N10bn jet: Court summons Reps over ‘restraining order’ on Diezani

Ameh Ejekwonyilo

A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Head of Legal Services of the House of Representatives to appear before it and show the purported order stopping the House of Representatives Committee on
Public Accounts from probing the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, over the N10 billion jet scandal.
The presiding judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, gave the order yesterday after counsels to parties in the suit announced appearance in the matter.

Justice Mohammed was visibly angry at media reports making the rounds that he granted a restraining order stopping the House’s Committee on Public Accounts from investigating the Petroleum Minister on the alleged N10 billion jet scandal.
He said: “I was embarrassed by media reports that I granted a restraining order on House of Representatives’ Committee on Public Accounts from commencing probe of Diezani. I only ordered that the exparte motion be served on the house to show cause why the applicant’s (Diezani) order should not be granted.”

The minister and the NNPC, through their lawyer, Etigwe Uwah, filed the exparte application with which they sought an order of interim injunction restraining the respondents from, their agents or committee from summoning the applicants to appear before any committees, particularly the House of Reps Public Accounts Committee to produce any documents in respect of the issue, pending the determination of the motion on notice.
Ruling on the controversial court order, Justice Mohammed said: “As far as I am concerned as a judge, no such order was granted. I will no longer sit on this matter until the House appears and clears the air on the issue. This matter is hereby adjourned till May 5, 2014, for mentioning and hearing.”