‘Which law entitles you to charter 3 private jets?’ – Reps write query to Oil minister

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Nigeria's Minister of Petroleum Diezani Allison-Madueke speaks at a media briefing on a new gas price regime in the capital of Abuja

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts led by its Chairman, Solomon Olamilekan have sent an inquiry to the Petroleum Minister, Diezani Madueke seeking to know which law empowered her to spend N10 billion on chartered private jet travel.

The Reps Committee issued the query in the form of a letter to Madueke dated March 26th signed by its Chairman. In the letter, the committee demanded answers to specific questions on the use of the jets and also invited the minister to make an appearance before it in order to explain further.

The Committee also invited the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr. Andrew Yakubu and stated that he must provide evidence of all he knew about the transactions, saying the NNPC must disclose more as it had been running a campaign to defend the minister since the scandal broke to the public.

Also invited by the committee are the Evergreen Aviation Terminal, and VistaJet International, the operators of the private Jets, as well as the Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

A portion of the query to the minister states that she is “to disclose all she knew about the transactions; (to state) whether or not as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, she is entitled to such chartered private jets for private use; whether or not she has not breached public service rules; who is responsible for the bills and other necessary information that would assist the Committee in getting to the root of the matter.”

The NNPC and private jet operators are expected to provide details to the committee of their contractual agreements from 2011 to date, they are also expected to provide flight schedules, passenger manifests and the amount of money paid to them for use of the jets.

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