House Threatens To Arrest Jega, Odimegwu
ABUJA, January 30, (THEWILL) - The House of Representatives, Wednesday, said it will issue a warrant of arrest on the chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega, and the chairman, National Population Commission (NPC), Chief Festus Odimegwu.
The duo risk arrest for failing to honour invitation of the House to defend queries raised on the audited accounts of the Commission as raised by the office of the Auditor General of the Federation (AuGF).
The AuGF queries were raised on the expenditures from the audited accounts of INEC for year 2003 to 2011 while that of NPC was from 2003 to 2009.
Chairman of the House Committee on Public Account (PAC), Hon. Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, disclosed this during Wednesday's meeting of the committee.
Adeola had told members of the Committee that the heads of INEC and NPC have consistently ignored invitation of the committee on five occasions.
The PAC chairman declared that the committee will issue a warrant of arrest on the two officials and compel the Inspector General of Police to bring both of them to the committee's sitting next Wednesday.
Castigating both officials for refusing to show up despite several invitations extended to them, Adeola said "anyone who occupies public office must show due diligence and accountability and this the parliament will demand of them whether they like it or not."
According to the lawmaker, "When INEC looked for power to be on firstline charge, it ran to parliament and its problem was solved, why is it now afraid of showing up to give account of what it has spent?"
Adeola therefore maintained: "We insist the head of these organisations must show up to give proper account of what they used monies allocated to them for. Nobody will be allowed to behave as if they are bigger than Nigeria as a country."
According to him, "INEC will soon be making budget for 2015 elections, but it must first clear all doubts raised on its award of contracts for 2003 and 2007 elections.
"This we expect the commission to do, but since they have refused to turn up willingly, we will tomorrow (Thursday) issue a warrant asking the police to bring them down here next Friday to clear all doubts raised by the Auditor General against their audited accounts."