By Emma Amaize
The House of Representatives ad hoc Committee investigating the alleged stolen 17 billion dollars oil and gas sales on Thursday ordered Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele, to appear before it within one week.
The money was allegedly stolen through undeclared crude oil and liquefied natural gas export.
The committee threatened to issue a warrant of arrest on the governor if he failed to appear within the period.
The Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Abdulrazak Namdas said the international oil companies allegedly involved in the deal had provided the committee documents required to commence the investigation.
Namdas expressed concern that full investigation could not begin because of the failure of CBN to give the required details.
He alleged that CBN provided conflicting responses to its inquiry on the matter and as such the governor must appear in person to clarify issues and provide necessary details needed to facilitate the probe.
“We have sent two different letters to the CBN and the bank has provided two conflicting responses to our inquiry.
“In response to the first letter, the apex bank pleaded for time due to the volume of documents required but in response to the second letter, CBN indicated that it has no record of undeclared crude,” Namdas said.
He expressed disappointment over Emefiele’s absence without representation at the investigative hearing.
The chairman warned that the committee would invoke the law against any individual or government agency delaying the investigation.
“We expected him to be here and he is not, we are disappointed.
“We will not allow any agency of government to delay the committee’s work.
“If in the next one week, the CBN Governor did not appear before this committee, we will not hesitate to exercise our powers in line with section 88 and 89 of the 1999 constitution.”
According to Namdas, the required details from the CBN are vital as the investigation cannot commence without them.
“Most of the international oil companies have furnished us with the information needed but CBN is very vital and key to this investigation and we cannot jump the gun,’’ he said.
The assembly set up the committee in September 2016 to investigate 17 billion dollars allegedly stolen from undeclared crude oil and liquefied natural gas export between 2011 and 2014.