The House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions has issued a warrant of arrest for the new Central Bank Governor, Olayemi Cardoso; the Accountant General of the Federation, Oluwatoyin Madein, and 17 others after they refused to honor the committee’s invitations to address inquiries regarding their operations.
This followed the adoption of a motion by lawmaker, Fred Agbedi, at the committee’s hearing on Tuesday,December 5. Moving the motion, Agbedi said that the arrest warrant had become inevitable following the attitude of the invitees.
He said that the parliament worked with time and the government officials had been invited four times, but failed to respond. He said that the Cgovernment officials should be brought to appear before the committee by the Inspector General of Police through a warrant of arrest after due diligence by the Speaker, Rep. Tajudeen Abbas.
In his ruling, the Chairman of the committee, Micheal Irom, said that the IGP should ensure the CEOs were brought before the committee on Dec. 14.
Earlier, the petitioner, Fidelis Uzowanem, said that the petition was anchored on the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) report of 2021. According to Uzowanem, the report was a summary of the transactions in the oil and gas industry for 2021 which NEITI could to be challenged.
“We took up the challenge to examine the report and discovered that what NEITI put together is a report is only consolidation of fraud that has been going on in the oil and gas industry. It dates back to 2016 because was 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 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 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.
“We also found that the cash core payment was use 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 it were not meant for fraudulent purposes. Also for Chevron, the dollar payment NEITI puts forward in its report was 76 million dollars but document emanating from Chevron showed that they received as much as 267 million dollars. In other words, 191 million was laundered under the cover of Chevron and NEITI concealed that; also, Nigeria Agip Company received 188milliom dollars but none of it was reported by NEITI”.
Some of those to be arrested were the Chief Executive Officer, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), that of Ethiop Eastern Exploration and Production Company Ltd, as well as the CEO of the Western Africa Exploration and Production.