OGRA Scandal: Ex-PM Gilani avoids NAB’s third notice

ISLAMABAD: In the case pertaining to the appointment of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority’s former chairman Tauqeer Sadiq, former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has defied the third and final notice of the National Accountability Bureau, after which he may face serious problems under the NAB Ordinance.

“Mr Gilani was summoned on Tuesday but he refused to visit the NAB headquarters,” an official of the bureau told media on Wednesday.

Under the ordinance a person who had ignored three consecutive notices of NAB was liable to be arrested, he said.

Mr Sadiq, allegedly involved in a Rs82 billion scam, has escaped abroad.

There are two ways for the arrest of an accused in a NAB case — through an order issued by the chairman and through a court hearing a reference. The signature of the NAB chairman is mandatory in both cases.

The bureau would proceed in accordance with its ordinance, said Ramzan Sajid NAB spokesman.

Former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf was also allegedly involved in the controversial appointment.

The Supreme Court, where the same case is being tried, has been informed that Mr Ashraf was chairman of the interview board when Mr Sadiq was appointed and Mr Gilani was then the prime minister.

Mr Gilani sent a letter to NAB claiming immunity as a former chief executive of the country.

Under the NAB Ordinance, a person who does not comply with three notices of the bureau may face arrest and heavy fine.

Mr Sadiq has been declared a proclaimed offender as a principal accused in the scam.

After the Supreme Court declared his appointment illegal on Nov 25, 2011, he escaped to Abu Dhabi under mysterious circumstances.

He was arrested by Abu Dhabi police on the intervention of Interpol on Jan 28 and a NAB team rushed there to facilitate the arrest but the UAE government refused to hand him over due to legal constraints.

A Dubai court has fixed July 3 for his deportation but given him a right to appeal against the decision. Meanwhile, media reports said Mr Sadiq had sent a letter to NAB, expressing his willingness to return to the country and face his cases, provided he is given justice.

The apex court ordered the Federal Investigation Agency, the ministries of interior and foreign affairs and all other authorities of the government and their subordinate divisions and offices within the country and abroad in February to render full and prompt assistance to NAB in diligently pursuing the absconding accused and to bring him back to Pakistan.