Tuesday 29 April 2014


Nigeria’s embattled petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, has secured a court injunction ordering the House of Representatives to discontinue an ongoing investigation of how the minister allegedly squandered more than N10billion of public funds leasing private jets for two years.

A federal court in Abuja restrained the House, its committees or representatives from summoning Mrs. Alison-Madueke or requesting that she produce papers, documents or give evidence relating to the jet spending.

The presiding judge, A. R. Mohammed, also barred the lawmakers from ordering the minister’s arrest for failing to appear before the House Committee on Public Accounts, which is probing the allegation.

Mrs. Alison-Madueke is accused of spending billions of naira for the services of private jets she deployed for mostly personal trips. State oil company, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, supervised by the minister, has absolved the minister of wrongdoing.

As petroleum minister, Mrs. Alison-Madueke has been repeatedly investigated by the National Assembly. Multiple reports have blamed the minister for either maladministration, corruption or violation of the law.

A key probe which found the minister wanting was the 2012 fuel subsidy inquiry which exposed how the government spent more than N2 trillion subsidizing petrol in one year when actual subsidy cost was less than N500 billion.

There is also the recent allegation of missing $20 billion oil funds.

Amid the charges, Mrs. Alison-Madueke has also drawn praise for ensuring a year-round availability of petrol, a significant achievement in Nigeria’s notoriously corrupt oil sector.

Yet, that achievement recently ebbed with fuel shortage across the country lasting months.

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