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Price hike: Reps panel threatens arrest warrant against Dangote cement mgt

A committee of the House of Representatives, investigating the rise in cement prices, has threatened to issue arrest warrants against the management of Dangote Cement for not honoring its invitation.

The House Committee on Solid Minerals, led by Jonathan Gaza (SDP, Nasarawa), issued this warning during a hearing at the National Assembly Complex on Tuesday, after the company’s management failed to appear.

Mr. Gaza emphasized that the committee would provide Dangote Cement’s management another opportunity to respond to the invitation before taking further action. “We are going to give you one more chance. We are going to communicate a date. Failure to comply with that date, a subpoena will be issued. A warrant of arrest will be given for you to make an appearance before the National Assembly. No single individual is bigger than the parliament of his country,” Mr. Gaza stated.

Section 89 of the Nigerian Constitution empowers the National Assembly to issue warrants to compel attendance for investigations. The section states: “For the purposes of any investigation under section 88 of this Constitution and subject to the provisions thereof, the Senate or the House of Representatives or a committee appointed in accordance with section 62 of this Constitution shall have power to issue a warrant to compel the attendance of any person who, after having been summoned to attend, fails, refuses, or neglects to do so.”

Although the House and its committees frequently issue such threats, they rarely follow through with action. This latest investigation follows a motion moved by Mr. Gaza in March to scrutinize the recent increase in cement prices.

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