The House Committee on Public Accounts has on Thursday, July 22, prayed the House of Representatives to issue warrants of arrest on Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele; Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Melee Kyari; Sole Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Effiong Akwa; Chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Elias Mbam, and 50 others.
The committee in its report on the audit reports by the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation for years 2014 to 2018, which is awaiting consideration by the House, heads of 54 ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government allegedly refused to answer audit queries.
Consequently, the committee, which is chaired by Oluwole Oke, prayed the House ‘that all Chief Accounting Officers of the 54 government agencies listed on pages 4 to 6, that refused appearance to defend their positions during the public hearing without any written reason, prominent among them are CBN, NNPC, NDDC, RMAFC, etc., should be issued a warrant of arrest to compel their appearance to respond to the matter within a week in line with Section 89 (d) of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended).”
In the report containing 30 recommendations, the committee recommended several serving and former managing directors, directors-general, directors of finance and accounts/administration for prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, while asking various MDAs to make refunds for failing to account for funds.
For NIMASA, the committee stated that the ‘reckless and deliberate refusal’ by the management of the agency to render their audited accounts for the past five years (2005 – 2019) was a violation of Section 85(3)(b) of the 1999 Constitution.
“All those in office that were responsible should be disciplined and referred to the EFCC in line with Financial Regulation 3129 of 2009,” it said.
The committee said the management of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria should be cautioned to desist from the late rendition of their audited accounts to the auditor-general’s office.
In the case of the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Company, the committee said the managing director and the officers involved ‘should be sanctioned accordingly’ for not submitting the agency’s audited accounts from 2012 to 2019.
Others who failed to render their audited accounts and to be sanctioned include the Security and Exchange Commission (2014 – 2018), Petroleum Equalisation Management Board (2017 and 2018 as of 2020), the Federal University of Technology Owerri (delayed 2011 – 2014 and non-rendition of 2016 – 2018), the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (2014-2018), and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (since its inception in 2013 to date).
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