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Senate threatens to issue arrest warrant for Lai Mohammed and other heads of agencies

Valentine Chinyem

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The Nigeria Senate threatened to issue an arrest warrant against the Minister of Information and Culture, Alh. Lai Mohammed and other heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) over their failure to honour its invitation.

The invitation was extended to them by the Senate Committee on Public Accounts, to answer audit queries issued by the Auditor General of the Federation against them.

The panel is probing the Federation Accounts from 2018 to 2018.

This was made known to newsmen in Abuja on Thursday by the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Matthew Urhoghide.

While listing the MDAs scheduled to appear before the committee on Thursday, he described their to do so as an ugly pastime.

The MDAs include the Ministry of Information, Culture and National Orientation, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Ministry of Power, Ministry of Women Affairs, Ministry of Solid Minerals and the National Population Commission (NPC).

“Over a month ago, we wrote to them to come and answer the audit queries raised against them by the Auditor-General of the Federation in its 2015 Audit Report.

“But they have deliberately and irresponsibly failed to honour our invitation. Their failure to appear before this Committee amount to outright disobedience to constituted authority,” Urhoghide said.

He said the hindrances caused by the failure of the agencies to appear before the panel was part of the reasons Nigerians often accuse the National Assembly of not discharging its duties.

“It is only in Nigeria that people will spend government’s money and fail to show up to defend their expenditure,” he said.

According to him, the Committee has no choice but to compel the defaulting agencies to appear before it in line with Section 89 of the Constitution, if they persist in their behaviour.