By Abdulwahab Abdulah
Lagos lawyer and activist, Mr. Femi Falana, has faulted the appointment of Messrs Steve Oronsanye and Ben Otti into the Board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, which increases the statutory numbers of the board members from seven to nine.
He urged the government to review the board appointment or face legal action.
Falana said the Federal Government should demonstrate sincerity in the fight against corruption in the oil sector.
He said it would be out of place for the government to ask the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Mr. Emeka Wogu to head the white paper committee on the Nuhu Ribadu-led Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force, PRSTF, since according to him, the minister was indicted in the alleged illegal payment of N2.7 billion to a company for fuel that was never supplied.
On Oronsaye and Otti, Falana said the appointment of the duo was “illegal, null and void as it violates Sections 2 & 3 of the NNPC Act, which provide that NNPC shall have six members and an alternate Chairman.
“Specifically, the Board shall consist of the Petroleum Minister, who shall be the Chairman; Managing Director of the NNPC; Director-General, Federal Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, and three persons appointed by the President and an alternate chairman.
“Instead of seven members, NNPC has nine members with the appointment of Messrs Oronsaye and Otti.”
He added that since the NNPC Act has not been amended to validate the increase in the membership of the board, Oronsaye and Otti should be removed.
He, however, vowed to pursue legal means to oust them if they were retained in the NNPC Board in contravention of the law the Federal Government