The House of Representatives on Thursday began an investigation into the alleged ‘secret’ recruitment of 909 employees by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The controversial recruitment was reportedly carried out by the apex bank on the directive of the Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, with a reasonable number of the beneficiaries being children and relatives of highly-placed persons in the country.
At a session presided over by the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, in Abuja, the House asked its Committees on Federal Character, Banking/Currency to complete the investigation within three weeks.
An All Progressives Congress lawmaker from Kano State, Mr. Aliyu Madaki, had drawn the attention of the House to the recruitment under ‘matters of urgent public importance’.
Madaki noted that there were no prior notifications on the recruitment through advertisements to give all Nigerians the opportunity to apply.
He recalled that in 2015, there were speculations that the apex bank conducted a secret recruitment, but that the bank quickly denied it.
Madaki added that the latest development only confirmed that the bank carried out the earlier recruitment.
He stated, “The recruitment by the CBN is in breach of the Federal Character Principle as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
“The recruitment breached section 14(1); 14(3); and Section 17(1) of the constitution.
“There was no fairness, no justice in this exercise conducted by the CBN.”
Lawmakers did not debate the motion before passing it in a unanimous voice vote.
Dogara had overruled any debate on the issue on the grounds that it could pre-judge the outcome of the investigation.
“This is an investigation; let us not allow any debate so that we won’t pre-empt the outcome,” he added.
Meanwhile, the majority of the lawmakers on Thursday endorsed the second reading of a bill for an Act seeking to repeal the People’s Bank of Nigeria Act, 2004.
Members said the bank had become moribund and its functions taken over by the Nigerian Agricultural Bank.
The bill was sponsored by an APC member from Yobe State and Chairman, House Committee on Sports, Mr. Goni Bukar-Lawan.
However, there was some drama as the bill generated arguments among members.
While some lawmakers felt that the bank could still be resuscitated, others held the view that it had since lost its relevance since it had been merged with the Nigerian Agricultural Bank.
But, the majority won the day as Dogara ruled in support of the second reading of the proposed piece of legislation.