Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke
By Chuks Okocha
Against the background of the comments by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, that the oil subsidy report was merely a fact finding exercise, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party has re-assured Nigerians that in line with the cardinal agenda of its new leadership, the party was determined not to shield anybody who has a case to answer in the mismanagement of the petroleum subsidy.
The party also appealed to the coalition of civil society organisations to shelve its planned civil action , saying their demand aligns with the stand of the party on the matter.
In a statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metu, reacting to the planned civil action by coalition of civil society groups, PDP said, “The demand of the civil society groups is already reflected in the resolution of the National Working Committee of our great party.
“As the party in power; the one controlling both the executive and the legislative arms of government, our position is that the culpable should face the full weight of the law. This must, however, be in compliance with due process so as to make sure that only the guilty suffers.”
According to Metuh, the party will continue to uphold transparency and the rule of law in its determination to lead by example. PDP described its position as “the ultimate ingredient for the realisation of the transformation programme of the federal government.”
The statement further called on the civil rights groups to give considerable time for the law to take its full course, saying, “In this light, we must allow government to articulate the findings of the House of Representatives and engender necessary legal actions through the appropriate agencies of government”.
PDP had in its last National Working Committee (NWC) threw its weight behind the recommendations of the House of Representatives committee that probed the oil scandal which recommended that the former national chairman of the party, Dr. Ahmadu Ali, who as chairman of the Board of the Petroleum Products Price Regulation Agency (PPPRA) as well as the members of the Board should be prosecuted.
However, it called for fair hearing on all concerned in the oil scam.
The plenary session of the House of Representatives in adopting the report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Monitoring of the Subsidy Regime Tuesday accepted a recommendation that the former National Chairman of the party, who was board chairman from 2009 to 2011, and the entire members of the board during the period be prosecuted for their decisions which allegedly opened the floodgate for the abuse of the system.
Other recommendations adopted by the House include: “That the management and board of the NNPC should be completely overhauled and all those involved in infractions be further investigated and prosecuted by the relevant anti-corruption agencies.
"That all the payments which the PPPRA made to itself from the Petroleum Support Fund accounts in excess of the approved administrative charges which is due to it under the template should be recovered and paid back into the fund. The officials involved in this infraction should be further investigated/ prosecuted by the relevant anti-corruption agencies”, the House said in its report.
PDP said in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metu said, “the National Working Committee identifies with the various probes by the National Assembly in exercise of its legislative oversight functions”.
According to the statement by PDP on the oil probe in the House of Representatives, “Specifically, the National Working Committee welcomes the probe by the House of Representatives into the management of the petroleum subsidy. While the NWC awaits the consummation of all due processes in line with fair hearing to ensure that only the guilty suffers, the PDP will continue to encourage the National Assembly to take necessary measures that will help stamp out corruption”.
The statement said that position of the party is, “in line with the resolve of the Dr. Bamanga Turkur led National Working Committee that the new leadership of our great Party, PDP shall be in the fore front of the battle against corruption and in view of the principled stand and deep commitment of President Goodluck Jonathan on the matter, the National Working Committee (NWC) hereby restates unflinching support for every step so far taken by government to stamp out corruption”.