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There was mild drama yesterday at the resumption of the Senate hearing into the local content and cost variation investigation on the Egina Oilfield Project.
Senator Solomon Adeola, the Chairman of the AdHoc Committee has indicated in his remarks that he would examine documents submitted by Total Nigeria Plc and NAPIMS / NNPC to ensure there was no backdating to documents to cover misdeeds.

Apparently irked by Senator Adeola’s remarks, the Group General Manager of NAPIMS / NNPC Mr. Roland Ewubare fired back at the Senator.

Mr. Ewubare, a Harvard educated lawyer engaged Senator Adeola in a robust confrontation where he accused Senator Adeola of deliberately mischaracterizing facts and figures for purposes borne out of a combination of mischief and a lack of understanding of the operational dynamics of hydrocarbon exploration and production.

According to Mr. Ewubare, “ a suggestion of backdating of documents by the distinguished Senator is uncalled for and uncharitable. To make a casual remark like this in front of the media creates the impression of wrongdoing on the path of Total and NAPIMS.” Mr. Ewubare went on to state that his personal reputation and integrity should not be sullied by the Senator on the basis of his personal hunch. Mr Ewubare continued by saying that Senator Adeola was in the habit of making unfounded allegations and that in the previous sitting the Senator has accused a senior official of Total of engaging in private vessel contracts. At that same sitting Senator Adeola said he was offered a bribe to influence his committee report.

The GGM went further to say that based on the catty comments of Senator Adeola the entire indigenous vessel tender had to be cancelled to protect the integrity of the process.
Senator Adeola who seemed alarmed to hear that the indigenous vessel tender had been cancelled tried to interrupt the GGM by telling him the tender must not be cancelled at which point the GGM told him categorically that the tender was cancelled.

As the GGM continued speaking in anger at the Senator, other Senators on the committee including Senator Akpabio intervened to calm tempers. Senators Albert Bassey and Gershom Bassey also appealed to the GGM not to take the remarks made by the Chairman as a slur on his reputation.

The observers in the gallery and other parties to the hearing were delighted at Mr Ewubare’s response and his refusal to be intimidated by Senator Adeola.

As Mr. Ewubare departed the venue he was applauded by those who were encouraged by his willingness to speak truth to power.

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