Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouk has again refused to honour an invitation by the House of Representatives Committee probing the disbursement of funds, allocated for COVID-19 palliatives.
Her non-appearance before the committee on Monday was the fourth time she had refused the invitation by the federal lawmakers.
The House of Reps had set up the committee following public outcry that the funds allocated for palliatives to cushion the effect of the coronavirus pandemic for less-privileged Nigerians might have been embezzled.
According to the committee, her refusal to cooperate with the enquiry was in violation of sections 4, 81, and 88 of the 1999 Constitution, which empower the House of Representatives to investigate the public purse and even the president of the federation, his ministers and heads of agencies of government, as far as public funds are concerned.
The parliament also enjoys quasi-judicial powers under the constitution and the Legislative Powers Act, to summon, cause appearance and even effect the arrest of anyone under the federation.
The chairman of the panel, Wole Oke and other members of the committee, were visibly unhappy by the minister’s contempt of the House after waiting in vain without her appearance on Monday.
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