Onwuka Nzeshi

 


The House of Representatives ad-hoc committee into the investigation of the collapse of the capital market Thursday accused the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of frustrating the completion of its assignment.

CBN Headquarters

Chairman of the committee, Hon. Tukur El-Sudi, accused the three institutions of withholding some vital documents and information regarding the forensic audit of some commercial banks, the nationalisation of the banks as well as Project 50 celebration.

El-Sudi said a substantial part of the report was ready and the committee would have submitted the report this week if not for the uncooperative attitude of the CBN and others.
He, however, pledged that with or without the vital documents with the three institutions, the committee might lay the report before the House next week.

“There are some particular documents which our consultants felt are very necessary for examination so as to enable us make certain findings, reach certain conclusions and make our recommendations.

“We wrote them asking for this information but the CBN, AMCON and SEC blatantly refused to release the documents in their custody. We followed procedure and have written again to them on the issues.

“Particularly, the CBN refused to release the report of the forensic audit it conducted on the banks, hiding under the provisions of Sections 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution.

“The CBN claimed that there are some exceptions to the rule and took it upon itself to define the exceptions to those documents that should be given in evidence or testimonies and the committee wrote back that it does not have the powers to interpret the constitution and the Legislative Houses Powers and Privileges Act which empowers us to summon anybody to bring any document.

“The only exception is if such a document is in the custody of a security outfit such as the army, navy or air force and its release has security implications.

In a swift reaction to the position of the ad hoc committee, the CBN said its governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, would respond to the committee’s request as soon as he returns from an official trip abroad.

A letter from the Director, Legal Services of the central bank, Mr. S. M. Onekutu, said Sanusi and members of the board of the CBN were currently attending a retreat in South Africa.

 

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