The minister of petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke has embarked on a legal battle with the National Assembly, challenging its competence to invite her and management of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC) for probe over the N10 billion allegedly spent by the Ministry to maintain its jet.
In a legal suit filed by Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) at the Federal High Court, Abuja, Mrs. Diezani and NNPC are seeking for an order forbidding the National Assembly from inviting them to give evidence over the matter.
Trouble started when the National Assembly mandated its Committees to investigate the alleged squandering of N10 billion over a two-year period on the arbitrary charter and maintenance of a Challenger 850 aircraft for unofficial use by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke
The Applicants wants the court to determine whether the National Assembly has the power to personally probe or conduct investigation into allegations of fraud or other criminal activities, when such probe is not for the purpose of enabling the National Assembly to make laws or correct any defect in existing laws.
They also want the court to determine whether the National Assembly acted ultra vires (above) their powers and functions by sending out invitations to the Applicants when such invitations are not for the purpose of enabling the National Assembly make laws, or correct any defect in existing laws.
They further want the court to restrain the National Assembly from summoning them for the purpose of giving evidence or producing any papers, books, records or other documents, which relate to their unpublished official records without the consent of President Jonathan.
They want the court to order the National Assembly to restrict themselves only to directing the appropriate agencies of the Federal Government, i.e. the Police, the EFCC, ICPC, so authorized by law, to conduct such probe or investigation with respect to allegations of fraud, corruption, or other criminal offences alleged to have occurred in the agencies under the Applicants’ supervision, or control.