clear indication that she is as guilty as accused. The truth is that majority of government officials are corrupt, so they can never be happy honouring invitation that will expose them the more.”
The anti-corruption crusader however urged the House of Representatives to issue a warrant of arrest against the minister.
“It behoves the National Assembly to wield the authority the constitution bestows on it to issue a warrant of arrest against the Petroleum Minister. She should be made to realise that her refusal to answer the elected representatives of the people is a slap on the face of every citizen of this country,” Adeniran said.