by Stanley Azuakola
We know how easily some of us get bored with what goes on in Abuja. Not many would consider sitting in front of their TVs watching men in flowing agbadas raise points of order, move motion, heckle each other and yell ‘Ayes’ and ‘Nays,’ as their idea of a fun-filled morning.
Because we care, we took the liberty of doing all that, watching proceedings at the Emergency sitting of the House of Reps today and taking notes so you wouldn’t have to go through it. Here are the main takeaways.
- Hon. Farouk Lawan, the embattled Chairman of the House Committee on Education and Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee which probed the fraud in the fuel subsidy scheme, was absent today. He was cooling off his heels at the Police Force Headquarters where he spent the night. Still he was suspended in absentia, pending the outcome of investigations into the allegations against him.
- Tambuwal is the man. The media was awash with speculations and conspiracies before today’s sitting. One major speculation was that some folks in the highest corridors of power wanted Aminu Tambuwal ousted as Speaker of the House. That didn’t happen. Instead, Tambuwal’s every move was applauded by his colleagues from the moment he stepped into the chambers. The House also passed a vote of confidence on him.
- To replace Farouk Lawan as Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee investigating fuel subsidy, the House appointed Hon John Enoh (PDP, Cross Rivers), who is the House Committee Chairman on Appropriations.
- Thankfully, Lawan’s suspension did not affect the committee’s already submitted report. The House said today that the resolutions which they approved from that report remains valid and binding despite the controversy. The executive arm was challenged to implement the resolutions immediately.
- The house referred the case of the clerk of the oil subsidy committee, Mr Boniface Emenalo, who allegedly received $120, 000 in bribes to the National Assembly Management for investigation and discipline.
- The two companies, which appeared in the first draft of the Lawan report as having benefited from the subsidy regime without delivering what they were paid for, but later removed from the list on Lawan’s recommendation, have been re-included in the list. The companies are Zenon Oil and Gas (owned by Femi Otedola) and Synopsis Enterprises Limited. The EFCC was advised to begin investigations into the activities of the two firms.
- The house adjourned sitting to Tuesday June 19.
There you have it. The drama continues.