Reps issue 12-day ultimatum to Presidential Committee on Asset Recovery

House of Representatives ad-hoc committee investigating the legality of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel (SPIP) on Thursday threatened to arrest members of the panel if they fail to appear before the committee on May 8, 2018.
Those expected to appear before the ad-hoc committee are: Okoi Obono-Obla, chairman; Akinbola Adeniran, SPIP secretary; Salihu Abubakar, Obinna Ogwuegbu, and Monday Agbonika, who were absent since the commencement of the investigating public hearing on April 19.
The Ad-hoc Committee was mandated to investigate the legality and modus operandi of the panel.
Speaking earlier, Toby Okechukwu (PDP-Edo), who expressed concern over the disregard for the Parliament, sponsored a motion to compel the appearance of the affected SPIP members.
While noting that the House had the constitutional role to oversight the Executive, however, commended the office of the Auditor-General of the Federation and Secretary to the Government of the Federation for honouring the invitation.
“Following this continuous refusal to appear before this committee, I move that you evoke the relevant sections of section 89 of the 1999 constitution and summon the chairman of the panel and its members.
“They are to appear here on May 8, 2018 unfailingly, without which we shall exercise our responsibility to issue a warrant of arrest for them to appear,’’ Okechukwu said.
In his testimony, Anthony Ayine, Auditor-General of the Federation, said there was no audit report of financial activities of the panel since its inception in 2017.
On his part, Emmanuel Akisa, SGF’s legal adviser, said the panel was set up as a special one to cure some existing defects.
“This includes where a public officer and private citizen is engaged in corrupt practices or unjustly enriched himself. This is with the sole aim of recovering stolen public property,” Akisa said.
In his ruling, Ahman Pategi, chairman of the ad-hoc committee, described as an affront the failure of members of SPIP to honour repeated invitations by the committee.

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