House suspends chairman of oil subsidy probe
By Latifat Afegbua, Abuja
The House of Representatives has suspended Mr. Farouk Lawan as the Chairman of the Ad-hoc committee investigating the fuel subsidy regime and Mr. Boniface Emenalo as the secretary of the committee.
Their suspension follows the allegation that he received 620,000 Dollars as bribe, when offered by Mr. Femi Otedola, an oil marketer.
The House, during a special session on Friday, expressed concern that the allegation would tarnish the integrity and image of the Ad-hoc committee’s report if not thoroughly investigated.
The House also rescinded the resolution of Tuesday, 24th April, whereby the ad-hoc committee’s report deleted Synopsis Enterprises Limited and Zenon Petroleum and Gas limited from the list of those who collected foreign exchange payments without importing petroleum product.
In the words of Alhaji Tambuwal, ’’ While we consider it preposterous and hasty to dismiss the current bribery allegations, pending the outcome of ongoing investigations, including our in-house investigation just instituted, we reject in totality insinuations being orchestrated in some media to the effect that the allegations have eroded the integrity of the Resolutions of the House on the report and rendered same unworthy of implementation.’’
The Speaker, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal in announcing the decision said that, ’’ in accordance with our Legislative Agenda, the House must continue to be, not only sensitive to the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians but also proactive on all matters of urgent National importance.’’
The Speaker re-emphasised the pledge of the House of Representatives to continue to act responsibly by ensuring that all investigations are instituted only when absolutely necessary.
Probity and fairness
He stressed that the House would insist on probity and fairness on the part of members conducting such investigations and that it will not hesitate in sanctioning anyone, who in the course of these investigations, over reaches himself or uses the process to intimidate anyone or engages in corruption.
He therefore, urged the Executive to match words with action in the implementing the resolutions of the House of Representatives on the matter.
The House has mandated its committee on Ethics and Privileges to investigate the allegation and report to the House within two weeks.