The Senate Joint Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff, and Marine Transport, on Wednesday threatened to issue bench warrant against the Chief Executive Officer of Glo Mobile and other firms who failed to honour its invitation on alleged complicity in the N30tn revenue loss by Nigeria.
The CEOs of the British American Tobacco Company, CCEC Nigeria Limited, Dana Group, African Wire and Allied Limited, Admiral Overseas Nigeria Limited and Aarti Steel Nigeria Limited were equally issued the warning.
Others are Gagsel International, Friesland Campina, Etco Nigeria Limited, Encounter Limited, Edic Chemicals and Allied Distributors Limited, Don Climax Group and De United Foods.
The Chairman of the Senate Joint Committee, Hope Uzodinma, issued the threat at an investigative meeting with some of the firms on Wednesday in Abuja.
The Senate had mandated the panel to probe the alleged N30tn revenue leakages in the import and export value chain between 2006 and 2017.
The committee had met with indicted commercial banks as well as government agencies.
The panel had on Tuesday said it had identified over 60 companies for investigation over their alleged complicity in the leakage.
Uzodinma said the refusal by the firms to honour the panel’s invitation was a disrespect to the institution of the National Assembly and would not be tolerated.
He said out of the 30 firms invited to appear before the panel between Tuesday and Wednesday, only 14 honoured the invitation.
According to him, the CEOs are expected to cut short whatever engagement they have to honour the invitation in view of the magnitude of the investigation.
Uzodinma said, “It is only in Nigeria that the Senate will invite an entity for an interactive session, particularly in a case that bothers on investigation of financial mismanagement and infractions, and the companies will be complacent.
“The companies will not be willing to come or sometimes send junior officers.
“I have directed and we are working with security agencies; that any company that is invited and has something to explain and refuses to appear, we will issue a warrant for such persons to be arrested.
“We are giving them the final opportunity to appear and if they fail, we will issue a warrant.
“In this investigation we are working with the Nigeria Police. This is because we are using their facilities to process some of our data, so that the information we will present to the public will be information with high integrity, that will not be questioned by anybody.
“We have directed that they must come tomorrow, Thursday (today) unfailingly.”