$1bn arms deal: Again, army boss, CBN Gov. shun Reps panel

The Chief of Army Staff, General Ibrahim Attahiru and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele Wednesday refused to honour the invitation from the House of Representatives’ adhoc committee investigating the purchase of arms and ammunition for the military and paramilitary in Nigeria.
Members of the panel had on March 22 threatened to invoke the relevant sections of the constitution if they fail to honour the summon, just as a member of the panel, Hon. Bede Eke described the CBN in particular as an impediment to transparency and accountability in Nigeria.
The motion was moved by Hon. Bede Eke, from Imo eliciting overwhelming support of other members, even as the committee chairman tried to tone down the resolution.
Bede said: “Mr Chairman, distinguished colleagues, I think we have got to a situation where we really have to take a very hard stand on this matter, the last time the representative of the Chief of Army Staff came, we told him that the Chief of Army Staff should appear in person, at least to come and deposit the documents requested by this Committee because he is the man in charge of that agency.
“Mr Chairman, the CBN has been a problem to this House and they cannot operate the way they are operating because we approved that budget and this House will keep quite and they think they can do it all the time and get away with it.
“By the way, what are we asking for? Come and tell us how much you have paid for the purchase of arms. We have given you the right to fair hearing, are you hiding anything? We will not allow it, if there something you are hiding because you are CBN, we will not allow it.
“People are killed everyday, Mr Chairman, I want to move a motion, let me stop at this but I want this House and this Ad-hoc Committee, we don’t have time and we come here everyday and we sit 3, 4 hours waiting for a government agency, I want to move a motion that we summon, especially tr the Chief of Army Staff and CBN, enough is enough, the CBN Governor and the Chief of Army Staff must be summoned, that is when they will know we are serious,” Hon. Eke moved.
However, on April 7, the committee, who reached out to journalists in the afternoon for the investigative hearing, later decided to address a press conference, forcing many journalists to rush down from other engagements outside the National Assembly.


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