An accountability court on Tuesday extended the physical remand of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Orga) ex-chairman Tauqeer Sadiq by ten days and directed National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to produce him on August 2.
Sadiq has been in the NAB court’s custody since July 10, 2013 on two weeks physical remand. He appeared on Tuesday before the court where the NAB sought two weeks further physical remand.
During the hearing, NAB Deputy Prosecutor General Barrister Saeedur Rehman told the court that Sadiq revealed some names including that of his maternal uncle Abdul Ghafoor, a Canadian national also involved in the scam. He requested the court to extend the remand so that the authority could further investigate.
Counsel Sardar Asmatullah Khan, who was representing Sadiq, requested that his client wanted to speak before the court. On getting the permission, Sadiq claimed that during the investigation the NAB officers tortured him and tried to extract statements from him.
He alleged that they wanted him to name a political figure of Pakistan People Party (PPP). “They are asking about PPP Senator Jahangir Badar and their main objective is to target the PPP,’’ he blamed.
However Barrister Saeed-ur-Rehman rejected the allegations and maintained that the authority had provided him complete opportunity to cooperate in the investigation, and he had cooperated to some extent by disclosing some names and providing bank details related to the scam. However, the bureau needed further investigation in this case.
Sadiq’s counsel contended that the NAB should not torture his client, arguing that while even ordinary suspects were given respect, his client should be given due consideration as he was posted as chairman Ogra.
He argued that this case was being portrayed as Rs82billion scam, “which is not the case”. He informed the court that Orga provided subsidy in Unaccounted For Gas (UFG) to the companies; “however the NAB portrayed it as a scam by putting all responsibilities on his client which is unfair”. He informed the court that Ogra’s member finance, who had obtained bail, was involved in this case.
Meanwhile the NAB officials also submitted an application before the court, seeking arrest warrants of former premier Yousaf Raza Gilani for not appearing before the NAB.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2013.