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Reps Threaten Arrest of Okonjo-Iweala, Aig Imokhuoede Over .Uba and Maduka Dispute

By on December 14, 2012

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions, on Thursday, threatened to order the arrest of the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and the Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imokhuede for failing to appear before it twice upon request.

The Committee on Public Petitions, headed by Mr. Uzo Azubuike said they called the two to help resolve N20bn fuel subsidy dispute between the Chairman of Coscharis Motors Limited, Mr. Cosmas Maduka, and the Managing Director of Capital Oil, Mr. Ifeanyi Uba.

The committee was angry because the two failed to appear twice upon request, they had postponed their sitting last week to Thursday this week due to the absence of the two.

However, on Thursday the committee was furious that they failed to appear again.

Azubuike said the committee is aware that the minister’s mother was kidnapped but that was not reason enough to shun them, adding that the minister could have sent a representative since the invitation was for the ministry of finance.

He warned that if someone fails to appear before them by their next sitting they would order for an arrest issued in the name of the ministry.

On the other hand, Aig-Imokhuede who headed the Presidential Committee on Verification of Subsidy Payments claimed that he could not appear before the committee based on the reason that his committee has completed its assignment and submitted it report.

Based on that background, his lawyers wrote the committee, saying Aig-Imokhuede no longer functioned in that capacity, so he could not appear in the capacity of head of the presidential panel.

However, the committee refused his argument and requested that he should appear without fail at the next adjourned date.

However, Maduka and Uba – were present. Nevertheless, instead of answering to the questions of the committee, Maduka said the matter was already in court.

His lawyer, Mr. Osita Mbamalu, produced proof to the committee to support Maduka’s argument.

On the contrary, Uba’s lawyer Mr. Ben Nwosu opposed the argument that the matter was in court and should not be discussed. He called on the committee for fashion out a means whereby the Central Bank of Nigeria will be asked to pay his client’s N2.1bn Sovereign Debt Note as approved by the Debt Management Office.

According to him, the Aig-Imoukhuede report should be discarded because of “conflict of interests” in it.

“It is not possible for him to be a judge, jury, and prosecutor in a matter he has interest,” he added.

He also appealed that the committee find a way to help his client collect his N20bn subsidy claims.