The House of Representatives has summoned the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emiefele, over an unrecorded payment of about N32.5 billion made to two companies – Messrs GSCL Consulting and Bizplus.
Emefiele was summoned alongside the Auditor General of the Federation, the Accountant General of the Federation, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Managing Directors of Exxon Mobil, and Nigeria Agip Oil Company, among others.
It was learnt that Emefiele and the others were called to appear before the House ad hoc committee investigating the missing 48 million barrels of crude oil.
Announcing the summons during the resumed investigative hearing yesterday in Abuja, the Committee Chairman, Mark Gbillah expressed displeasure over the failure of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to provide answers to the questions the committee sent to it while claiming that the questions were unclear.
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Bashir Yusuf Jamoh, who also appeared before the committee said about $1.7 billion judgment sum was still outstanding for the Federal Government to claim from a company that was found guilty of making a false declaration about the crude oil it took from the country.
The committee’s chairman however noted that available records showed that the CBN paid N16.5 billion each to two companies on the same day, adding that the said amount was withdrawn by the companies within two months.
Gbillah said Nigerians have the right to know why that amount was paid to the two companies, especially when the immediate past Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, denied knowledge of the payment
He remarked that “Because of lack of response to the committee’s invitations, summons had to be issued by the House to the Managing Director of Nigeria Agip Oil Company, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, SNEPCO and SPDC, the Auditor General for the Federation, the Central Bank Governor, because of their lack of appearance to issues requested for by the House; GSCL Consulting Limited and Bizplus, with regard to payment of N16.5 billion on the same day.”
Speaking further about the $1.7 billion judgment sum yet to be recovered by the government, Gbillah said: “There exist about nine other cases with regard to alleged theft of Nigerian crude. This issue is not in our imagination.
“There is a formal legal judgment on this issue and there are cases still pending with regard to Nigerian crude.
“I call on the Bola Tinubu administration, relevant stakeholders and the anti-graft agencies to realise that Nigerians are waiting for an explanation regarding why the $1.7 billion has not been recovered from Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept with regard to the judgment against them since 2020.
“This is money that belongs to all Nigerians, and we expect that it should be appropriately accounted for.”