The House of Representatives yesterday quizzed the managing director of the Stanbic IBTC bank, Mr Demola Sogunle as to why operated an Hyprep account of over N1 billion belonging to the Federal ministry of Environment allegedly in breach of the treasury single account (TSA) policy.
The House, via, it’s Mr Abubakar Nuhu Damburam led ad-hoc committee probing into the level of implementation of the TSA Policy were taken aback that the financial institution operated such an account without a waiver from President Muhammadu Buhari as stipulated by the TSA policy.
Series of attempt by Damburam and other members of the committee to get Sogunle to show proof of approval of how the operation of the account by officials of the ministry involved N930 million and $4.9 million failed to yield dividends.
The committee insist that a letter from the bank at its disposal signed by the Chief of Staff to President Buhari conveying the decision to exempt the NNPC and the Petroleum ministry is not the same as an approval to exempt the ministry of environment.
Sogunle however claimed the decision by his outfit to operate the account was duly approved by government maintained that it would be a tall order for him to go out of his ways to get President Buhari’s approval.
Said he: “I want the understanding of the committee on where we are coming from. We cannot write to an entity or be dictating to an entity. I cannot write to the Bank of England for permission and be insisting that the Governor of England be the one to sign it.
I can’t say this document must be signed by President Buhari. It does not exist. Even if you ask me to come forty times, I can’t do it. “
Sogunle who was directed to come forth with the evidence by Damburam on Tuesday next week promised to avail the committee of the evidence at its disposal.
Adamu Kamale (Adamawa: PDP) warned that the committee would not grant audience to Sogunle in the event he goes out of his way to procure postdated approval from any of the top government functionaries.
Damburam who accused the managing director of first Bank plc, Mr Adesola Adebuntan for allegedly refusing to appear before the committee to shed light on the level of his outfit compliance to the TSA policy threatened to issue a warrant of arrest on him over the act.