Senate threatens arrest of 56 MDA chiefs over probe

The Senate Public Accounts Committee on Tuesday threatened to invoke the necessary provisions of the constitution to compel about 56 agencies of Federal Government to appear before it from next week Tuesday.

The Chairman of the Senate panel, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, said this while addressing journalists after some agencies summoned to appear before it shunned the invitations.

The panel is currently scrutinising the queries raised against federal agencies as contained in the 2018 report of the Auditor General for the Federation.

Only two out of the seven agencies, slated to appear before it on Tuesday, showed up.

A document obtained by our correspondent from the secretariat of the panel indicated that only the management of the Regional Centre for International Arbitration and those of the Federal University, Kashere, Gombe State, appeared before the committee.

The managements of the Petroleum Product Pricing and Regulatory Agency, Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund and Federal University, Makurdi, Benue State did not show up.

Also on the list of those who did not appear before the panel were the management of the University of Jos and the Rural Electrification Agency.

Enraged by the development, Urhoghide directed the secretariat of the committee to write final warning letters to all the erring agencies.

The Senator said, “We are going to invoke Section 89 of the Constitution, which empower us to issue bench warrant of arrest on them, to compel them to appear, if they failed to honour our last warning letters.

“Why will the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund come to tell us that they have a new management hence they can’t come?

“For how long do they want the management to be in place before they can appear?

“ NSTIF has over 50 queries. It is obvious that they are running away, they don’t want to come and give account.

“Today, the Petroleum Product Pricing and Regulatory Agency, and the Rural Electrification Agency and NSITF are all supposed to be here, bringing the total number of errant agencies to 56.

“We are giving them till next week Tuesday to appear or we issue warrant of arrest on them to appear.”

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