Fidelity bank banner UBA banner
NNPC above the law? Corrupt oil parastatal claims it cannot be sued under FOI without a pre-action notice, stalls Reps’ suit

By News Express on 04/07/2014

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+

Views: 2,484


The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has filed an objection to a suit filed at the Federal High Court Abuja by the Civil Society Network against Corruption (CSNAC) seeking a court order to compel the cooperation to release information on the beneficiaries of N15bn disbursed for guarding oil pipelines in the Niger Delta.

This was even as the parastatal, its supervising Ministry of Petroleum Resources and Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke yesterday stalled hearing in the suit they filed against their investigation by the House of Representatives over the minister’s alleged wastage of N10 billion on hired private jets.

In the Niger Delta oil pipelines security case, NNPC claimed in its notice of preliminary objection filed on June 14 by its counsel, Augustine Alegeh (SAN), that CSNAC has no locus standi to file the court action. It also argued that the corporation was not given a one-month notice of the suit before it was filed as required by the NNPC Act.
CSNAC had in September 2013 sent an FOI letter to NNPC requesting information on the beneficiaries of N15bn approved and disbursed by it for securing oil pipelines in the Niger Delta. CSNAC has stressed in the letter of request that the information was required for its planned monitoring of the initiative to avoid a repeat of past failed efforts by government.

Having failed to provide the requested information, CSNAC through its counsel, Mr. Chino Obiagwu, filed an origination summons in court for an order under Section 20 of the FOI Act compelling NNPC to release the requested information. Under the FOI Act, no further notice of action is required to be given to a public institution before an applicant whose request for information was refused or ignored could go to court to seek court order for the requested information.
“By filing a preliminary objection to the suit on such flimsy technical excuses, NNPC has demonstrated that it is an unrepentant corrupt institution that is not willing to open itself up to civil society scrutiny. It choose to hire and pay huge legal fees to a senior advocate of Nigeria to delay the suit or frustrate it, rather than provide the simple information requested from it. This is really very unfortunate,” said Mr. Lanre Suraj, the Chairman of CSNAC and a co-plaintiff in the suit.
He stressed that Under Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011, CSNAC has the right to the information requested. “As a body created to serve the public’s interest, the NNPC is obligated to provide CSNAC with the requested information within seven days of receipt of the request failure of which the organisation can sue in court within 30 days for order to release the information sought,” Suraj said in a statement issued this morning in Lagos.
News Express recalls that NNPC has been lately swimming in several allegations of corruption and poor accountability, including allegation by the former Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanisi, concerning the missing N20bn from the corporation accounts. This is even as the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) insists that a total of 222,437,870 barrels of crude oil worth about $22.04 billion was unaccounted for in the period between 2004 and 2014.

Rather than clear its name and improve on its accountability and integrity, NNPC has continued to hide information about its operations from the public.
The NNPC’s blatant disregard for the right to information as guaranteed by the Freedom of Information Act raises serious concern of deep corruption in the corporation, according to Ms Melissa Omene, legal officer with LEDAP and a counsel in the CSNAC’s suit. “What does the NNPC have to hide in respect of the requested information? Civil society must continue to engage NNPC and similar corrupt institutions as a way to fight corruption and abuse of office in public institutions in Nigeria,” Ms Omene said.
She pointed out that contemporaries of NNPC, such as PETRONAS and Statoil, have developed themselves through prudent operations and accountable investments to become renowned players in the global petroleum industry. Ms Omene noted that NNPC, on the other hand, has continued to rely on patronage of government and remains a cesspit of corruption in Nigeria.
The CSNAC case lodged at the Federal High Court Abuja, is coming up for hearing of the preliminary objection on July 7.

•Photo shows NNPC GMD Andrew Yakubu.

Source News Express

Posted 04/07/2014 12:02:22 PM

 

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+


 

CLASSIFIED ADS

 

You may also like...
Rape Trial: Security chief brought to court on...

Group seeks prosecution of UNIUYO VC for alleged...

Ayo takes over as Airtel Gabon Board Chairman...

Scholars commend Research on 75 Years of Nigerian...

APC hits Wike, says there’s nothing to fear...

Cloudy/hazy morning to give way to thunderstorms, sunny...

Sultan declares Wednesday Eid-el-fitr day

Group condemns exclusion of women from political leadership...

FG deploys 1,600 operatives to protect cattle ranches...

Lecturer who raped 13-year-old girl to death remanded...

Iranian Shiites threaten Nigeria over detention of El-Zakzaky...

Motailatu Church Cherubim and Seraphim Worldwide celebrates founder...

 

Latest News Why there will be no peace in APC: Communications Minister Adebayo Shittu Cashier, wife, mother-in-law docked for bank fraud APC, Presidency designing plots to frustrate PDP governors: Secondus Whistle blowers charged for conspiracy to rob Gov. Dickson to remain in prison Police most violator of human rights, survey finds DTSG assures of effective healthcare coverage Sack Tambuwal from office, APC begs S’Court NPA concessions Terminal B, Warri Old Port FG blames N’Assembly for delay in 2019 Budget presentation Kaduna Polytechnic joins ASUP strike Buhari mourns Ikedife, ex-President of Ohanaeze Ex-Trump lawyer, Cohen, sentenced to 3 years in prison

 

Most Read NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (429,881 views) Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (394,815 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (327,705 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (281,122 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (247,830 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (229,266 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (212,113 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (193,316 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (179,591 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (170,442 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (167,231 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (153,691 views)

 

Zenith Zero Balance First Bank chat banking

 

Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (76) Business & Economy (3,875) Business Verdict (54) Columnists (973) Complaints & Requests (95) Enterprise & Opportunities (208) Entertainment (575) Features (679) Global Business Monitor (313) International (2,813) Interview (167) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (146) Maggie's Blog (69) News (41,381) Opinion (1,151) Pidgin (13) Politics (8,146) Religion (913) Sports (1,817) Stock Watch (35) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update

 

 

 

 

APO Group Partner

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member

 

 

Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera