The continued refusal of Mrs. Dieziani Alison-Madueke to honour the invitation to be investigated by the House of Representatives over an allegation that she spent N10bn on a chartered aircraft has been condemned.
The embattled Minister of Petroleum Resources received this backlash from The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL, the group which stated that her refusal is an admission of guilt on its own.
Alison-Madueke, had reportedly refused to appear before the House of Reps Committee on Public Accounts because she believes that they do not have the power to summon her for investigation without first obtaining the consent of President Goodluck Jonathan.
Comrade Debo Adeniran who spoke on behalf of CACOL, stated that it is ridiculous for political office holders to stop an arm of government from carrying out its constitutional duty.
The Chairman of the Coalition also lamented Nigeria’s inability to breed a good crop of leaders since she started practicing democracy in 1999.
He said: “It is preposterous that political office holders would prevent an over-sighting arm of government from performing its duty. The level of impunity in this present regime is so high that one wonders if the executive actually understands the principle of checks and balances.
“The claim that the President would have to endorse the invitation before the Petroleum Minister attends the probe is not only ridiculous but antithetical to the spirit of true democracy. It is like Mrs. Madueke has forgotten that the National Assembly comprises of the elected representatives of the entire Nigerian citizenry who hold the sovereignty of this country on behalf of the people”.
Adeniran further stated that: “investigation of this nature makes it possible for the parliament to restrain the excesses of other arms of government. It is only corrupt officials that will be searching for avenues to circumvent such probe.
“What does it take out of Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, as a public official to honour the invitation to an investigation that will vindicate her from all suspicions if there are no skeletons in her cupboard?
“Her refusal to honour the NASS’ invitation is a clear indication that she is as guilty as accused. The truth is that majority of government officials are corrupt, so they can never be happy honouring invitations that will expose them the more”.
The anti-corruption crusader however urged the House of Representatives to issue a warrant of arrest against the minister if she continues with the refusal.
“It behooves the National Assembly to wield the authority that the constitution bestows on it to issue a warrant of arrest against the Petroleum Minister. She should be made to realise that her refusal to answer the elected representatives of the people is a slap on the face of every citizen of this country,” he added.