Reps threaten to order Okonjo-Iweala’s arrest over police pension

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BY OKEY NDIRIBE & EMMAN OVUAKPORIE
ABUJA—House of Representatives, yesterday, threatened to issue a warrant of arrest against the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, over her refusal to honour invitations from its Committee on Pensions.

Members of the committee also want the Finance Minister to explain her role in the take-over of Police Pension Fund and non-payment of pensions to retired officers and men of the Nigerian Police Force.

OKONJO-Iweala in SENATE—From Left, Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Yerima Ngama , with the Minister of Finance , Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala at the Senate Joint Committee on Appropriation, and Finance interactive session on the implementation of 2012 budget at the National Assembly Abuja.

Chairman of the Committee on Pension, Ibrahim Kamba, read the decision of the committee after waiting for the minister for several hours without any apology for non-appearance.

He noted that it was obvious that the minister was not ready to appear to explain why the ministry took over Police Pension office without regard to Pension Reform Act.

He said: “We have been inviting the Minister of Finance over the problems of police pension. She has been holding the police pension and several police pensioners have died due to non-payment despite the fact that the National Assembly appropriated money in the 2012 fiscal year.

“Following her refusal, the committee is going to issue a warrant of arrest against the minister if she fails to attend the next meeting.

“We are going to give her a last opportunity. She has no right to neglect the summons of the committee. Many former IGs have not been paid. Sunday Ehindero and Sunday Adewusi and DIG Akeredolu have not been listed due to the take-over by the minister.

“We want to make the reason for our action clear to Nigerians. We hate playing with peoples lives. We have received some petitions from the police that many police pensioners are not paid.”

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