The House of the Representatives Committee on Public Petitions has issued an arrest warrant on Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The lawmakers took this action after Magu failed to appear before them on different occasions.

The committee is hearing a petition filed by former First Lady, Patience Jonathan.

In the petition, she accused the EFCC, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), and other security agencies of harassing her.

At a resumed hearing on Wednesday, Uzoma Nkem-Abonta, chairman of the committee, said Magu was non-chalant about the issue.

Nkem-Abonta said the acting EFCC chairman failed to appear before the committee after several letters were sent to him.

“There is a need to say that people should work within the confines of the law because nobody is above the law,” he said.

“EFCC has consistently absented itself from this hearing. If it were here, perhaps we would have dispensed with this investigation. What the EFCC is doing is not only unfair but disrespectful to the parliament.”

Kingsley Chinda, a lawmaker from Rivers and member of the committee, moved the motion for an arrest warrant to be issued for Magu.

“It’s not only for the workings of this committee but for any other institutional body,” Chinda said.

“So, I move that the EFCC chairman be issued a bench warrant to appear before this committee to explain his role so that we can conclude this investigation.”

All the members of the committee present supported the motion and Nkem-Abonta ruled that a bench warrant be issued for Magu.

Nkem-Abonta said Magu should be arrested and presented before the committee on November 7.

The committee directed Jonathan’s lawyers to sit with the management of Zenith Bank, Eco Bank, First Bank and Fidelity Bank to address the issue of the court order asking the banks to unfreeze Patience’s accounts.

The committee also discharged Union Bank as it fully complied with an earlier directive to unfreeze Mrs Jonathan’s accounts.

The committee had a fortnight ago directed all the affected banks to unfreeze Jonathan’s accounts that do not have pending court orders or official communication from the EFCC to do so.

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