EXCLUSIVE: How NNPC Blackmail on Peterside Committee may Kill Kerosene Subsidy Probe
LEGISREPORTS NG – The much vaunted probe into alleged abuse of kerosene subsidy by the House of Representatives committee on Petroleum (Downstream) may be stalled much longer following the readiness of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to spill the beans on the underhand dealings of legislators in the alleged fraud.
The House had in a recent resolution mandated its Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) to investigate alleged abuse of kerosene subsidy running into billions of naira by marketers and top guns of the NNPC.
But the probe has suffered setbacks due partly to the refusal of officials of the national oil corporation to cooperate with the committee headed by Hon. Dakuku Peterside (APC, Rivers State) .
LEGISREPORTS reliably gathered that the refusal of the NNPC to cooperate on the probe is hinged on the fact that the corporation is in possession of damning documents that could incriminate the House of Representatives especially some members in the leadership who had benefitted from the shady kerosene business.
A top source told our reporter that the Dakuku Peterside committee may have done itself in by authoring certain documents requesting for favours and special concessions for some honourable members to benefit in the alleged kerosene subsidy racket.
“Dakuku knows he has to be careful in pushing this probe because his committee has written several demands to the NNPC for one unjustified and unwarranted favour or the other from members including principal officers of the House even on this kerosene subsidy matter,” said another source who is familiar with the probe.
According to these sources, the committee chairman is afraid that the corporation could blow the lid on these requests and subsequently rubbish the probe like the case of the botched capital market probe in 2012 which backfired to haunt the chair of the panel who was accused on live television of demanding and receiving bribes from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Another source in the NNPC informed LEGISREPORTS that the incessant requests from members of the House to the oil company have been compiled and would be used as a weapon against the House when a push comes to a shove.
Attempts to get the side of the story from Hon. Peterside proved abortive as at the time of filing this report.
This report was prepared by our national assembly reporters