An Abuja-based chartered accountant, Mr. Ademola Ogunkunle, has said that the declaration by the Federal Government that the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force headed by Mallam Nuhu Ribadu did not carry out a critical part of its assignment of data collection and verification has vindicated the position taken by Mr. Stephen Oronsaye , deputy chairman of the Ribadu committee and former head of service of the federation, that due process was not followed by the committee before submitting the report.
Special assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on public affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, had on Thursday declared that the committee did not meet up the terms of reference of its assignment.
The presidential aide had declared that “it was a job handled badly and only political and personal interests were bandied. It is unfortunate.”
Okupe had said that the “committee on the entire report makes it impossible under our laws to indict or punish anybody except and until the Federal Government fully verifies and reconciles the facts as recommended by the committee in its submission to the government.”
Speaking in an interview, Ogunkunle said Oronsaye had raised the issue of figures not verified, adding that Ribadu should have listened to Oronsaye to avoid the kind of embarrassment the hasty submission of the committee’s report has brought to the members and to Nigeria.
The report on page two states that: “The data used in this report was presented by various stakeholders who made submission to the Task Force in the course of our assignment at various dates, which have been disclosed in relevant sections of the report. Due to time frame of the assignment, some of the data used could not be independently verified and the Task Force recommends that the Government should conduct such necessary verifications and reconciliations.”
Ogunkunle said the self-indicting statement lends credence to Oronsoye’s position that the report would hardly stand rigorous scrutiny in the test of time to justify its acceptance.