Search Site: OnlineNigeria

Close






Atiku Absent At PTDF Probe Panel

Posted by FROM AZIMAZI MOMOH JIMOH, ABUJA on 2006/12/16 | Views: 785 |

Atiku Absent At PTDF Probe Panel


MORE Facts were presented at a session of the Senate Committee investigating the activities of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) yesterday in Abuja.

* Agency's Funds Trapped In Failed Bank, Ribadu Insists


MORE Facts were presented at a session of the Senate Committee investigating the activities of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) yesterday in Abuja.

And Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who had earlier indicated his interest to appear before the panel did not show up. He later requested for a new date, which the committee granted.

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Malam Nuhu Ribadu, who presented a 23-page document to the committee, maintained that Atiku, some past officials of the PTDF and a few other Nigerians who had dealings with the PTDF had a case to answer.

Also yesterday, Otunba Oyewole Fasawe, explained that Atiku's son, Mr. Adamu Abubakar was not a director of MOFAS, one of the companies at the centre of fraud charges levelled against the Vice President by the EFCC and the Federal Government.

The controversial MOFAS Account was allegedly used by President Olusegun Obasanjo and Atiku to prosecute their presidential campaigns in 2003. Fasawe, a businessman and friend of Obasanjo recently received a clean bill from a Lagos High Court, which declared his detention by the EFCC as a violation of his human rights. The court also quashed the EFCC report and that of the Federal Government indicting Atiku and Fasawe over alleged fraud.

Ribadu's presentation sparked off a protest from a member of the committee, Senator Titus Olupitan, who declared that it was unfair on the part of the panel to have allowed him to testify after it had said that it would not take testimonies on the report earlier submitted to the Senate by the EFCC.

Olupitan was however overruled by the committee chairman, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba who explained that what Ribadu presented yesterday was in no way related to the EFCC report submitted to the Senate by Obasanjo.

At 1.30 p.m. when Ndoma-Egba announced that the public hearing was going on lunch break, he had said that the Vice President had postponed his appearance from 3 p.m. to 4pm.

And at exactly 3p.m, the venue of the public hearing was filled to capacity by persons who had come to listen to Atiku's response to the damning report on him by the EFCC.

But after some 30 minutes of waiting news came that the Vice President would not appear after all. Some eminent Nigerians, including the Action Congress (AC) Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, who were at the sitting started leaving the hall.

The Vice President later applied to the committee to shift his appearance before it to Monday, December 18, 2006, which it granted.

Ribadu had lamented that because of the manner in which the funds released to the PTDF were misappropriated, some core projects that were supposed to be executed with that money were affected.

He disclosed that $23.75 million of the $30 million deposited in the distressed Trans International Bank (TIB) by the PTDF was stuck contrary to claims that the safety of the funds and the health of the bank were major considerations before the placement.

The management of the PTDF at the proceedings denied knowledge of all the three accounts, which the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation claimed that the PTDF operates.

The Executive Secretary of PTDF, Mr. Kabir AbdulFatai Mohammed, told the committee that the agency had the following accounts:

*Dollar Investment Account;

*Dollar Operations Account;

*Naira Investment Account, and Naira Operations Account.

The DPR had on Thursday told the committee that there existed what it called "PTDF Reserved Account" just as the Accountant-General said that the PTDF operated Inspectorate Account and Bank Operations Account, between 2000 and 2006.

In a statement yesterday, Fasawe through his aide, Hon. Segun Seriki explained that MOFAS was formed by the late Baba Mai Deribe, Alhaji Bako Kontagora and himself and that all the original directors, were as nominated by them. Adamu Abubakar was nominated by the late Mai Deribe. Mai Deribe also nominated his son, Zanna Mustapha Mai Deribe into the board at its inception in 1990.

He said the board of the company had changed several times and that both Alhaji Zanna Mai Deribe and Alhaji Adamu Abubakar had long ceased to be its directors.

"The allegation of the ownership of MOFAS is new because no one asked me that question during my incarceration by EFCC for several months," said Fasawe.

"It is a lie that Adamu, the Vice President's son is a director of the company. The records at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) will prove this," he said.


Fasawe accused Ribadu and the EFCC of deliberate attempt to mislead the public. Ribadu, Fasawe alleged, ignored all current records of MOFAS with the CAC and picked the old and outdated documents of the company to support a predetermined conclusion. He also dismissed the allegation that he opened an account with TIB "barely two months" to the lodgment of PTDF funds with the bank.

"I have been a facility customer of TIB since 1990. This allegation is another blatant lie by EFCC. The records are there in TIB. I have been a facility customer since 1990," he concluded.

" So, because someone signed 'Turaki' on a piece of paper, the signee must be Atiku. I can't believe that Ribadu, a northerner who claims to be a policeman and a lawyer would be so naive, mischievous and ludicrous. There are uncountable Turakis all over Nigeria," Fasawe added.

Read Full Story Here.... :
Leave Comment Here :



Add Comment

* Required information
1000
Captcha Image

Comments (0)

No comments yet. Be the first!