KUMUL Petroleum Holdings Ltd (KPHL) is answerable to the legislature, former judge and lawyer Nemo Yalo says.
“The legislature, like the judiciary, has the ultimate oversight role on the executive arm and its agencies,” Yalo said in a statement.
“KPHL chief executive and the board are appointed by and are answerable to the executive arm.
“Therefore, by extension, KPHL is answerable to the legislature.
“Who does the KPHL board and CEO ultimately declare and present dividends to?
“To themselves or to the people through their executive government?”
Yalo said he was only expressing his opinion on the matter.
He said only the National Court and the Supreme Court could settle the issue of whether or not KPHL was subject to the Constitutional oversight powers and functions of the legislature.
Yalo said the Supreme Court, in the case MRDC vs Ombudsman Commission SC931 (August 2008), ruled that MRDC, a company registered with the IPA and of which the prime minister was the sole shareholder holding shares for and on behalf of the State, was subject to the scrutiny of the Ombudsman Commission (OC), in particular its CEO being subject to the Leadership Code, including the ex-officio board members, who by virtue of their substantive offices, were also declared as being subject to the same law.
He said the committee on public accounts was a Parliamentary committee performing the role of the legislature when it was not in session.
Those very roles and functions each Parliamentary committee was obligated to perform.
“If one were to buy the KPHL’s legal proposition, it is amazing that an Act of Parliament passed by the Parliament itself restricts its own ultimate power to supervise the executive.
“Was the Parliament blind to the doctrine of separation of powers when it passed laws to tie its own hands behind its back?
“It is immaterial that KPHL, or any state-owned enterprise was registered with the IPA,” Yalo said.
“The Parliament through the PAC has power to review and probe the Auditor General’s reports, OC reports and others, and compel relevant persons and entities to give information.