Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
The Senate Committee investigating allegations of fraud amounting to about $5 billion by Chevron Nigeria Limited has summoned officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Federal Inland Revenue Service (IFRS), National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Also expected to appear before the committee are officials of Chevron to defend the allegations against the company.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the committee yesterday, the Chairman, Senator Magnus Abe, gave the assurance that all those concerned would be granted their rights to fair hearing.
â€œWe are not coming to investigative hearing with any pre-judgment, the truth must be uncovered. I can assure you that we will be fair, thorough and quick in our assignment,â€™ he said.
Inaugurating the committee, Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, urged the committee members to be independent and fair to all.
Dr. George Uboh of the Panic Alert Security System (PASS) had petitioned the Senate in 2015, alleging that between 2001-2002, Chevron evaded tax to the tune of over $343 million through over bloating of its operational costs under Petroleum Profit Tax, using Carry Agreement with NNPC as a cover when such agreement never existed with the company.
He levelled other allegations of fraud against the oil multinational, all amounting to $4,926,464,100.
Uboh had however written to the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, demanding to withdraw the petition.
The Senate, last week declined the request for the withdrawal of the petition, and resolved to conduct further investigations into the allegations.