Senate threatens 56 agencies with warrant of arrest for shunning probe
By Benjamin Arida://
Senate Commitee on Public Accounts has threatened to issue warrant of arrest on officials of the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA; Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF and 54 others government agencies over failure to appear for investigative hearing.
Chairman of the committee, Senator Matthew Urhoghide (PDP Edo South), threatened the erring agencies following their absence at the Tuesday session.
Urhoghide specifically directed the secretariat of the committee to write the agencies involved for unfailing appearance latest by next week Tuesday to avoid invocation of relevant section of the Constitution against them by the Senate.
He said based on audit report before the committee, NSTIF alone, has over 50 queries to respond to, saying “it is obvious that the agency is running away from Investigation.”
He said: “We have just directed the secretariat of the committee to write to the erring ministries, department and agencies for the last time to appear before us as from next week.
“If they fail to appear by next week Tuesday, we are going to invoke Section 89 of the Constitution, which is bench warrant of arrest to be issued on them to compel them for the appearance.
“Why will the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund come to tell us that they have a new management? For how long do they want the management to be in place before they can appear?
“They know that government is a Continuum. NSTIF has over 50 queries. It is obvious that they are running away, they don’t want to come and give account.
“Today, the Petroleum Product Pricing and Regulatory Agency, and the Rural Electrification Agency and NSITF are all supposed to be here, bringing the total number of errant agencies to 56.
“We are giving them till next week Tuesday to appear or we issue warrant of arrest on them to appear.
“They came for appropriation and they don’t want to account for the money they collected.”