Reps to hold emergency session over $3million bribery scandal

The House of Representatives is suspending a two-week recess for an emergency plenary on Friday over the USD 620,000 bribery scandal involving its member, Farouk Lawan, and oil tycoon, Femi Otedola.

An extraordinary general assembly will hold on June 15, 2012, the Clerk of the House, Mohammed Sani-Omolori, announced in a message to lawmakers on Wednesday.

“Honourable members are advised to take note and attend promptly please,” Mr Sani-Omolori said. He did not state the agenda for the session.

But it is clear that the meeting, coming a week into the House two-week break, and on an unusual day (plenary hold Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays), will discuss the scandal that has rocked the lower chamber.

Mr. Lawan, who led the House investigation into federal government fuel subsidy abuses, is accused of accepting USD 620,000 to clear Mr. Otedola’s oil firm, Zenon, of complicity in the scheme that ripped public funds in trillions of naira.

Mr. Otedola, a major financier of the ruling People’s Democratic Party and top player in the oil industry often accused of underhand dealings, has admitted paying the amount as advance payment for a USD3 million kickback, but said he did so to expose the lawmaker.

Mr. Otedola worked with the State Security Service (SSS) while paying the bribe at his residence. The transaction was videotaped.

The business tycoon was questioned by police investigators on Tuesday in Abuja, but was later released. It is not yet clear whether he will face charges.

 Mr. Lawan has also admitted collecting the money but claims it was meant to to provide evidence to back his committee’s claim that it faced tremendous pressure during its work.

The scandal which broke as the house was leaving for the recess last week, has sparked fury amongst lawmakers and the house leadership, both said to view Mr. Lawan’s explanation as an afterthought since he withheld the information for more than a month after the encounter.

In an earlier statement, the House said it will back full investigations and will not provide a cover.

“The reason we inaugurated the adhoc committee to look into the controversial subsidy regime in the first place was to expose corruption in the sector, as such, we cannot, for whatever reason, support any underhand dealing from any quarter,” spokesperson, Zakari  Muhammed said.

The emergency session on Friday is expected to allow Mr. Lawan an opportunity to officially present his position, and thereafter, stand down with the rest of the ad hoc committee members, to allow for a thorough investigation of the allegations.


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  • Sfdsdsf

    The fundamental question that no one is asking is”Were Otedola companies initially included in the list?” and “Were the names of the companies in the final list that was submitted by the committee? ” If the answers for these 2 questions is YES, there should be no further investigation, the Farouk Lawan of a guy is a thief then, trying to investigate another thieves. Everyone involved in sharing the bribe should be made to face the law, shikena.

    • Maminubawa

      I learn a lesson from Buhari. You cant serve and steal. You combine the 2, you face the wrath of God, period.

  • Stalin

    We are watching!!!!!

  • M

    Traditionally, committee work is what these Senate and Reps use to bump up their salaries. From time imemorial, this practise has been in place. Why are the senates and Reps acting as if Mr Lawan’s case is just a one-off.

    They all know how it all works. Holding an emergency meeting is a farce in itself. What we are dealing with here is HOUSE TRADITION. That is why there is such a stampede to be appointed to certain committees by Reps and Senates. Why are grown men pretending to be honourable all of a sudden? There is NOT a shred of “HONOURABILITY” IN BOTH HOUSES.

    It’s very similar to parliment expenses in the UK. There are corrupt traditions parlimentarians use to bump up their salaries. Thankfully, it’s now been closed off.

    In Nigeria, the opportunity will remain for ever. Why? Because Nigerians have set the expectation BAR so low for our politicians. No wonder in the past, the senate and reps were trying to push a motion for “immunity” from prosecution for house members.

    The only criteria to become a member of both houses is that YOU WILL CO-OPERATE when a LOOTING OPPORTUNITY presents itself. Cause, if you don’t, you’ll be impeached very quickly.

  • KenMani

    The truth is that dishonorable Hon. Farouk Lawan did not act alone. I am convinced he acted on the explicit instructions of the Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani Speaker of the House of Representatives dishonorable Hon. Aminu Tambuwaal who deliberately and intentionally desecrated the Christian Sunday. He took the bribe on behalf of dishonorable Hon. Aminu Tambuwaal. Let justice be done as stipulated under the Sharia law since both offenders are Muslims; Hon Farouk Lawan and Hon Aminu Tambuwaal must have their hands and legs amputated on Friday during the emergency plenary session of the House. Nothing less will do.

    • Kill the Pest

      I knew you would say that. Whatever tribe they belong, whatever religion they subscribe to they are Nigerians and their level of alleged corruption is chicken feed compared to Obasanjo’s!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So think before you write, Mr. Writer.

    • tmotmo

      KenMani,
      Do you think you are normal with your ever tribal-religious blah blah blah?
      What of Eastern Christian Ohembe of capital market probe committee? pls listen to yourself and try to be normal for once.

