The House of Representatives has threatened to issue an arrest warrant against the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris if he doesn’t present himself before it on Monday, June 15, 2020.
The Chairman of the Committee on Public Account, Wole Oke (PDP-Osun) issued the threat on Monday in reaction to the AGF’s alleged refusal to appear before the joint committee, to defend the amount spent on COVID-19 pandemic response before an investigative hearing.
The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has disclosed that the sum of N22,123,130,411.00 has so far been released to it from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to help its operations in curbing the spread of the pandemic.
The PTF, however, informed the joint panel that out of the said amount, only N164,929,475.96.00 has been spent to provide isolated accommodations and feeding for Nigerian returnees who were airlifted in from different countries during the global lockdown.
Addressing the joint panel on Monday, the Permanent Secratery at the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Olusegun Adeyemi, who led the team to the House said resources were mobilized through donor partners and that the resources are not just handed over to the PTF, as all donor fundings went straight to the CBN.
“N22,123,130,411.00 has been released to the PTF operations account, and we are bound by the procurement Act and Appropriation just as the PTF is determined to ensure accountability and judicial utilization of the fund”, Adeyemi told lawmakers.
He said the sum of N164,929,.96.00 has been spent out of the money to evacuate Nigerians stranded abroad from March to date.
While informing that the balance is intact in the account, Adeyemi also disclosed that the Nigeria Air Force has assisted in donating aircrafts and personnel for the evacuation of equipment from one point to another where they are needed.
Asked what is the actual balance left in the account, he said every detail is with the Accountant General’s office.
Chairman Oke who led the proceedings said there was need to have the Accountant General explain and confirm the information.
He ruled that if the accountant-general failed to appear on June 15, the committee would invoke the relevant sections of the Constitution for his arrest.
“The accountant general should not disrespect the parliament; he should stop disrespecting the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The best the President can do for him is to appoint him as chief accountant; he must appear here on June 15 or we shall do the needful, we shall issue a warrant of arrest on him.
“We have asked him many times to appear and defend financial issues arising from the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation, but he is running away,” Oke said.