The House of Representatives Committee on Public Petition has summoned AGIP Oil Company to appear before it on June 26 over an alleged N80 million owed to an indigenous Nigerian contractor, De Cooon Services limited.

The Committee chaired by Hon. Michael Etaba from Cross River issued the summon at an investigative hearing in Abuja on Thursday,

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expressing displeasure over non-payment and the non-appearance of AGIP oil.
The Committee bemoaned the failure to pay an indigenous company for a job well done and patronizing foreigners for the same job was unfortunate, adding that the act was capable of frustrating Nigerian contractors and driving the country out of business to foreigners’ advantage.

Venting his anger, a member of the Committee, Hon. Matthew Nwogu, said the non-appearance of AGIP was disrespectful, stressing that it is unfortunate that people who are supposed to be accountable to Nigerians are not.

“When a committee like this is mandated by the constitution to handle issues concerning the lives of Nigerians, it summons an organization, but the refusal should call for worry.
“I don’t know who is protecting who, but no one is above the law; the only people who have immunity are the governor and president,” he said.

Addressing the lawmakers, the managing director and chief executive officer of the company of

De Coon, Prof. Nelson Onubogu said the invitation was well advertised in the media, insisting that AGIP deliberately shunned the public hearing.

Onubogu said the matter started more than five years ago, adding that a situation where a Nigerian company is being strangled by an Italian firm was unfortunate.

“They owe my company over 80 million dollars paid by NNPCL. The NNPCL has paid the money, but it was diverted out of Nigeria. AGIP Oil Company used some cronies to take this money out of Nigeria, and they refused to pay the Nigerian company.

“AGIP took all my cancelled contracts and gave them to my own staff while they were working for me. All I am saying here is that AGIP should pay my money; AGIP should be mandated by the NNPCL to pay my money.

“I don’t believe in middle ground; the right thing should be done; they are owing me, and they should pay my money and restore all my contracts as awarded to me.

There are rules and regulations for terminating and awarding contracts,” he said.

Onubogu said he was ready for a peaceful resolution of the issue provided AGIP obeyed, adding that no one could tell him to forgo his money as justice must be done.

ThePaan learnt that the Committee had earlier summoned the top Management of the Nigeria AGIP oil company over the petition raised by a service company, De Coon Services Limited.

Joined in the petition are Mele Kyari, Ali Zara, Ismailia Mohammed and Simbi Wabote.

According to the letter of Summons/Hearing notice issued 10th June, 2024 and signed by the Committee chairman, the parties involved were to appear before the committee on Thursday, June 20, 2024 with a soft copy and ten hard copies of their brief on the matter.

Part of the letter reads: “Whereas the above named petition is now pending before this Committee and the particulars aforesaid are hereby attached.

“And whereas the petition has been assigned to be heard by the Committee for determination, YOU ARE HEREBY requires to note Section 88 and 89(C) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and appear in person before this Committee on Thursday, 20th June, 2024 at 2.00 Pm or so soon thereafter as the Committee shall direct.”

Those specifically listed for response in the matter were the NAOC Managing Director, Division Manager (Strategic Procurement, one Engr. Dan Jumbo and 4 senior managers plus 2 retired staff of the company: Ronni’s Eronini and John Mpi, among others.
The letter further warned that any of the parties who fail to attend the hearing may bear the risk of having the matter determined in his/her absence.