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Pipeline Probe : Senate threatens Total MD, others with warrant of arrest

Abuja – The Senate Committee on Gas, investigating $1billion pipeline contract, has threatened to issue warrant of arrest on Managing Directors, Total and Saipem, if they fail to appear in person on Tuesday.

Ekweremadu

The Chairman of the committee, Sen. Basset Akpan, gave the warning in Abuja at the committee’s investigative meeting on $1billion gas pipeline contract.

He said that the committee would issue warrant of arrest on the two Managing Directors if they failed to appear in person before the committee to answer alleged complicity in one billion dollar gas pipeline contract.

The Senate had in August 2017, mandated the committee to investigate the one billion dollar for completion of two major gas pipelines, Northern Option Pipeline (NOPL) 24 km 40 inches and Obite-Ubeta-Rumugi (OUR) 42.5km 40 inches gas pipelines by Total E&;P Nigeria Limited.

Akpan expressed concern that the companies’ refusal to honour invitations by the committee to answer to allegations levelled against them would no longer be taken lightly.

“We will issue the necessary warrant if they fail to appear in person on Tuesday.

“If they do not appear we will invoke the necessary provisions of the law to ensure that they appear.

“We are not in contention with anybody here but we believe very strongly that you should not underestimate the powers of the Senate and you should not play down on our relevance.

“We have gone through this project and we have an informed opinion based on documents we have received and analysis from our consultants as well as on the spot assessment of the various project sites.

“We have come to a conclusion that certain things were not properly done. So we are taking this seriously.

“We are not happy about the attitude of most of the chief executive officers,” he said.

The chairman, who said the committee would get to the root of the matter, added that it would communicate the development to the leadership of the senate.

“We will adjourn till Tuesday, next week and we are insisting that the managing director of Total and Saipem should be in attendance.

“The Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) called me and took permission that he was in Holland with Mr President but we frown at the attitude of Total managing director and Saipem, who are the major players.

“In view of the seriousness of the matter we have given a clear mandate that they must appear on Tuesday.

“It is an investigation of a 95km pipeline that was constructed with the sum of 1.2 billion dollars and it is quite fundamental that we get to the root of this matter.

“We have finished our investigation we will inform them about the outcome on Tuesday,” he said.(NAN)


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