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Senate threatens to order Emefiele’s arrest over $289m payment

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The Senate Public Accounts Committee said on Tuesday that it might consider demanding a warrant for the arrest of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele , over his alleged refusal to honour invitations extended to him by the legislature .
The committee invited Emefiele to address it on the release of $ 289 m cash to a former Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ayo Oke , sometime in 2015 .
The Senate had, while acting on a report of the Auditor General for the Federation , last week , uncovered how the CBN released $ 289 m cash to the former NIA DG .
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Senator Matthew Urhoghide , said the CBN governor had been summoned several times but he ignored the invitations .
Urhoghide fumed that Emefiele did not also deem it fit to send any official of the CBN to appear before the committee .
He said , “We have summoned the CBN governor; it is the only part remaining in the investigation.
“The CBN governor has not sent any of his officials ; they have to corroborate the story being told by those mentioned in the audit query, whether they are correct or not correct .
“The committee may consider consulting with the Senate leadership with a view to issuing a warrant for the arrest of the governor of Central Bank if he pushes us to the extreme .
“There are over 10 issues highlighted in the audit query that needed to be addressed by Emefiele and his top officials . ”
He added that other issues , like the sales of federal bonds, funds collection , and discrepancies in figures between some agencies and the CBN, needed to be addressed by the governor of the apex bank .
The Director of Finance of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Godwin Okonkwko , had last week told the committee that $ 289 m was released to the former NIA DG .
Okonkwo had explained that the $ 289 m cash given to the former NIA boss by the CBN was based on a directive to that effect from the NNPC .
The $ 43 m found in an Ikoyi apartment in 2017 that led to the sacking of Oke as the DG of NIA was a fraction of $ 289 m cash collected by the DG from the NNPC .

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