The House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions has taken a bold step by issuing arrest warrants for the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Olayemi Cardoso, the Accountant General of the Federation, Oluwatoyin Madein, and 17 other officials who failed to appear before the committee.
The decision, made during the committee’s Tuesday hearing, was based on a motion adopted by Representative Fred Agbedi (PDP-Bayelsa), who highlighted the non-compliance of the invited officials.
Agbedi argued for the necessity of arrest warrants and proposed that the CEOs be brought before the committee by the Inspector General of Police, following due diligence by Speaker Rep Tajudeen Abbas.
Committee Chairman Rep Michael Irom (APC-Cross River) directed the Inspector General to ensure the presence of these officials on December 14.
The petitioner, Fidelis Uzowanem, had brought the matter to the committee, citing the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) report of 2021 as the basis for his petition.
Uzowanem expressed concern, stating, “We took up the challenge to examine the report and discovered that what NEITI put together is a consolidation of fraud that has been going on in the oil and gas industry since 2016. We put up a petition to this committee to examine what has happened.”
He further revealed details from the NEITI report, claiming, “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 sync with some oil companies where some companies that did not produce crude were paid cash for an amount designated for crude oil production.”