The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has threatened to issue a warrant of arrest on the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele if he fails to appear before its committee on Thursday.
Gbajabiamila stated this on Thursday after the Majority Leader of the House, Ado Doguwa informed him that Emefiele and others shunned the invitation to a meeting on Wednesday.
Gbajabiamila said instead of the House adjourning plenary till February 28 for the elections as planned, the lawmakers would reconvene on Tuesday to take an action against Emefiele and other bank chiefs who fail to show up.
The Speaker, who noted that Emefiele is his friend, pointed out that he would not hesitate to demand the Inspector-General of Police to effect the CBN governor’s arrest and forceful appearance before the House.
“I will, pursuant to the authority conferred by Section 89 (1)(d) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Order 19 (2)(1) of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives, not hesitate to issue a warrant to the Inspector General of the Nigeria Police Force to compel the attendance of the CBN or Managing Directors who fail, refuse or neglect to respond to the summons by the House of Representatives,” he said.
The House had set up an ad hoc committee to investigate the scarcity of the new naira at the Deposit Money Banks, also known as commercial banks, leading to tension over the January 31 deadline set by the CBN for the exchange of the old notes with the newly designed ones.
Chairman of the committee, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, at the plenary on Thursday, informed the House about the non-appearance of the CBN chiefs before it on Wednesday.
He noted that the committee had rescheduled the meeting to 1 pm on Thursday.
However, Gbajabiamila also informed the House that the CBN had written to the Clerk, informing the House of Emefiele’s inability to appear before the committee on Thursday.
Gbajabiamila also noted that the CBN Act allows the admittance of an old naira note by banks, even after it had ceased to be legal tender.