The Coalition of Civil Society Groups has demanded the suspension of a member of the Nigerian House of Representatives, Muhammed Kazaure, over the allegation of missing N89.09tn stamp duty charge.
The group, which held a rally at the gates of the National Assembly on Friday morning, said it was impossible for such an amount of money to be missing, when the total banking deposit of the country was not up to N50tn.
Speaking to journalists, the group’s President, Bassey Etuk, said the accusation by the lawmaker was targeted at derailing the policies and good work of the Governor of the Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele and President Muhammadu Buhari.
He added that the group had written petitions to the Department of State Services and the Office of the Inspector General of Police, while also calling on the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, to ensure the suspension and arrest of the lawmaker.
“We came to tell the world, the Senate President, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, that what a parliamentarian has done to Nigerians is to peddle lies and rumours, trying to bring the image and the reputation of government officials to disrepute.
“There is no missing N89tn. Such money is not missing. The governor of CBN is a man with a high level of integrity. What we are simply saying here is this, Mr Kazaure should be arrested by the security agencies; he is a threat as we speak to the Nigerian project. Kazaure should be arrested forthwith, and also face prosecution.
“We have petitioned the DSS; we have also petitioned the Inspector General of Police. We have also written to President Muhammadu Buhari; to state the fact very clearly that there is no amount of money that is missing,” Etuk said
The group also questioned the committee report which the lawmaker referred to, noting that the President had dissolved the committee set to review stamp duties in 2021.
Etuk said: “Our findings as a group since this matter has come to public domain revealed to us that even the total banking deposit in the country is not up to N50tn, not to talk of the said amount. So, one wonders where the said sum emanated from, and how they arrived at such an amount, yet the country is still broke”.
“Our findings further revealed that a committee was officially set up by the Presidency in 2021 to review the stamp duty money, based on allegations on its remittance. This committee was headed by the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, while the chairman of Federal Inland Revenue is the Secretary of the committee, with a directive to reconcile the collected stamp duty money and revert back.”
The coalition, however, reiterated its support for the CBN governor based on what it described as his “transformative policies”. They also passed a vote of total confidence in Emefiele, adding that the governor should be allowed to concentrate on the tasks ahead.