1 February 2013

Nigeria: Jega Regrets Failure to Appear Before House Panel

Following a threat to issue arrest warrant on him and his National Population Commission counterpart, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Professor AttahiruJega has written to the House committee on Public Accounts citing 'communication gap' as reason why he failed to honour an invitation to appear before it.

The House committee had threatened to issue warrant of arrest on the INEC chairman and that of the National Population Commission (NPC) Eze Festus Odimegwu, over what the committee chairman said was their failure to honour invitations to defend queries raised on audited accounts of their commissions.

In a letter titled: "Re: threat of arrest warrant", addressed to the Committee Chairman, a copy of which was made available to Daily Trust yesterday, Jega said his failure to honour the invitation was "unintended and regrettable."

"l learnt from the media this morning (yesterday) that your honourable Committee has resolved to issue an arrest warrant on me, following my failure to appear before it at its scheduled sitting on Wednesday, January 30th, 2013.

"Permit me to say, however, that my failure to respond to your Committee's invitation was wholly unintended and regrettable. I had travelled out of the country for a while and only returned to office early this week; and there was apparently a communication gap that made me unaware of the invitation to appear before the honourable committee on Wednesday", the letter reads.

In the letter copied to the Senate President and Speaker House of Representatives, Jega assured the committee: "I shall be readily available at the next scheduled sitting."

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