THE House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions, has issued a warrant of arrest on the Governor of Central Bank (CBN) Olayemi Cardoso, for refusing to appear before it to answer questions on the unremitted oil sector funds.
The panel, also ordered the arrest of the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) Oluwatoyin Madein, and 17 others.
Among the 17 to be arrested are the heads of National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), Ethiop Eastern Exploration and Production Company Ltd, and Western Africa Exploration and Production.
Others are heads of Alteo Eastern E&P Co. Ltd., First Exploration & Production Ltd., The Md, First E&P Oml 8385 Jv, Heirs Holdings Oil and Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (Mpnu).
Also listed are Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Total Exploration & Producing Nig (TEPN), Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC), Pan Ocean Oil Nig, Ltd, Newcross E&P Ltd and Frontier Oil Ltd.
This resolution was reached at the investigative hearing of the committee to consider a petition filed by one Fidelis Uzowanem on Tuesday, December 5.
The committee chairman, Michael Etaba (APC, Cross River), said Cardoso and others had refused to honour its invitations.
Consequently, a committee member, Fred Agbedi (PDP, Bayelsa), moved the motion to issue the arrest warrant.
Agbedi said the affected persons should be made to appear before the committee on 14 December.
The committee adopted the motion, which ordered the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, to execute the warrant.
Afterwards, Etaba explained that the warrant compelled the concerned individuals to appear before it to respond to the issues raised in the petition.
Uzowanem, the petitioner, explained that the petition was on the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) report of 2021.
He said his organisation discovered multiple infractions committed by players in the oil and gas sector in connivance with government officials.
“We took up the challenge to examine the report and discovered that what NEITI put together as a report is only a consolidation of fraud that has been going on in the oil and gas industry.
“It dates back to 2016 because we have been following up, and we put up a petition to this committee to examine what has happened.
“The 2024 budget of N27.5 trillion that has been proposed can be confidently funded from the recoverable amount that we identified in the NEITI report,” he said.
A latest Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) latest report revealed a compilation of the outstanding financial liabilities due to the Federation. The report indicated that $13.591 million in revenues was payable to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) as of July 31, 2023.
The report revealed further that the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) had outstanding tax-collectable revenues of $8.251 billion as of December 31, 2022.
The report added that over 80 per cent of these outstanding financial liabilities are owed by NNPCL.
Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.