    • Kill the Pest

      Oh, one more thing. What of your Oga’s (GEJ’s) N155 Billion scandal exposed by the US government? Is the difference between N155 Billion and USD 3 million not significant? You must be a shameless and faceless person to comment the way you always do against Hausa/Fulani and Muslims. By so doing you are exposing your level of minute exposure, selfishness and unrealism. You had better shut-up your trap!

  • okrokoko

    National Assembly members are crooks and unrepentantly greedy and corrupt! I hate their guts, for always deceiving Nigerians that they are distinguished and honourable! Shame! shame!! shame!!! What message are they passing to the impressionable young ones with series of scandals, reckless budgetary spendings and jumbo allowances they always engage in?! Check the green and red chambers and see the scanty attendance during sessions! They are all shameless and should be chased out of the chambers they have stupidly desecrated! They are lawbreakers and not lawmakers! Wicked bunch of people!

  • KenMani

    The emergency plenary session on Friday will be an interesting one as the Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani battle to save their own extremely corrupt duo – Hon. Aminu Tambuwaal and Hon. Farouk Lawan. In Southern Nigeria corruption is abhorred,exposed and severely punished whenever it is detected. That is why Southerners like Ibori are in jail. Other Southerners like Alamesigha, Tafa Balogun, Timipre Sylva, Cecilia Ibru, Erastus Akingbola etc. etc. are either in court or have faced one form of punishment or the other for corruption. The story is different with the Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani. For the Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani corruption is not only a religion but a cherished way of life. They do whatever is necessary to cover, protect, encourage and support corruption. Unlike Southern Nigerians, the Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani hate to see their corruption exposed and severely punished whenever it is detected. We all know that the Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani consume over 92% of Federal Resources with nothing to show for it yet no one is ever punished amongst them for corruption that has rendered the Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani States completely poor, backward and diseased despite the huge Federal Resources they consume. If any one cares let him take a bet with me on what will happen at the plenary on Friday. At the plenary on Friday, the Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani Reps will go “mental”. Their anger will be directed at Femi Otedola and Goodluck Jonathan. They will seek a pound of flesh from Goodluck, Jonathan, Femi Otedola and others while providing dishonorable Hon Farouk Lawan and dishonorable Hon Aminu Tambuwaal with very very soft landing.

    • Frankly speaking

      Calling Tambuwal to reseign is absurd. Why didnt Obj reseign over Power probe chop chop? Why is Jonathan still in office after the pension scam, after the USD 1.1b (over N150b) Malabu/Shell oil well scandal first blew out by an online new media (Premium Times) currently before the Reps…why? why?

  • KenMani

    @Sfdsdsf comment which I have reproduced here is very clear and unambiguous; “The fundamental question that no one is asking is”Were Otedola companies initially included in the list?” and “Were the names of the companies in the final list that was submitted by the committee? ” If the answers for these 2 questions is YES, there should be no further investigation, the Farouk Lawan of a guy is a thief then, trying to investigate another thieves. Everyone involved in sharing the bribe should be made to face the law, shikena.” The truth is that Otedola’s companies were initially included in the list but were strangely and “surprisingly” removed on the floor of the House by Hon Farouk Lawan in accordance with the terms of the bribe he collected on behalf of dishonorable Hon Aminu Tambuwaal.

  • Sani_badamasi

    Lest we forget,was Zenon Oil removed from the list of oil firms involved in the oil subsidy scandal?

  • Aminu B.

    Mr PIGGY or abi (MALLAM KENMANI) choose a state so dat your indigene letter will be processed? For your obsession as a muslim, Hausa/ Fulani to be complete!

  • Franlyspeaking

    As the House of Reps meet tomorrow.
    It is unfortunate that PDP is bent on destroying the people with integrity in this country. What is the motive behind Mr Otedola’s move? They are fighting back and dirty and bent on taking possession of the House of Reps leadership and do what they want free. Former Speakers, Hon Mrs Etete and Hon Bankole were found to be corrupt. Hons Gali Na’abba and Masari finished very well with some bruises at the end. Remember, Hon Na abba was dismissed from the party while Hon Aminu Masari was frustrated out of the party in his home state. The incumbent Speaker, Hon Tambuwal is doing a good job so far and looks promising. Frauk Lawan looks promising too before this avoidable scandal. Of course he has to face the law now to determine his fate. There are many other promising gentlemen and ladies in the party and elsewhere all over the North. My call to our Reps from the North and other non PDP members is please shine your eyes. GEJ/OBJ are at work. Obj destroyed the economy of the North…our textile industries, electricity, dismissed our military personnel, together with GEJ, instrumental to Boko Haram insurgency, etc. The Northern Reps members irrespective of religion, party affiliation and ethnicity, shine your eyes oo ..That is perhaps d only political relvance we hv. If you allow them disgrace Tambuwal out of offc, they disgraced all of u.. Calling Tambuwal to reseign is absurd. Why didnt Obj reseign over Power probe chop chop? Why is Jonathan still in offc after the pension scam, after the USD 1.1b (over N150b) Malabu/Shell oil well scandal first blew out by an online new media (Premium Times) currently b4 the Reps.
    Anyway, the Northern leaders are paying the price of the choices they made in the last election, period.
    Wishing you fruitful deliberations.