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Reps order CBN gov, AGF, 17 others’ arrest for ignoring summons

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Petition has ordered the arrest of the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Olayemi Cardoso; Accountant General of the Federation, Oluwatoyin Madein; and 17 others, over failure to appear before it for questioning on their functions.

The motion for the arrest was moved on Tuesday by Fred Agbedi of the Peoples Democratic Party (Bayelsa), noting that the arrest was unavoidable due to the behaviour of those invited as they had been invited more than thrice without showing up.

The Managing Directors of  National Petroleum Investment Management Services, Ethiop Eastern Exploration and Production Company Ltd, Western Africa Exploration and Production, Alteo Eastern E&P Co. Ltd., First Exploration & Production Ltd., First E&P Oml 8385 Jv, Heirs Holdings Oil and Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, are listed as part of the 17 CEOs to be arrested.

Others include Shell Petroleum Development Company, Total Exploration & Producing Nig, Nigeria Agip Oil Company, Pan Ocean Oil Nig, Ltd., Newcross E&P Ltd and Frontier Oil Ltd.

Agbedi added that they should appear before the committee by the Inspector General of Police through a warrant of arrest after due diligence by Tajudeen Abbas, speaker of the house.

According to the petitioner, Fidelis Uzowanem, the requisition was on the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative report of 2021.

Uzowanem noted that the report was a brief of the trades in the oil and gas industry for 2021 which NEITI could question.

He said, “We took up the challenge to examine the report and discovered that what NEITI put together as a report is only consolidation of fraud that has been going on in the oil and gas industry.

“It dates back to 2016 because we have been following and we put up a petition to this committee to examine what has happened.

“The 2024 budget of N27.5 trillion that has been proposed can be confidently funded from the recoverable amount that we identified in the NEITI report.

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“It is a concealment of illegal transactions that took place in NNPCL, they have been in a sink with some oil companies where some companies that did not produce crude were paid cash core, an amount paid for crude oil production.”

“In 2021 NEITI reported that Total Exploration and Production Nigeria-Ltd was paid 168 million dollars but examination of submission by the company shows that it received $292 million,” he said.

“In other words, $124 million was laundered by NNPCL through Total because monies that have been officially paid to Total could not have been concealed if they were not meant for fraudulent purposes.

“Also for Chevron, the dollar payment NEITI puts forward in its report was $76 million but documents emanating from Chevron showed that they received as much as $267 million.

“In other words, $191 million was laundered under the cover of Chevron and NEITI concealed that; also, Nigeria Agip Company received $188 million but none of it was reported by NEITI.”

The Chairman of the committee, Micheal Irom, of the All Progressives Congress (Cross River), maintained that the IGP should bring the heads of operations forward before the committee on December 14.

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