Chief executive officers and the management of 17 subsidiaries of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) risk being arrested for failure to submit their audited accounts to the office of the auditor-general of the federation and the House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee.
The affected officials of the NNPC subsidiary firms face the likelihood of being picked up by the police when the 7-day ultimatum issued by the House committee expires and a warrant of arrest is issued by the committee. Chairman of the House committee, Rep. Oluwole Oke, who gave the order following the absence of the management of the agencies at the resumed investigative hearing on the queries raised against the Ministries, Departmts and Agencies (MDAs) on non-redition of their financial accounts, declared that failure to appear before the committee would lead to the issuance of bench warrants for their arrest.
Rep. Oke raised the alarm after the committee discovered that the committee had just discovered that while all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government were operating on the Treasury Single Account (TSA), the NNPC had been using its subsidiaries to operate accounts in commercial banks without the knowledge of the accountant general of the federation, the practice he described as illegal and unlawful. The House committee and the NNPC had for sometime being at loggerheads over the failure of the latter to appear to answer questions over the management of its funds.
Also, the House committee accused the NNPC of shielding its subsidiaries by not allowing them to appear before it to answer queries on their financial operations. Chief Financial Officer of the NNPC, Umar Isa Ajiya, had recently appeared before the House committee and submitted that the corporation was going to speak on behalf of the subsidiaries, a position that was rejected by the committee, insiting that the subsidiaries were legal entities and must speak on their own.