OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives joint ad-hoc committees on Public Procurement and Pensions investigating alleged procurement irregularities during the tenure of the former Director General (DG) of National Pension Commission (PENCOM), Mrs. Chinelu Anohu-Amazu abruptly adjourned its hearing on Thursday.
This was due to the non-appearance of Mrs. Anoju-Amazu at the sitting which held in the National Assembly, Abuja.
The joint committee which is chaired by the chairman of the public procurement committee, Mr. Oluwole Oke (PDP, Osun) insisted the former PENCOM boss must appear to give explanations on issues raised while she headed the organization.
The committee said it couldn’t continue the hearing due to the need for equity and fair hearing.
A motion to re-invite the former DG was moved by the co-chairman, Mr. Hassan Shekarau Adamu (APC, Kaduna) who is the chairman of the committee on Pensions.
He said: “I move that this committee adjourns hearing to allow the former PENCOM boss to appear as earlier directed by this committee. I wish to also state clearly that we are not witch-hunting anybody, it is just a matter that came up and it was referred to our committee. We don’t see any reason why she would be refusing to appear when all other parties that we invited have been coming yet she refused to appear.
“All we want is for her to come here and clear her name because most of the issues raised here have to do with her stewardship in office. Our take is that if there’s anyone here that knows her, they should pass the massage across to her because failure for her to honour our invitation, the committee would not hesitate to take the next step.”
Just as the chairman of the committee was about to rule on the matter, a secretariat staff of the committee approached the chairman and handed him a letter from the former PENCOM boss pleading with the committee for her another opportunity that she was currently indisposed.
According to Mr. Oke, “our attention has just been drawn to a correspondent sent in just now by her (Former DG) solicitors. You cannot shave a man’s hair in his back, I would like us to give her another opportunity, a third opportunity so that she can tell her own side of the story.”
However, there are concerns about the real intention of the probe especially given the delay in the commencement of the hearing considering that this particular assembly has less than three weeks to go and the matter was referred to committee since May, 2018.
Recall also that an ad-hoc committee of the House chaired by Mr. Johnson Agbonayima (APC, Edo) probing activities of PENCOM had earlier alleged that Mr. Wole Oke was working as a consultant of the current PenCom boss thereby frustrating the probe chaired by him.