According to sources in the Nigerian parliament, Ms Lauretta Onochie, the chairperson of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), may be declared wanted by the National Assembly soon.
Onochie, a former media aide to President Muhammadu Buhari, has yet to appear before the Senate ad-hoc committee investigating unauthorised spending by NDDC despite repeated invitations.
The Senate also wants her to appear to substantiate her allegations against the Managing Director of NDDC, Dr Samuel Ogbuku.
She alleged under oath before the committee on Friday, May 19, 2023, that Ogbuku operates about 367 foreign exchange accounts.
She also swore that her allegation was factual and based on evidence, which she promised to present before the committee.
Federal government ministries, departments, and agencies are bound by law to operate a single account domiciled within the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
Contravening this law is criminal, and anyone found culpable could be prosecuted.
Consequently, the Senate ad-hoc committee chairman, Senator Yusuf Yusuf, directed Onochie to gather her evidence and present them on Monday, May 22, 2023.
According to a source within the NDDC said: “Madam Lauretta was asked to appear before the Senate ad-hoc committee on Monday with her documents to prove her allegations, but up till now, she is yet to come.”
More findings reveal that Onochie lied to Senator Yusuf on the phone that she was stuck in Delta State without a flight to Abuja to appear before the committee.
Another source, privy to the incident, further disclosed that the committee is contemplating issuing a bench warrant against her as it is obvious she lied under oath.
The committee also has little time to submit its report to the plenary.
“If she continues to ignore the summon, we may be left with no choice but to issue a warrant of arrest against her,” a senator said.