ISLAMABAD - Utterly alarmed by the non-cooperation of two former Prime Ministers accused in cases involving embezzlement of billions of rupees, the National Accountability Court on Thursday issued summons to the accused to appear before the investigators.

“NAB has issued final notices to the former prime ministers (Yousaf Raza Gillani and Raja Pervaiz Ashraf) and 17 other accused in the Rs 82 billion Ogra scam directing them to appear before the investigation team on June 11,” an official source confirmed to The Nation adding that NAB deserves the right to act according to law in case the accused did not cooperate with the investigators this time too.

A senior official of NAB while talking to The Nation said that Ogra scam was still a priority for the NAB investigators and it was under investigation in the bureau. The bureau has already issued three notices to Raja and Gilani but the accused had chosen to not to cooperate with the NAB that irked the investigators.

With the Bureau currently working without a Chairman, the NAB has limited powers now as the deputy chairman and other senior officials do not have authority to arrest any body according to National Accountability Ordinance 1999.

“Only Chairman NAB can issue arrest warrant for the accused. With NAB working without Chairman, it has been left with limited powers to get hold of the high and mighty accused including the two former Prime Ministers,” said the source.

He explained that after June 11 the NAB investigators cant approach the accountability court for the issuance of arrest warrants because they have compulsory recommendations from Chairman NAB under the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999.

The accountability courts have power to issue the order of arrest in Ogra case, he added. 

The sources said former minister for petroleum, Dr Asim Hussain, Syed Naveed Qamar, secretaries petroleum have also been summoned for interrogation into Ogra scam on June 11. They added that top management of SSGCL has also been summoned on June 11 in the Ogra corruption case.

The sources said Raja Pervez Ashraf is not only required to answer questions related to Tauqir’s appointment but also about illegal issuance of prime minister’s directive for opening hundreds of CNG stations. Last week, the former petroleum advisor blamed Raja for the approval of 200 CNG station during the last days of the PPP government.

Raja Pervez Ashraf was chairman of the interview board that had appointed Tauqir Sadiq while Yusuf Raza Gilani was the prime minister at that time. NAB had told the Supreme Court in August last year that the two former prime ministers were directly involved in the illegal appointment and federal secretaries Zafar Mehmood and Nargis Sethi were members of the interview board that approved the appointment of Tauqir.

Tauqir, who has already been declared a proclaimed offender, is also the principal accused in Rs82 billion corruption scam. He fled to Abu Dhabi last year after the Supreme Court nullified his appointment as the authority’s chief and ordered his arrest over the mega corruption scam.