The Speaker of the House of Representatives has threatened to issue warrants of arrest for the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, and the managing director of any commercial bank that fails to honour the invitation by the House.
The lawmakers and Emefiele seem to be at loggerheads over the apex bank’s insistence that the January 31, 2023 deadline for phasing out old N1000, N500 and N200 naira notes stands despite the relative scarcity of the newly designed notes in circulation.
Truetells Nigeria earlier reported that as of last week, some commercial banks were still issuing the old denominations over the counter and through Automated Teller Machines.
Many had expected the CBN to extend the deadline beyond the January 31 date for the sake of Nigerians in rural areas who do not ordinarily have access to banking services in their immediate locations.
CBN governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, had insisted the apex bank was going ahead with the set date, saying the 100 days allowed for the public to exchange the old notes for the new ones were sufficient.
Emefiele has repeatedly snubbed the request of the House of Representatives to appear before it.
He has been summoned by the lawmakers to shed light on the cash withdrawal limit and deadline given to phase out the old notes but has failed to appear.
Earlier, he wrote that he was ill and not in the country but since Emefiele returned to Nigeria from his recent trip abroad, he has not appeared before the lawmakers.
However, Gbajabiamila on Thursday at plenary issued the threat, while reacting to a letter by Emefiele, informing the House of its inability to honour its invitation.
The House through an ad-hoc Committee set up to interface with the apex bank and commercial banks on the deadline had invited Emefiele.
But Gbajabiamila said though he has a relationship with Emefiele, he would not hesitate to issue a warrant for his arrest if he refused to honour the invitation by the House.