Culled from The PUNCH
October 3, 2013 by Comfort Oseghale and Sodiq Oyeleke
Civil societies under the aegis of Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders on Wednesday, staged a protest at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission office in Lagos State, seeking the probe of the Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke.
The Executive Chairman of CACOL, Mr. Debo Adediran, who led the protest, submitted a three-page petition to the Lagos Head of Operations, EFCC, Mr. Ilyasu Kwarbai.
In the petition, he asked the EFCC to investigate the alleged deals between the minister and other oil companies as well as the high rate of oil theft under her tenure.
The petition read, “Since Allison-Madueke’s appointment, Nigeria is reported to have lost billions of dollars. So much noise has been made from various quarters, which include the House of Representatives, without any significant response whatsoever. An invitation from the hallowed chambers to the minister was not honoured.”
Adeniran, who also gave a short speech, said, “We call on the commission to urgently commence a probe into various allegations of corrupt practices leveled against the person of the minister of petroleum; such allegations include abuse of office, wastage of nation’s resources among others.
“We refuse to believe that there exists any clique of the ‘untouchables’ and this is why we join our voices with others to demand that the commission commences probing the office of the minister.”
He also urged the EFCC to be objective in its investigation, saying that was the only way the country would grow.
He said, “We have not concluded that the minister is either guilty or innocent. However, we have reasons to believe that the matter is on the verge of being swept under the carpet.”
While receiving the protesters, Kwarbai promised that the commission would look into the allegations in accordance with the law.
He said, “I appreciate your peaceful coordination. We don’t fear anybody or organisation but you should know that when allegations are brought we need evidences for defence in the law court. We don’t sweep petitions under the carpet, we treat them. Our integrity matters to us and we have put structures in place to ensure that.”