Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has declared his readiness 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 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.
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.
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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.
The Speaker said the House would exercise its powers as contained in Section 89 of the 1999 Constitution.
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.
The House had on Tuesday called on President Muhammadu Buhari, over the brewing crisis occasioned by the January 31 deadline.
Apart from asking the CBN to extend the window for swapping the old notes with the newly redesigned one by six months, the House had invited the banks to a meeting on Wednesday over the scarcity of new naira notes.