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Audit Probe: Reps panel recommends arrest of Godwin Emefiele, Kyari, 52 other heads of MDAs

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Godwin Emefiele
Godwin Emefiele

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The Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives has recommended the arrest of the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and 53 other heads of federal government agencies for shunning the invitation to the audit report investigation carried out by the committee.

This was contained in a report submitted to the House at plenary by the Chairperson of the Committee, Oluwole Oke (PDP, Osun) on Thursday.

The report is titled “Deliberate and Reckless Refusal by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government to render Audited Accounts for the periods 2014–2018 and 2019–2021 to the Auditor–General of the Federation.”

Apart from the CBN, other agencies listed are the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), and Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).

The Public Account Committee is a creation of the constitution, and it is saddled with the responsibility of investigating the report of the Auditor-General for the Federation.

The committee, which is usually headed by opposition lawmakers, sits regularly to consider reports before it.

The committee recommended Mr Emefiele and others for arrest as the chief accounting officers of their organisations.

The committee, in the report, stated that the arrest warrants will “compel their appearance to respond to the matter within a week in line with section 89 (d) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.”

The report also recommended sanctions against some institutions for delays and non-rendition of their audited accounts to the Auditor-General’s office.

The agencies include the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, the University of Jos, the University of Ilorin, the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia and the Federal University of Technology, Akure.

Others are Federal University, Gusau, Husseini Adamu Federal Polytechnic, Kazaure, Federal College of Education, Asaba, Federal College of Education, Obudu and University of Agriculture, Makurdi.

Federal Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, National Medical Research, Lagos, Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo State and National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research, Idu, Abuja are also listed.

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The committee accused the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), of reckless and deliberate refusal to submit audited accounts for the past five years (2005 – 2019) in a violation of Section 85 (3) (b) of the 1999 Constitution.

It recommended that “all those in office that were responsible should be disciplined and referred to the EFCC in line with Financial Regulation 3129 of 2009.”

The same recommendation applies to the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria. The committee recommended, “that all the former Managing Directors, Director Finance Accounts and External Auditors from 2013 to 2018 that are involved in the non-rendition of audited accounts should be handed over to EFCC and sanctioned accordingly.”

The committee also made similar recommendations on the Federal Housing Authority. It stated that the Authority submitted audited accounts last in 2003.

“The Agency could not provide proof for the rendition of 2014 audited accounts. This act negates Section 85 (3) (6) of the Constitution,” it stated.

 

 

It added that “all former MDAs, DFAs and External Auditors should be handed over to the EFCC and sanctioned accordingly.”

The committee also indicted the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State.

It resolved that the “former Vice Chancellor, former Bursar and present Vice Chancellor should be sanctioned and handed over to EFCC for non-rendition of 2016 – 2018 audited accounts.”

Similarly, the Nigeria Integrated Water Resources was also recommended for sanction. The committee stated that the “Agency could not tender documents on rendition of audited accounts since its inception in 2009.”

To address the violation, the committee stated that “All former DGs, DFAs as well as the present Ag. DG should be sanctioned. The EFCC should prosecute all found responsible in accordance with the law.”

Other agencies whose managements were recommended for sanctions include; Nigeria Communication Satellite (NigComSat), Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and Abuja Investment Company.

The recommendations are subject to approval by the Committee of the Whole

 

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