New Telegraph

OAuGF queries: Reps give 5 ministers, perm sec 7-day ultimatum

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the House of Representatives Tuesday issued a seven-day ultimatum to five ministers to appear before them and respond to queries from the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation (OAuGF) or risk arrest.


Also to appear are the permanentsecretariesof thefive ministries, their directors of finance and procurement. They are the ministers of the interior, communication and digital economy, health, environment, works and housing.


The Chairman, Oluwole Oke (PDP, Osun), who handed down the order at the resumed sitting of the committee, said the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, should appear along with his permanent secretary, the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), and Head, Federal Fire Service.


He told the Clerk of the committee to immediately dispatch the notice of sum  mons to the affected ministers and also copy the Secretary to the Government of the Federation Boss Mustapha; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Federation Abubakar Malami; and Chief of Staff to the President Ibrahim Gambari.


Oke said: “Today marks the fifth time the Ministry of Works and Housing will be asking for another extension of time on the audit query raised against it over the years, for how long shall we continue like this? Mr President honoured some people with public appointments but to pay him back, they will not be alive to their responsibilities, this is very unfortunate.


“We are only asking them to make appearance before the committee to clarify issues on financial infractions raised by the office of the Auditor General for the Federation, nothing more.”


Similarly, the committee began investigation into the  limmissing $40 million from the looted funds recovery account of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). This followed the inability of the CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele to tender relevant documents before the public accounts committee to ascertain the status of recovered funds in the said account.


Emefiele, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Banking Supervision, Mrs Iguadunasue C.I, could not offer satisfactory explanations on the whereabouts of the funds in question. An infuriated Oke then ordered the CBN to “furnish the committee with documents of all recovered funds within seven days for proper investigation”.


The investigation is sequel to a query from the Office of Auditor General of the Federation to the CBN, demanding answers for the whereabouts of the money in question.

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