By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor
ABUJA—Indications emerged, yesterday, that the National Assembly might have tactically abandoned many reports of its investigations into allegations of wrongdoings against top government functionaries and agencies in the last 16 years.
A report made available to Vanguard by the National Institute of Legislative Studies, NILS, in Abuja, indicated that no fewer 15 of the 82 key probes and investigative public hearings undertaken by the Senate and House of Representatives between 1999 and 2014 had been either abandoned or tagged ‘Ongoing’ many years after the expiration of their tenure.
The most outstanding among the abandoned reports are those bordering on the probe of the Malabu Oil Field Transaction in which government was said to have lost over N175 billion through illegal transfer of the said amount to individual accounts by top government officials.
The NILS report showed that the Senate re-opened investigation into the allegation of round-tripping involving the Federal Government and two international oil companies, Shell and Eni (Agip), over the sale of the contentious OPL 245 oil bloc.
It was alleged that Shell and Eni paid $1.1 billion (about N175 billion) into Nigeria’s foreign account for the allocated oil bloc, only for the said amount to be transferred, at the instance of the Attorney-General of the Federation to Malabu Oil and Gas Limited, an indigenous oil company, whose account is allegedly controlled by a former oil minister from Bayelsa State.
However, after investigating the deal for over three years, the report, according to NILS, is yet to be submitted to NASS for any action, while the officials allegedly involved in the illicit deals have since left the government.
Findings also show that the same fate has befallen the probe of the Dana Airline crash of June 2012, during which 153 persons lost their lives.
The government document indicated that apart from the recommendation for the removal of the NCAA DG, Demuren Harold, other recommendations of the committee, which probed the crash, have remained in the cooler, three years after.
Other investigations whose reports have not seen the light of the day are the transfer of Nigeria’s waterways security and pipelines to private hands to manage, the probe into oil theft running into billions of Naira in the Niger Delta and the probe of the management of N275 billion Destination Inspection Scheme, DIS, between Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and the Ministry of Finance, among others.