The embattled Chairman of the fuel subsidy probe panel in the House of Representatives, Honourable Farouk Lawan has been suspended. This is following a Friday morning emergency session of the Federal House of Representatives, to deliberate on his involvement in an alleged $3m bribery scandal.
Mr Femi Otedola, Chairman of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd., alleged that Lawan and Emenalo collected 620,000 dollars as bribe from him.
John Enoh (PDP, Obubra, Cross River) was appointed in Lawan’s place.
Similarly, the lawmakers have directed the management of National Assembly to investigate and commence immediate disciplinary action against the secretary of the committee, Mr Boniface Emenalo, who was also removed from the position.
The House also suspended Lawan as the Chairman of the Committee on Education pending the outcome of the investigation.
It mandated its Committee on Ethics and Privileges to investigate the allegation and report back to the House within two weeks.?
The House also rescinded its earlier resolution of the deleting Synopsis Enterprises Ltd. and Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd. from the list of oil marketers indicted in the report.
It recommended the two oil companies for investigation by the country’s anti-corruption agencies.
It urged President Goodluck Jonathan, security agencies and anti-graft agencies to proceed with the implementation of the fuel subsidy report.
The House also directed all relevant committees with jurisdiction on the petroleum sector and the Committee on Legislative Compliance to monitor and ensure full implementation of the report.
It also passed a vote of confidence on the Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal for his leadership quality.
These resolutions emanated from a motion moved by Rep. Ishiaka Bawa (PDP-Taraba), the Chief Whip which was unanimously adopted.
Bawa said that the allegation would impact negatively on the integrity of the committee’s report if not thoroughly investigated.??
He said that the role of the National Assembly was not only to make laws but to also expose corruption.
Rep. Samson Osagie (ACN-Edo), the Minority Whip said that investigation into the matter must be allowed to continue.
“The crisis engulfing the chairman is unfortunate, we must allow investigation to go on,’’ he said.?
Osagie said that the legislature was a unique arm of government which made the difference by investigating and exposing corruption.
He said that it was time for members of the House to ensure that they lived above board.
The legislator said that the crime of a member should not be seen to be that of the whole House.
Meanwhile, Rep. John Enoh (PDP-Cross River), the Chairman of House Committee on Appropriation was appointed to head the Ad hoc Committee on Fuel subsidy. (NAN)