April 15, 2024

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Reps issue warrant of arrest on CBN governor, others

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Petition has issued a warrant of arrest on the Central Bank governor, Olayemi Cardoso, the Accountant General of the Federation, Oluwatoyin Madein and 17 others for refusing to appear before it to answer questions on their operations.

This followed the adoption of a motion by Rep. Fred Agbedi (PDP-Bayelsa) at the committee’s hearing on Tuesday.

Moving the motion, Mr Agbedi said the arrest warrant had become inevitable following the attitude of the invitees.

He said the parliament worked with time, and the CEOs had been invited four times but had yet to respond.

The legislator said that the CEOs should be brought to appear before the committee by the Inspector General of Police through a warrant of arrest after due diligence by Speaker Tajudeen Abbas.

In his ruling, the committee’s chairman, Micheal Irom (APC-Cross River), said the IGP should ensure the CEOs were brought before the committee on December 14.

The petitioner, Fidelis Uzowanem, said earlier that the petition was anchored on the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) report 2021.

He said the report was a summary of the “fraudulent” transactions in the oil and gas industry for 2021, which NEITI could be challenged.

“It dates back to 2016 because we have been following, and we put up a petition to this committee to examine what has happened.

The 2024 budget of 27.5 trillion that has been proposed can be confidently be funded from the recoverable amount that we identified in the NEITI report.

“It is basically a concealment of illegal transactions that took place in NNPCL; they have been in the sink with some oil companies where some companies that did not produce crude were paid cash core, an amount paid for crude oil production,” he said.

He added: “We also found that the cash core payment was used as a channel for laundering funds by NNPCL, and we found out that NEITI was able to conceal it in its report.

“In 2021, NEITI reported that Total Exploration and Production Nigeria-Ltd was paid 168 million dollars, but examination of submission by the company shows that it received 292 million dollars.

“In other words, 124 million dollars was laundered by NNPCL through Total because monies that have been officially paid to Total could not have been concealed if they were not meant for fraudulent purposes.

“Also, for Chevron, the dollar payment NEITI puts forward in its report was 76 million dollars, but a document emanating from Chevron showed that they received as much as 267 million dollars.

In other words, 191 million dollars was laundered under cover of Chevron, and NEITI concealed that; also, Nigeria Agip Company received 188 million dollars, but none of it was reported by NEITI”.

Some of those to be arrested were the chief executive officer of the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), that of Ethiop Eastern Exploration and Production Company Ltd, and the CEO of Western Africa Exploration and Production.