6th February, 2023
The Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has said Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, would have been arrested if he had not honoured invitation to appear before the committee set up by the Green Chamber to investigate the naira redesign policy.
Gbajabiamila had threatened to sign an arrest warrant for the arrest of the CBN governor following his initial failure to appear before an ad hoc panel about two weeks ago.
However, following the threat, Emefiele, eventually appeared before the committee during which he fielded questions on the scarcity of the new naira notes.
Gbajabiamila, in a statement issued by Mr Lanre Lasisi, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity on Sunday, said he would have gone ahead to sign the warrant for the arrest of Emefiele if he had not honoured the invitation.
“The House of Representatives intervened on several occasions. We summoned the CBN governor the first time and again, but he refused to answer, because we had many hard questions for him.
“It was until I issued the threat of warrant of arrest before he came, and I would have signed that warrant,” he said.
He said it would have been the first time in the history of the National Assembly that a CBN governor would be arrested, adding that he will have done it.
He said many have argued on the independence of CBN, the autonomy of CBN, adding that it did not make CBN above the law.
The Speaker added that the green chamber will reconvene before the Feb. 25 elections, if the ongoing hardships being experienced by Nigerians in getting the new naira notes continue.
He said the constitution gave the House the power to issue an arrest warrant against anyone.
“We can summon anybody and that was exactly what the House was going to do until the CBN governor came.
“So, we are watching, and we are monitoring very closely. If need be, we will reconvene the House, even though we have been away for our elections. I will call the House back, if need be,” he said.
Gbajabiamila said amidst the ongoing hardship, the Presidential candidate of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has identified with Nigerians and faulted the implementation of the policy.
According to him, it has necessitated the extension of the deadline for the collection of the old currency.