Abuja, Nigeria | – A Nigerian court has halted a parliamentary investigation into allegations the country’s oil minister spent $62 million on a private jet, a court document made public on Monday showed.
Nigeria’s lower house last month mandated its public accounts committee to investigate Diezani Alison-Madueke’s alleged reckless spending of 10 billion naira ($62 million) on a private plane.
But the minister and the state oil firm Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) challenged its power to carry out such an investigation.
The Federal High Court issued a temporary halt order after parliament summoned the minister to appear before it to answer charges over the allegation, said the document, sent to AFP by the NNPC.
The order prevents parliament or any of its committees or officers from compelling the minister to give evidence in connection with the allegation.
Nigeria is Africa’s largest producer if crude oil, but its massive energy revenues have largely been squandered through decades of corruption.
Alison-Madueke has been in office since 2010 and is considered one of President Goodluck Jonathan’s most powerful and influential cabinet ministers.