The Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Thursday said she never appointed PriceWaterHouse Coopers to carry out the forensic audit of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
The Minister, who stated this in a statement by her Special Adviser on Communications, Mr Paul Nwabuikwu, was reacting to what she described as frivolous law suit instituted against her by a group of three accounting firms-SIAO Parters.
The firm, according to the statement, had filed a suit against the minister before a Lagos High Court, alleging that she appointed the global audit firm, PWC, to conduct the recently concluded forensic audit of the NNPC against the provisions of the Local Content Act.
The statement read, “It has come to the attention of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, that SIAO Partners, a group of three accounting firms, has filed a suit against her before a Lagos High Court.
“The Minister is yet to be formally notified of the suit but from information gleaned from media reports, the group is alleging that she appointed the global audit firm, Price WaterHouse Coopers, to conduct the recently concluded forensic audit of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation against the provisions of the Local Content Act.
“The CME is astonished by the news of the said court action, which is spurious in the extreme.
“It is shocking that professionals of the calibre of the SIAO Partners can embark on this kind of legal action without taking the trouble to do the minimum amount of homework to confirm basic facts.
“Dr Okonjo-Iweala did not appoint the PWC to carry out the audit. The SIAO Partners should immediately drop this totally baseless suit or she will see them in court.”