The Senate yesterday clashed with a petitioner, Dr George Uboh of the Panic Alert Security System (PASS), over probe of an alleged $4.9b fraud at the Chevron Nigeria limited.
The petitioner had requested for the withdrawal of the petition, after raising an alarm but the Senate yesterday insisted on going ahead.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, Senator Samuel Anyanwu (Imo East), had while presenting the report of his committee on the probe said Uboh had requested to withdraw the petition.
Anyanwu said the request was made after Uboh and the Director of Finance of Chevron; Mr Uwakwe J.U appeared before the committee and made presentations.
Uboh, according to the report, had alleged that between 2001-2002, Chevron evaded tax to the tune of over $343 million, through over bloating of its operational costs under Petroleum Profit Tax, using Carry Agreement with NNPC as a cover, when such agreement never existed with the company.
“That Chevron Nigeria Limited recouped spurious loan of $235 million from the Nigeria federation between 2002 and 2005 for overdue cash calls; that Chevron conspired with some oil producing companies, NNPC auditors and defrauded the Federation of Nigeria by over $3.6 billion by merely manipulating accounts and records, which were also done under the umbrella of Carry Agreements,” the report added.
The report stated that the representative of Chevron, Uwakwe, had denied that the oil company recouped spurious loans from the NNPC or from any other entity.
Kicking against the request, Senator Dino Melaye ( Kogi West) said, “The Senate is not a police station, you cannot petition the Senate and come back later to say you have withdrawn it. It is expected that before a petition comes to this Senate, due diligence must have been done. We are talking of almost $5 billion.”
Supporting Melaye’s reservation, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu said the Senate should go ahead to conduct investigation into the petition, whether the petitioner withdraws it, or not.
Senate President Bukola Saraki ruled that the petition would be investigated by an ad-hoc committee.