|Former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke|
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has commenced a full investigation into the activities of the immediate past Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
Sunday PUNCH learnt on Sunday that the commission constituted a four-member committee of crack detectives to probe all the NNPC accounts which were supervised by the former minister. It was learnt that the committee was led by a Superintendent of Police, who was seconded to the commission.
Investigations revealed that the other three members of the committee were pioneer civilian operatives of the commission with high capacity for investigation.
Sunday PUNCH had on Sunday reported that the ongoing probe of the immediate-past administration by President Muhammadu Buhari was to beam its searchlight on the alleged purchase of three mobile stages, costing $6.9m, by former President Goodluck Jonathan and two of his officials. According to a document, which was obtained from the Presidency on Saturday, the deal, which is now a subject of investigation, was allegedly carried out by Jonathan; his Chief Security Officer, Mr. Gordon Obuah; and Alison-Madueke.
The fund was said to have been withdrawn from one of the numerous accounts of the NNPC. The $6.9m (about N1.37bn) was said to have been withdrawn for the purpose of buying three pieces of 40-feet mobile stages for use by Jonathan during the campaign.
Besides the latest allegation, it will be recalled that a group, Crusader for Good Governance, had petitioned the EFCC accusing the former minister of squandering million of dollars of public funds to charter private jets. The petitioners also accused her of spending $300,000 on an average international trip.
A top operative of the EFCC, who confided in The PUNCH, said, “I think the commission has commenced investigation into this Diezani issue. It is not just about inviting her, the commission has set up a four-man team of crack detectives to investigate her operations in the NNPC.
“The terms of reference of the committee include to look into all the NNPC accounts which were under the supervision of Mrs. Alison-Madueke. The committee has since commenced work; they are still working. I think a very senior police officer, a Police Superintendent, is leading the other operatives in the probe of Diezani and multiple accounts of the NNPC”, the source said.