In spite of the controversy trailing the subsidy probe report following the $3 million bribery charge leveled against the suspended chairman of the House ad hoc committee that probed the fuel subsidy scheme of the federal government, the House of Representatives still insists that the report be implemented in full by the Executive.
Chief Femi Otedola, Chairman of Zenon Oil and Gas Ltd
On Tuesday, the Chairman of Zenon Oil and Gas Ltd, one of the indicted companies, Chief Femi Otedola, who accused suspended Chairman, Farouk Lawan of soliciting and receiving over $600, 000 in bribe from him, refused to give evidence in a scheduled secret hearing in the House of Representatives.
But briefing the press today, Chairman of the House committee on media and public affairs, Hon. Zakari Mohammed declared that the report remains sacrosanct explaining that Otedola was in no way under trial before the House.
He said the institution of parliament was bigger than any individual insisting that Otedola cannot dictate to the House on how to conduct its fact-finding investigations.
“He (Otedola) cannot dictate the way the House run it's activities. The House is not an extension of the estate of any individual. He has to come and express himself in his own way. And even at the closed-door session, the chairman of the committee told him that he was free to record the proceedings,” Mohammed said.
“We want to make it abundantly clear that we are not trying Otedola. By our laws, the ethics and privileges committee is the only committee empowered to sit in camera and we will never take side with corruption.
“The issue of the institution is most important. But what is happening is the price that the House is going to pay for taking the position and standing firm on the subsidy issue.”
He said the Subsidy probe report was sacrosanct and must be implemented fully not minding the issues bordering on the integrity of the erstwhile chairman, Hon. Farouk Lawan, explaining that for now the issues raised were mere allegations.
“For us as an institution, we believe that the subsidy report is sacrosanct and it should be implemented 100 percent. Partly, it is being implemented but we want full implementation. And Mr. Otedola should have his peace that the House is not after him,” Zakari stated.
The House Spokesman described the recorded audio conversations between Otedola and Lawan now playing on various media platforms as a “deliberate and calculated distraction to take attention from the subsidy report” explaining that the House has resolved to be focused in its fight against corruption.
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