Anti-corruption group, the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) on Thursday commended President Goodluck Jonathan for approving the forensic audit of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Accounts (NNPC) over the allegedly unremitted $20bn but called for the suspension of Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke while the probe is ongoing.
The group described the approval the forensic audit of NNPC’s books as a step in the right direction, since the corporation is a “known drain pipe” to the coffers of the country.
“This audit will not only unearth the whereabouts of the missing $20bn, but it will also make transparent, the accounts of the NNPC and other government agencies”, Executive Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran said.
“It is a good thing that independent bodies are going to find out what happened to the missing money and even digging into the books of the NNPC and her sister agencies”.
However, he expressed scepticism on the implementation of the audit report, considering that the account of NNPC has been audited many times in the past, WITH all indicating monumental corruption and the Federal Government failing to take decisive action.
“The KPMG report on NNPC carried out in 2010, the 2012 Nuhu Ribadu Report on NNPC, [and] the Berne Declaration Report all indicted the NNPC of massive corruption and sharp practices and nothing has been done to those indicted in the probes”, he recalled.
“Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke and others fingered in the previous probes should be asked to step aside if the forensic audit would be successful and meaningful.
“For any successful audit to be carried out, the petroleum minister and others who are suspects should step aside. Otherwise, the audit will just be efforts in futility as those auditors may be compromised at the end of the day. The report of the audit should be handed over to the anti-graft agencies for apposite prosecution of anyone found to have abused his office”.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati announced on Wednesday that President Goodluck Jonathan has sanctioned the contraction of “reputable international firms” to audit NNPC’s accounts, but gave no further details.