Reps panel threatens to summon Buhari over restoration of four OMLs

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The house of representatives committee on petroleum resources (upstream) has threatened to summon President Muhammadu Buhari over the revocation and re-award of four oil mining leases (OMLs).

At a public hearing on Thursday, the panel said it will summon Buhari if Mele Kyari, group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), fails to honour their invitation within two weeks.

The lawmakers are investigating the circumstances that led to the revocation and restoration of the four OML to NNPC. They include OMLs 123, 124, 126 and 137.

NNPC operates the licences in production sharing contract with Addax Petroleum, a company owned by China’s Sinopec Group.

On March 30, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) revoked the licences over poor development of the assets.

But Buhari, who is also the minister of petroleum, restored their ownership to NNPC about three weeks after.

In investigating the matter which had been considered by the house, the committee invited Kyari and Timipri Sylva, minister of state for petroleum, but Kyari did not show up at the hearing.

Addax Petroleum Company Limited, Kaztec Engineering Limited, and Salvic Petroleum Limited, all of which are also involved in the matter, did not honour the invitation as well.

Sarki Adar, chairman of the committee, said: “We are giving them (those who did not appear before them) two weeks from today. We would reschedule this meeting from now to two weeks (for them) to appear before this committee and we continue our business.”

To Sylva, he said: “You are the one that takes memo on their behalf to the council as far as we are concerned. Unless they want us to invite President Muhammadu Buhari as minister of petroleum. If they do not come, we will not hesitate.

“Buhari is a minister. He appointed himself, approved by the parliament, and he is doing his job. We would invite him. And I know (that) as a president who is law-abiding, he would come.

“If he comes, Nigerians should know that it is the failure of the NNPC to come that led him to appear before us.”

Adar also said the NNPC has refused to provide relevant documents to aid the committee’s investigation.

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