Executives frustrating investigations on diversion of States’ bailout fund—Reps
Anger of the members of the House of Representatives Friday went soar following the absence of invited top federal officers to come and explain how bailout funds to states were administered.
It would be recalled that following several complains by states, the lower chamber of the National Assembly constituted an Ad hoc Committee to investigate the alleged diversion of N700 billion bailout funds by some state governors. But the continued absence of invited executives including the minister of finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeousn, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, and Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, Director-General of Debt Management Office (DMO) is forcing the lawmakers to invoke relevant laws to compel their appearance.
Speaking in anger, Sadiq Ibrahim, chairman of the committee, who issued a threat notice at the opening of the investigative public hearing, expressed disgust over the failure of the trio to honour the invitation.
Ibrahim warned against all forms of impunity by public and political office holders saddled with the responsibility of administering public funds.
According to him, “The attitude of these top government officials show who is mismanaging the economy of the country, Nigerians should rise up and call for their resignations immediately.
“If it is to bring virement, they rush down but now they are to come and explain to Nigerians how the bail outs running to over N700 billion were disbursed, they are sending representatives, they are only interested in borrowing, this has to stop.
“This is a government that is fighting corruption, this is impunity of the highest order and where there is impunity all sort of things will happen,” the lawmaker warned.
Another member of the Adnoc Committee and Chairman, House Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management, Mr. Adeyinka Ajayi, decried that the Committee will not be deterred from carrying out its statutory functions despite the inordinate actions of the Executive on the allegations.
In his anger-laden explanation, he relied on the provisions of Section 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which empowers the House and the Committee to initiate investigation into any corruption related allegations with the view to expose corruption in the country, to add that the Committee will not relate with subordinates who will have to report back to their superiors.
Continuing, he said “It’s an institutional matter; we must have the CBN Governor and the Minister of Finance before us. We’re going to have technical sessions because of the gravity of the issue at stake, he noted.
Another member of the committee and sponsor of the motion, Sunday Karimi, expressed reservation over the refusal of the invited stakeholders to provide relevant documents as requested by the Committee.
Karimi noted that “this is not acceptable, we are to serve the interest of our people, when funds were disbursed as bail outs to settle workers’ salaries, gratuities and pension but the money were diverted to other things, that is wrong, people are suffering, people are dying and you refused to give us the necessary information.