Members of the House of Representatives on Friday suspended a ranking member of the House and chairman of its ad hoc committee on the management of fuel subsidy regime, Farouk Lawan, over allegations that he and the panel’s Clerk, Boniface Emenalo, received $620,000 bribe from the Chairman of Zenon Petroleum and Gas, Mr. Femi Otedola.
At a special session convened to deliberate on the matter, the House declared that it was solidly against corruption and was dismayed by the references to graft in the separate probes of subsidy regime and capital market crash.
The former chairman of the capital market committee, Herman Hembe, was removed after he was accused of demanding and receiving some sums of money from the suspended Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Ms. Arunma Oteh.
The House also mandated its Committee on Ethics and Privileges to investigate the bribe allegation against Lawan and Emenalo.
It also directed the Management of the National Assembly to investigate the involvement of Emenalo, a civil servant, in the matter.
The House removed Lawan from the headship of the committee and replaced him with John Enoh.
An interesting aspect of the deliberations was the directive to anti-graft agencies to probe Otedola’s firm and another company, Synopsis International, for collecting the sums of $232,975,385.13 and $51449977.7 respectively and failing to use the funds for the required purpose.
The speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, urged members not to be dismayed by the scandal but to resolve to work for the good of Nigerians.
He urged the executive “to match words with action” by implementing the report.
He also said the House would have nothing to do with corruption and warned members against enganing in graft.
The House also adopted the motion that Zenon and Synopsis, which were initially removed from a list of 15 indicted oil firms, should be added to the number again and made to account for the funds they received.
The session was marked by intermittent applause and standing ovation.
Members also passed a vote of confidence in Tambuwal.
The House later adjourned till Tuesday June 19.