Reps panel threatens to arrest Emefiele over port probe

Emefiele Godwin. PHOTO CREDIT: SHIPS & PORTS archive


The House of Representatives has threatened to invoke its constitutional powers against the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, over non-appearance of the apex bank before an investigative panel.

CBN was not represented at the second investigative hearing on Monday, which was organised by the ad hoc committee set up by the House to “determine why the Warri, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Onne and Onitsha inland ports complexes are not being put to maximum use.”

The committee had at its inaugural sitting on Thursday summoned several Federal Government agencies and officials, including the CBN, for failing to attend the day’s proceedings.

The panel had stated that submissions by the affected bodies were critical to the investigations by the lawmakers on the moribund state of ports in the country, leading to the congestion and perennial gridlock at the Apapa Port, Lagos State.

After a closed-door meeting with the agencies and officials who turned up on Monday, the panel condemned CBN for allegedly ignoring its invitation.

Chairman of the committee, Buba Yakub, who briefed journalists, said, “Some of the agencies, it is not due to their refusal to attend – like the BPE, DPP and NNPC. There was a mix-up in the invitations sent to them. But agencies like the Customs just refused to attend, because we had sent letter to them and in their usual manner, they refused to attend. That was why we summoned them to come today.

“Some of the agencies were not invited ab initio but because of some of the reports by the agencies during the hearing, we deemed it fit to invite them to give us some more information we need for the working of the committee.

“Today, they all met with us and they have all made their presentations, except the CBN. And then, we are issuing a last warning to the CBN to make sure they make themselves available. If not, we will use our constitutional powers to summon them by force. It is just CBN that we have not seen and we will use our constitutional powers to make sure they appear before us on this matter.”

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