•House may invite her to render account
From CHUKS AKUNNA, Abuja
Sacked Director-General, Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), Ms. Bolanle Onagoruwa, may be in for fresh trouble following moves by the House of Representatives to make her account for her tenure. Last Tuesday, Onagoruwa was billed to appear before the House Committee on Public Procurement, but when top BPE officials appeared without her, they offered excuses that she was on leave. Moments later, the Presidency announced her sack. However, the House leadership was bent on inviting her to account for her management of BPE. Chairman of the house Committee, Ms Jumoke Okoya-Thomas, confirmed to Daily Sun that the House was tinkering with the idea, but that the decision rested with its leadership.
“Yes, several members are pushing that she should be invited to account for her stewardship in BPE, particularly over the Manitoba near-scandal. However, the decision is for the House leadership to take,” she said. Daily Sun gathered that the decision to summon Onagoruwa may have been buoyed by the recent probe by the United States Congress of sacked former Chief of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), General David Patraeus. A ranking lawmaker told Daily Sun that the U.S. experience has shown that there was nothing unusual about compelling sacked or disgraced public officials to account for their stewardship.
“Few days after General Petraeus was forced to resign as head of the CIA over an extra-marital affair, he appeared before the U.S. Congress to say all he knew about the attack on the American Embassy in Libya,” said the lawmaker. “Yes, Ms. Onagoruwa had been fired, but there is nothing wrong with inviting her to answer questions surrounding how she ran BPE,” he added. Recall that the Presidency relived Ms Onagoruwa of her post following a recommendation of the Senate ad hoc committee which allegedly found her wanting over the privatization of Federal Government shares in Eleme Petrochemical Company and the award of the $23 million (about N3.7 billion) management contract by the bureau to Manitoba Hydro Electric Board of Canada last July. Staff of the bureau rejoiced over Onagoruwa’s sack, claiming that they were not happy over her handling of their welfare.
A two-paragraph statement issued by Mr. Umar Sani, Senior Special Assistant (Media and Publicity) to Vice President Namadi Sambo, said Ms Onagoruwa should hand over to the most senior director in the BPE, Mr. Benjamin Ezra Dikki, who is holding office in acting capacity as the Director-General. The Senate ad hoc committee had in December last year, approved the report of the probe panel recommending Onagoruwa’s sack for alleged gross incompetence, after weeks of delay that raised suspicion of a possible cover-up. The BPE is the secretariat of the National Council on Privatization (NCP) which is charged with the responsibility of implementing the council’s policies on privatization and commercialization and Vice President, Namadi Sambo is by statute, the Chairman of the council.