Reps Threaten To Issue Warrant Of Arrest On Telecom Operators

The House of Representatives has threatened to arrest telecommunications operators in the country for failing to appear before the Committee on Finance.

During plenary on Thursday, the Chairman of the Committee, James Faleke had expressed frustration over the failure of 15 telecoms operators to honour the invitation by the House.

According to him, their non-appearance was frustrating the investigation by the committee on the alleged $30bn annual leakages in the sector due to tax evasion and diversion of foreign exchange by companies.

Reacting to Faleke’s motion, Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, said if the telecom operators fail to appear within seven days, the house will issue a warrant for their arrest.

“We will not sit down and accept for the House of Representatives or the National Assembly as a whole to be handicapped because some companies particularly the foreign companies are sitting down somewhere.

“I am sure if MTN was summoned by the South African parliament, they will rush to the parliament. But now you are being summoned by the Nigerian parliament where you do business and you say you cannot show up.

“We will not allow these organisations to bring our democracy to its knees. So I will ask that the Chairman of the Committee issues one more final notice and this serves as notice as well.

“And if in seven days, you do not hear from them, kick-start the process. I will arrest whoever needs to be arrested and compel their attendance at the hearing,” Gbajabiamila said.

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