Reps issue bench warrant on Emefiele, Kyari, 52 others
A report by a committee of the House of Representatives has recommended the arrest of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emiefele, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Group Managing Director Mele Kyari and 52 other heads of government agencies for gross violation of the provisions of the Financial Regulatory Council on rendition of audited account.
The report also recommended that past and present Chief Executive Officers of several government agencies and their Directors of Finance and Account should be handed to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for prosecution.
The 161-page report submitted to the House by its Committee on Public Accounts also indicted all subsidiaries of the NNPC, including the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company, Pipeline and Products Marketing Company Limited, West Africa Gas Limited, Nigerian Gas Company, Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company, and National Petroleum Investment & Management Services (NAPIMS).
Also included on the list are Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Abuja, Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN), Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, National Bureau of Statistics, and Niger Delta Power Holding Company (National Integrated Power Project).
The report also recommend that all Accounting Officers of the 54 government agencies that refused to appear before the House Committee to defend their positions should be issued 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).
The report was supposed to have been considered before the House embarked on its summer vacation, but was stepped down along with other reports as a result of the controversy arising from the consideration of the Electoral Act amendment bill.
The report accused the management of Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) of “recklessly and deliberately” refusing to render their audited accounts from 2005 to 2019 in violation of Section 85 (3) (b) of the 1999 Constitution and recommend that “all those in Office that were responsible should be disciplined and referred to the EFCC in line with Financial Regulation 3129 of 2009”.
Also recommended to face the EFCC are all the Director-Generals and DFAs as well as the various External Auditors of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) from 2006 to 2019 for refusing to render the audited accounts for the last 13 years.
The report recommended that the Chief Executive Officer of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), the University of Calabar, Nigeria Communication Satellite (NigComSat), the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (including the former Vice Chancellor), Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Federal Housing Authority, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria among others should face the EFCC for investigation and prosecution.
The report is the outcome of an investigation into the allegation of deliberate and refusal by Non-Treasury funded Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to remit audited accounts covering 2014 – 2018 to the Auditor General for the Federation ordered by the House following a motion by the Deputy Chairman of Public Accounts Committee, Abdullahi Sa’ad Abdulkadir and 44 others.
The investigation was to identify the Chief Executive Officers of these Agencies, whether in active service or retired, found to have violated the provisions of section 85(2)(3) and (4) of 1999 Nigeria Constitution and hold them liable for their actions.
The report said 300 MDAs were invited to appear before the committee, out of which about 54 refused to appear to defend their positions.
On the National Health Insurance Scheme, the report said: “the NHIS has not rendered its audited accounts for past 13 years.
“The Executive Secretary of the Scheme lamented that this was due to frequent turnover of chief executive officers of the Scheme which become so difficult to keep financial records of the Scheme and dissolution of its governing councils by succeeding governments over the years.
“He said the audited accounts for 2014 and 2015 had been signed and given to the External Auditors for onward transmission to the office of the auditor general while 2016 to 2018 are at final stage of completion.
“The committee frowned at the Management of the Scheme for the non- rendition of their audited accounts over the past 13 years which is a total violation of the financial regulations and the Constitution. The Committee directed NHIS to furnish its procurement process and give written reasons for the delay which is still being awaited”.
It frowned at the delay by the Bureau for Public Procurement in granting the Nigeria Customs Service permission to hire an external auditor to audit its account.