Farouks Lawan, the alleged nation’s established No1 traitor, who betrayed the nation for a sell-out move in a bribe scandal has been stripped of his post as the Chairman of House of Representatives Ad-Hoc committee which probed the nation’s oil subsidy.
He has equally been suspended from the House till further notice while his position as Chirman of the committee has been re allocated.
Lawan is still paying host to the national security Agencies providing vital information on his alleged national betrayal obtaining a heavy bribe while on national service.
Farouk was suspended on Friday during an emergency session of the House of Representatives which had been summoned following the nation’s most high profile exposed bribery scandal.
The move according to the House is to allow for a credible investigation into the ongoing allegation of bribe scandal by the nation’s security forces.
The ad hoc committee on the management of subsidy regime recently completed its report and the later already has been submitted for complete implementation of its recommendations.
Farouk Lawan allegedly has been accused of masterminding a bribery payment of $620,000 from one of the erring companies indicted in the subsidy probe report.
The House also ordered the anti-graft agencies to investigate the activities of the other party to the bribe, Mr Femi Otedola’s whose company, Zenon Petroleum and Gas, and another firm, Synopsis allegedly collected subsidy funds and failing to use same for the required purpose.
The decisions were taken at a special session convened by the House to deliberate on the raging bribery scandal.
The decision to suspend Lawan was based on the motion moved by Ishaka Bawa and seconded by Rafeeqat Onabamiro.
The matter was also referred to its Committee on Ethics and Privileges for investigation.
The House also asked the Management of the National Assembly and its Committee on Ethics and Privileges to investigate the ad hoc committee’s Clerk, Boniface Emenalo, for his involvement in the scandal.
Emenalo reportedly collected part of the alleged bribe money from Otedola at the oil marketer’s Abuja residence.
The special session, which was marked by repeated thunderous ovation, was the second since the sixth legislature was convened on June 6, 2011.
The House also passed a vote of confidence in the Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, based on a motion moved by Samson Osagie.
There had been reports that top members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party were plotting Tambuwal’s removal, based on their fear that he had become too independent.
There were also reports that efforts were being made to link Tambuwal and the House leadership to the bribe scandal.
In fact, there have been calls for the entire leadership of the House to resign.
The lawmaker warned against a dangerous trend of using security agencies to intimidate elected members of the legislature in order to protect powerful people.
He said the recording of the alleged receipt of the bribe on video by security agencies was reminiscent of the Watergate scandal under former United States President, the late Richard Nixon.
However, Osagie said such insinuations were dangerous and capable of eroding the integrity of the legislature.
He said the time had come for the legislature to warn its members against engaging in acts capable of impugning the integrity of the National Assembly.
Osagie said the ad hoc committee uncovered “monumental corruption” in the management of fuel subsidy funds and made far-reaching recommendations on the sector.
He said the bribe scandal was “unfortunate and shouldn’t have happened,” adding that it had become necessary for members to support the overhaul of the machinery of running the committees of the House.
He urged his colleagues to remember that like Ceaser’s wife, they ought to be above reproach.
The legislators also mandated John Enoh to take over the leadership of the ad hoc committee and adopted a motion that Synopsis International and Zenon Petroleum and Gas should account to anti-graft agencies for the sums of $51449977.7 and $232,975,385.13 respectively which they received as subsidy funds.
The House also directed its committees on anti-graft agencies to ensure the implementation of the recommendations in the report by the relevant agencies.
In a short speech, Tambuwal urged Nigerians to continue to support the House and vowed that it would not allow the scandal overshadow the report.
“”We shall never compromise our stand against corruption. May I also ask the executive to match words with action in the implementation of this report.
”As members of the parliament, we enjoy no immunity and seek none,” he said.
He dismissed insinuations that the House had been over-reaching its powers, vowing that it would continue to discharge the mandate given to members by the people of Nigeria.
He also promised that the House would continue to fight for the rights of Nigerians.
The House dissolved into a Committee of the Whole at 11.58a.m chaired by deputy speaker, Emeka Ihedioha, and considered the motion for Synopsis and Zenon to be asked to account for the subsidy funds received by them.
After considering the report, it reverted to plenary at 12.09p.m and adopted the report.
Ihedioha said the implication of the resolution is that the House has asked the anti-graft agencies to investigate Synopsis and Zenon for collecting the said subsidy funds and failing to utilise them as required.
Ihedioha reminded the House that on April 25 when the Lawan committee report was considered and adopted, that there was a recommendation for 15 firms that collected subsidy funds should be referred to anti-graft agencies for investigation.
He recalled that he told the House that earlier in the day, Lawan had hinted him that two firms should be dropped from the list.
He recalled that when the House got to that recommendation, he asked Lawan to explain their earlier discussion to the House.
Ihedioha stated that Lawan openly said his committee had agreed that Synopsis and Zenon should be excluded from the list.
He said he had read some insinuations in the media about his discussion with Lawan but was not yet ready to say anything about them.
At 12.15p.m, Sam-Tsokwa moved the motion for the adoption of the votes and proceedings of the session and was seconded by Friday Itulah.
The motion was adopted and the House adjourned till Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 12.19p.m.
– Source: PUNCH