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ThisDayOnline (Nigeria): House Summons Daukoru over Shell’s Underpayment

From Chuks Akunna in Abuja, 08.24.2006

House of Representatives yesterday resolved to issue a warrant compelling Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Edmund Dakoru, to appear before it to explain why Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), allegedly under-paid the Federal Government $3.2 billion.

Reacting to a prayer by the House committee on Petroleum resources for “appropriate sanctions on the minister for aiding SPDC and deliberately refusing to appear before the committee,” the House resolved to, first, invite the minister before meting out the appropriate sanctions on both him and SPDC.

The committee on Petroleum Resources had in its report tabled before the House yesterday, recommended that SPDC “be made to pay to the Federal Government, claims 3, 17, 24, 25, 52a & 52b totalling $1,013,921,000, and other deferred claims for top management of SPDC and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) (2,4,5,7,15,18,20,34,40,42,46,50 and 51)”

The committee also recommended “that the cash call should not be released to SPDC until the company has completely paid its debts to the Federal Government in respect of the Value for Money Audit.”

Commenting on the report, Honourable Tengo Shegba (Benue), declared that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is often quick in hounding state and local government officials, but is blind to such “huge underpayments.”

In their submissions, Honourables Ibn Na’Allah and Obetan Obetan, cautioned against “hastily” adopting the recommendations without hearing from concerned parties.

The Deputy Speaker, Sir Austin Opara, who presided over yesterday’s plenary session, thereafter invoked Section 89 (1) of the Constitution, to issue a warrant compelling Daukoru to appear at a yet-to-be determined date.

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