Subsidy fraud: Jonathan wants offenders prosecuted

Subsidy fraud: Jonathan wants offenders prosecuted

The subsidy fraud report has been passed to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Muhammed Bello Adoke, with a directive from President Jonathan Goodluck that everyone indicted must be brought to book.

It is expected that the report, which detailed how over N1 trillion was siphoned through fuel subsidy fraud, will now be forwarded by the Minister to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

A committee of the Federal House of Representatives had in April conducted a probe into the management of fuel subsidy regime, its final report indicting some fuel marketers and officials of the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The House in adopting the report of the committee, recommended that all those mentioned in the report be brought to book but until now there have been suggestions that the Presidency would resist the pressure to take action.

Many have canvassed the sacking of the Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke and other heads of the Corporation for their alleged role in the scam.

“Mr. President has just handed over a copy of the House of Representative’s probe panel report on oil subsidy to me now, with instruction that I should hand it over to the EFCC for a thorough job immediately,” Adoke, said on Tuesday at the presidential villa.

“Mr. President instructed me to tell the EFCC that there must be no sacred cow and that they must do their job on the report thoroughly without sparing anybody indicted.”

Alison-Madueke is reported to be overseeing EFCC’s reported probe into a fraud that has indicted her company, prompting diplomats and industry pundits to dispel the exercise with a wave of the hand, citing conflict of interests.

Among the recommendations of the House committee’s probe is the prosecution of 17 oil marketers who did not obtain FOREX but claimed to have imported petroleum products, 15 marketers who obtained FOREX but did not import petroleum products, 71 oil marketers who are to refund N230.1b and 18 oil marketers who committed other sundry infractions.

The report also revealed the ‘disappearance’ of 3.171billion litres of petrol, which had been allegedly supplied to the Nigerian market. It recommended the probe and trial of erstwhile PPPRA executive secretaries, A. Ibikunle and Goddu Egbuji; as well as the reprimand of former PPPRA chairman, Ahmadu Ali — a former chairman of President Jonathan’s ruling Peoples Democratic party (PDP) — and other board members.