The House of Representatives on Monday summoned the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun over alleged violation of Public Procurement Act in awarding contracts.
The summon was issued by the House Committee on Public Procurement, which is also investigating cases of indiscriminate issuance of certificates of no objection by the Bureau of Public Procurement.
The committee noted that the action of the Finance Ministry and the BPP suggested that they acted in disregard to a directive by President Muhammadu Buhari that the contracts must be awarded in compliance with the Procurement Act.
Chairman of the committee, Mr Wole Oke discovered that the award of the contracts did not meet the laid down rules.
Oke stated; “Mr President, Buhari, in line with the thing he is known for; his integrity, wrote a letter directing that the ministry should conduct the exercise by keeping faith with the BPP Act.
“As a matter of fact, in one of the letters, he wrote that the pre-shipment agents must be experienced and active. Buhari signed in his own handwriting. Were the rules followed? Were they applied?”
The lawmakers got furious after Adeosun sent the Director of Legal Services in the ministry, Mr Christopher Gabriel, to represent her.
To further compile issues, when Mr Chistopher was asked to make the ministry’s presentation to the committee, the director started by saying that he had no submissions to make.
A member, Hon. Gabriel Onyenwife, said; “When you look at the letter the minister wrote to excuse herself, it says the Permanent Secretary in the ministry is to represent her, not the director of legal services.
“The director has no role to play here and his presence here shows clearly the lack of regard for the work of the parliament.
“Under sections 88/89 of the constitution, the minister and the permanent secretary can be summoned for the purpose of this investigation.
“I make an application that they should be summoned to appear within the next 24 hours.”