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Reps threaten CBN, AGF gov with arrest for shunning probe

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On Thursday, the House of Representatives (Reps) Ad Hoc Committee investigating the non-remittance of money to the National Housing Fund and the utilization of funds from 2011 to date warned that the chief executive officers who failed to honor its invitation risk being subpoenaed.

The committee consequently gave the defaulting banks until Thursday next week to appear before it with all the required information.

It also insisted that the Accountant General of the Federation, Dr. Oluwatoyin Madein, and the acting governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Folashodun Shonubi, must appear in person before the panel next Thursday.

The chairman of the ad hoc committee, Musa Bagos, who disclosed this at Thursday’s sitting of the committee, frowned at the attitude of CEOs, who would always give excuses that they had traveled out of the country whenever they were invited to appear before the parliament.

Bagos noted that, as much as the committee would want to give a fair hearing to every stakeholder, it would not hesitate to invoke the provisions of the law against anyone who attempts to undermine its authority or sabotage the investigation.

He said, “We will not tolerate a situation whereby CEOs shy away from coming up to give evidence. Each time, all the CEOs claim they have traveled abroad.

“We insist on having the Accountant General of the Federation and the acting governor of the CBN appear before this honorable committee unfailingly next Thursday at 11 a.m. We are not going to entertain their representatives.”

The director of banking supervision, Mr. Haruna Mustapha, who represented the CBN governor, was asked to go back.

The committee equally rejected taking any evidence from the director of IPPIS, Mr. Emma Deko, who represented the AGF, insisting that she must appear in person.

Bagos said, “Today, we invited all the banks, but only UBA, Zenith, Heritage, and Sterling Bank came. We’ll not take it lightly with the absentee banks any longer. They must appear next Thursday.”

At Thursday’s sitting, only representatives of the CBN, FMBN, UBA, Sterling Bank, Heritage Bank, and Zenith Bank were present.

Although the committee accepted the presentations from UBA, which were presented by Mr. Eke Ogba, regional head; Heritage Bank, presented by regional head, Abuja, Mr. Oniko Daniel; and Zenith Bank, presented by DGM Carl Akwarandu, they were asked to further submit details of their investments in the NHF when their CEOs appear on Thursday.

Also present were representatives of the gateway payment providers: Remita, e-Tranzact, and NIP. However, they were asked to go and come with their CEOs on Thursday.

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