There was a new twist to the leaked report of the Mallam Nuhu Ribadu-led Presidential Task Force on Petroleum Revenue yesterday with some members accusing the former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the leakage.
Investigations revealed that a member who doesn’t want to be named, is accusing Ribadu of playing to the gallery. He noted that Ribadu adopted his usual “cheap popularity tactics” as former EFCC boss in piloting the committee’s affairs. Hear him: “We had to caution him at a point when he caused EFCC operatives to arrest some people who were still under investigations”, the member disclosed. Members of the task force have faulted the leakage, describing what is being circulated in the media, purportedly by the Global News Agency, as unsubstantiated.
They expressed shock that such a painstaking assignment could be so ridiculed by such an act. Responding to the development, a member of the committee, Chief Anthony George Ikoli, (SAN), said: “The committee’s assignment is factually yet to be definitively concluded.
A final report which would be the culmination of the processes and procedures agreed and adopted by the committee cannot exist, especially not in the format being circulated in the media, both social and print.” George-Ikoli, who is also the immediate past attorney-general of Bayelsa, and the only Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) from the state, said that as at the last time members of the committee met in June, the report-writing sub-committee was still doing its job.
According to him, “the report-writing sub-committee has not (after our last meeting in June) received, reviewed, revised and submitted a preliminary report for the committee of the whole for further consideration.The necessary levels and procedures to identify figures, facts and information as well as mandatory authentication and cross-checking to ensure information data integrity and credibility cannot be said to have been done or carried out.
George-Ikoli also disclosed that at the committee’s last meeting, a written proposal presented to the members was advised to be subjected to the established integral norms and procedures of civilized conduct in a setting such as ours. “People of unimpeachable character populate this committee; the manner in which this story was procured only serves to question the integrity of these people, which is rather unfortunate.
Apart from George-Ikoli, at least three other SANs served in the task force. They are Chief Olisa Agbakoba, Chief Anthony Idigbe, and Olasupo Sasore, who is also the former Attorney-General of Lagos State.
Sasore doubles as the Secretary of the task force. Agbakoba, who is a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), when asked about the leakage, said that he will react to the incident later.