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As controversy rages over the alleged expenditure of N10bn on a private jet by the Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Deziani Allison-Maduekwe, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has avoided to state categorically if it plans to probe the allegations against the minister.
The Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, who spoke to one of our correspondents in a telephone conversation on Friday in Abuja, refused to confirm if the EFCC would interrogate the petroleum minister in relation with the N10bn scandal or not.
He said it was not the practice of the commission to give prior notification of investigation.
He said, “EFCC does not give prior notice of investigation to anybody. It is not in our character to do so.”
Uwujaren told one of our correspondents to call him back when he was asked whether petitions had been written to the commission to draw its attention to the private jet saga rocking the petroleum ministry. But repeated calls to the mobile telephone line of the EFCC spokesman did not connect when the correspondent tried to reach him again.
An operative of the commission, who spoke with our correspondent in confidence, however, said the EFCC might be handling the matter through its Subsidy Department or Investigations and Special Operations Division.
“They might be doing it in the Subsidy Department or Investigations and Special Operations Division. They might not announce it. As for petition, I am not aware of any,” the source said
The spokesperson of another anti-graft agency, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, Mr. Folu Olamiti, could not be reached for comments.
Several calls to his phone did not go through. He did not respond to a text message sent to him to get the position of ICPC on the raging issue.
The House of Representatives, through its House Committee on Public Accounts, is probing Allison-Maduekwe for allegedly spending N10bn on a chartered private jet for her personal use.
A member of the House of Representatives from Lagos State, Mr. Samuel Adejare, who brought the issue before the House on Thursday said N3.1bn had been committed to the maintenance of the aircraft in the last two years.
He said the chartered aircraft was maintained at the cost of 500,000 euros or N3.120m per month for the personal use of the minister.
Two other jets have been allegedly traced to the minister.