Court ​stops House of Reps from probing ​​Alison-Madueke over N10 bn private jet​

An Abuja Federal High Court on Wednesday set aside House of Representatives’ invitation to Petroleum Minister Deziani Alison-Madueke to appear before it for allegedly hiring a jet for N10 billion.

The Minister and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, had approached the court to stop the lawmakers from probing the allegation.

Delivering judgment, Justice Ahmed Mohammed held that although the lawmakers had the power to summon the minister, they did not follow due process.

Mr. Mohammed also held that the House of Representatives ought to have presented before the court a journal or gazette of the resolution of the meeting where it agreed to invite Ms. Diezani – Madueke.

“None of the defendants produced the published resolution where it was said that the plaintiffs should be invited.

“The defendants ought to have brought before the court the resolution of its meeting wherein the plaintiffs were invited to appear before it.

“There is no evidence before the court that there was a resolution to invite the plaintiffs and by this act, it renders the summons invalid.

“Therefore, the letter of invitation served on the plaintiffs, is hereby set aside because of the failure of the House of Representatives to produce the resolution as duly published in the gazette or journal,’’ he said.

The court, however, faulted the submission of the plaintiffs’ counsel that the lawmakers lacked the power to summon them without the ​p​resident’s consent and refused to grant the prayer.

“The National Assembly in the discharge of its duty does not need any presidential consent to invite a public officer to come and defend how he managed a public property such the aircraft in his/her care.

“What the House is asking for is not a confidential document that needed the consent of the President before it would be released, but rather a public property placed in care of a public servant”, the court held.

The plaintiff’s counsel, Etigwe Uwa, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, had in the originating summons, argued that the lawmakers lacked constitutional power to carry out an oversight function on Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

Mr. Uwa contended that the consent of the president must be sought first before any summons could be issued out by the House or request for any documents or papers.

The counsel argued that such summon must first be published in the gazette of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and must also be published first in the journal of the National Assembly in line with sections 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution.

He had urged the court to set aside the summons because the defendants did not comply with sections 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution and so did not follow due process.

Yakubu Maikyau and Abubakar Mahmud, both SANs and counsel to the Senate and House of Reps respectively, prayed the court to dismiss the argument of the plaintiff.

They argued that the plaintiff had approached the court because she was panicky about the outcome of the probe.

They also submitted that the vote of proceedings for that day could be used as a journal and, therefore, prayed the court to allow the probe.



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  • abc

    Mtew. Let her not even appear, since nothing will happen even she spent the said money.

  • Ibraheem Aruna

    When eventually this democracy collapses, the role of the courts would not be forgotten in a hurry. In other countries people depend so much on the independence of the judiciary and freedom of the press to pursue matters for the betterment of society. A balancing act of giving unto Ceaser what is Ceaser`s and unto God what is Gods.

  • sammyctu ode

    Another kangaroo decision by a Kangaroo court. What does the kangaroo judge is saying> Does the House of Reps has to gazette all invitation before summoning a minister? We have seen many occasions where ministers were summoned within a day or two. This judge should not be on the bench and I believe he has been bribed.

  • Abubakar sfada

    GOD is living wetness for what this women did to this nation, umaru dikko did his own during shagari region, Abacha also did his own, all it has come an pass, as we are suffering now, am fully shower time wil come she will regret all what she couse to this nation, here or here after, president power is noting when God send his angel to revenge all what she did in her life time, so madam continues play ur game before God game play U.

    • Peter_Edo

      God is answering your prayer

  • amazing2012

    Government of the thieves and for the thieves. Jona is not in control, vote him out !

  • Remi

    This is the legalization of stealing not corruption they have been waiting for. The house has to take permission from “olori ole” and also gazette the invitation before a minister not voted for by the electorate before they can appear. What a shame. What a country?

  • favourtalk

    So, where is our money stolen? Imagine the type of court we have under GEJ when someone shave the law with more than 10billion naira stolen. We must send this otuoke guy back home. We need a change, the Poor man is suffering

  • MrFesh+Ifebuche+Paschal

    What do we have in the name of journalists in this country? Chai.

  • Mr. Abdin

    Impunity at work as this is showing how this country is going to.

  • Grace

    if house reps abi house of robbers wants real justice, they should also invite babangida, atiku, umar and all the abokis who stole oil money too.

  • Tokunbo Pole

    This is outrageous.PDP has killed Nigeria.I wish Nigerians can put sentiment aside and face reality.GEJ does not worth being a president.OBJ said corruption was in the corridor of government but now it is living in the bedroom of the government and people want to crucify him.Is OBJ wrong?how much is the cost of a jet?Nigerians should wake up and vote wisely come 2015.