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Reps probe alleged N20bn diversion by NNPCL officials

The House of Representatives, on Thursday, set up an ad hoc committee to investigate the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited over the alleged diversion and conversion of N20bn by its officials in the guise of payment to consultants.

This is despite the NNPCL denying the allegation earlier on Monday.

The Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Banking and Currency, Hafis Kawu, had moved a motion of urgent public importance, urging the chamber to probe into the alleged crime.

Moving the motion titled ‘Urgent Need to Investigate the Conversion of N20 Billion by Staff of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(sic),’ Kawu partly said, “The House is informed that staff of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation are reported to have diverted the over N20bn in the guise of consultancy fees paid to its consultants.”

Kawu stated that the alleged action by the NNPCL officials breached Section 88(1) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution, which, among other things, makes it compulsory for the National Assembly to appropriate public funds before they are expended.

The lawmaker also stated that the funds should have been spent on public needs.

Kawu called for an urgent investigation of the matter and that the House should be briefed on the outcome as a matter of urgency.

The lawmakers unanimously adopted the motion.

Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, consequently set up a panel chaired by a member of the Peoples Democratic Party from Rivers State, Kingsley Chinda, which was expected to turn in its report within three weeks.

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