Reps Committee Orders Arrest Of CBN’s Cardoso, Accountant-General, Others Over Refusal To Honour Summons

House of Representatives

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Petition has issued a warrant of arrest on Governor Olayemi Cardoso of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for refusing to appear before it to answer questions on their operations.

The committee also ordered the arrest of Oluwatoyin Madein, Accountant General of the Federation, and 17 others.

The motion was on Tuesday moved by Fred Agbedi, a member representing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

According to Agbedi, the arrest warrant had become inevitable following the attitude of the invitees.

He said parliament worked with time and the bosses had been invited four times but failed to respond.

The lawmaker added that the Heads should be brought to 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.

In his submission, Chairman of the Committee and member representing All Progressives Congress (APC), Cross River, Micheal Irom, said that the IGP should ensure the Chief Executive Officers were brought before the committee on December 14.

Earlier, the petitioner, Fidelis Uzowanem, said that the petition was anchored on the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) report of 2021.

He said that the report was a summary of the transactions in the oil and gas industry for 2021 which NEITI could challenge.

“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.

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“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.

“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,” Uzowanem said

Uzowanem said the cash core payment was used as a channel for laundering funds by NNPCL and “we found out that NEITI was able to conceal it in its report”.

“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.”

Among the 17 to be arrested are the Managing Directors (MDs) of National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), Ethiop Eastern Exploration and Production Company Ltd, and Western Africa Exploration and Production.

Others are MDs of; Alteo Eastern E&P Co. Ltd., First Exploration & Production Ltd., The Md, First E&P Oml 8385 Jv, Heirs Holdings Oil and Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (Mpnu).

Also listed are Shell Petroleum Development Company (Spdes), Total Exploration & Producing Nig (Tepng), Nigeria Agip Oil Company (Naoc), Pan Ocean Oil Nig Ltd, Newcross E&P Ltd and Frontier Oil Ltd.