The Comptroller General, Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Adewale Adeniyi and managing director of Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) Mohammed Bello-Koko are at risk of being issued with the warrant of arrest for evading legislative summons.
This is as the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee, investigating the disposal of public property by between 2010 and 2022 threatened to invoke relevant legislative powers to compel Adeniyi and Bello-Koko appear before it and account for all public assets sold by their agencies.
The House Majority Leader and Chairman of the committee, Hon. Julius Ihonvbere issued the threat at a resumed investigative hearing of the panel.
Ihonvbere expressed displeasure over the level of disregard for the parliament by some of the heads of various Agencies, particularly the Customs Service and the Nigerian Ports Authority.
He said, “Twice, we have summoned them but they refused to show up here. We know what our powers are and after this hearing we would be taking the next steps in that direction.
“Like I said at the very first hearing, our goal in the 10th House is to work seamlessly with agencies of government irrespective of what their functions may be. Because at this very time, we need all hands on deck to refocus and reposition this country.
“But since some agencies particularly the Customs and the NPA have proven recalcitrant, it is now left for this Committee and the House of Representatives to demonstrate to them the powers granted us by the Constitution and we will be taking that next step.
“We are not going to appeal to them again, we are not going to call them, we are not going to write to them; they will hear from the appropriate sections of the House of Representatives.
“This kind of political rascality and irresponsibility must stop! No Chief Executive is above the law, we are the lawmakers and when we summon an Agency here, that agency must show up. Because we have the powers to summon anyone in this country by powers that are guaranteed constitutionally and we think this kind of lackadaisical and almost infantile behaviour at this stage, we have to check it and stop it.’’
“We didn’t just get up and set up this thing, we didn’t constitute ourselves like what we used to call an illegal checkpoint. This is not an illegal Ad-hoc Committee, it is sanctioned by the entire House following a motion that was set up on the illegal sales of government property by certain Agencies and I’m happy that many of them have turned up and provided documents and clarify issues and we didn’t have any problems,” he said.