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Senate orders CAC registrar’s arrest for ignoring summons

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The Senate Committee on Finance has mandated the Inspector General of Police to compel the appearance of the Registrar General of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Garba Lawal, before it within 24 hours.

The committee chairman, Senator Sani Musa, expressed anger when the Registrar General (RG) shunned the committee’s invitation for the third time on Wednesday.

The Registrar General was expected to appear to defend CAC’s 2024 budget, but some financial discrepancies were spotted by the committee in the book of accounts submitted.

The four senior officials of the CAC having confirmed several letters of invitation by the Clerk of the Senate Committee on Finance could not explain reasons for the Registrar’s absence before the panel.

Senator Ifeanyi Ubah called for punitive measures against the registrar general to serve as a deterrent to others.

Also, Senator Bello Mandiya expressed frustration at the registrar general’s disdain for the committee, wondering what he was hiding that made him scared.

Mandiya said, “I think it’s disrespectful for the Registrar General of the Corporate Affairs Commission to shun this committee for the third time. Even the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria appears before us to present a budget. Who is Registrar General of CAC that he cannot appear before us?”

Reacting, Senator Abdul Ningi advised the CAC officials not to come back without the RG, urging them to let the CAC face the heat and explain how they spent money in the agency.

Ningi said, “Mr Chairman, it is imperative to understand where they are coming from; that this is not the first time they are appearing before the committee.

“There was a deliberate discussion with you that there were discrepancies in revenue generation and expenditure by the Corporate Affairs Commission and we said the Registrar General should be here.  Yet you are here and you probably told him that you can do the job.  Even if you can do the job, this job is not for you, please.  Don’t take the bullet that is meant for him”.

In conclusion, the committee chairman, Musa said, “With all sense of humility, the Corporate Affairs Registrar General has disregarded this committee.

“Distinguished colleagues, the Corporate Affairs Commission was present when we treated MTEF/FSP and the Director of Finance was here. We saw discrepancies and we told you to go and come back.

“You have your bookkeepers; you have your records and we asked you to go and tidy up and report back, but you never did.

“I have cause to tell the Secretariat to send you a letter, you appear here.  When you came, you said the Registrar General just felt ill, I excused you expecting you to come back with the documents requested.

“You know what the financial regulation of this country is. I had cause to tell the committee secretariat to write you again and you are here without the RG.

“You are the custodian of finances of the Corporate Affairs Commission and there are discrepancies.

“How many entities are registered in this country?  How many?  How much were you reporting there and you are taking us with levity?

“I am invoking Section 89(2) mandating the Inspector General of Police to compel the appearance of the Registrar General of the Corporate Affairs Commission before the Senate Committee on Finance within 24 hours”.

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