The House of Representatives on Thursday summoned the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Malam Abubakar Malami, to appear before it on Tuesday.
Also summoned is the Chairman of Presidential Panel on Recovery of Public Properties, Mr Okoi Obono-Obla and members of the committee as well as the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.
The list also includes Office of the Vice president, Office of Secretary to Government of the Federation (OSGF), Office of Head of Service of the Federation (OHSF), Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF) and Auditor-General of the Federation.
Others are representatives of the Ministry of Finance, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Budget Office of the Federation and Nigeria Bar Association (NBA).
Rep. Aliyu Ahman-Pategi, Chairman of the House’s Ad hoc Committee Investigating the Modus Operandi of the Special Presidential Investigative Panel, who issued the summon, warned that the invited persons must appear in person.
The warning stemmed from the “disrespect’’ by most of the invited persons, who were absent or sent representatives at the committee’s session on Thursday, forcing it to adjourn until Tuesday.
Addressing Obono-Obla’s representatives on the absence of their principal, Ahman-Pategi said “we will not take that arrogance here.
“Even if a situation warrants our inviting President Muhammadu Buhari, we will do it. I will read Section 88 of the Constitution, which gives us the powers to do what we are doing.
“We are worried about the level of ineptitude and incompetence exhibited by government appointees and functionaries.
“This should be the last time heads of MDAs are invited here and they fail to appear. If anybody fails to honour our invitation next Tuesday at 10 a.m., we will wield the big stick.”
The committee insisted that it would not take the brief from a representative of Panel’s chairman and other invited government agencies at the hearing.
The members threatened to invoke the provisions of Sections 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution if the invitees shunned the next sitting.
The House had in March, mandated the ad hoc committee to probe the activities of the Special Investigation Panel.
This followed a resolution on the constitutionality and otherwise of the presidential panel.
Consequently, the committee, in a letter dated March 28, 2018, and referenced NASS/8HR/DCD/016180/001, requested the chairman of the panel to submit the list, curriculum vitae and certificates of the members.
The committee also demanded for documents showing “the annual budgetary provisions for the panel since inception, list of investigations carried out from inception to date and list of all the seizures carried out from inception till date.
The documents were also requested to indicate locations and names of persons from whom the seizures were made, details of bank accounts and details of income and expenditure since inception.
Declaring the investigative hearing open earlier, Speaker of the House, Mr Yakubu Dogara, said that the legislature had the constitutional responsibility to ensure that there was good governance, law and order in the country.
Represented by Deputy Minority Whip, Rep. Binta Maigari, the speaker noted that the imperatives of the fight against corruption and doing things right in line with international best practices were necessary.
He added that the 1999 Constitution had vested the power of investigation of corruption on the National Assembly.
He expressed reservations on the constitution of the presidential panel, adding that the House’s ad hoc committee was not to witch-hunt anybody but to enthrone accountability and good governance.
Members of the ad hoc committee are Rep. Toby Okechukwu (Enugu-PDP) and Rep. Kingsley Chinda (Rivers-PDP).