by Stanley Azuakola
At the peak of the fuel subsidy protest in January 2012, the Federal House of Representatives convened for an emergency session –the first time they would meet on a Sunday. Part of the resolutions from that session was the setting up of a committee which would probe the fuel subsidy regime in the country. That was how the Farouk Lawan committee was born.
Now, Lawan is responsible for a second such meeting, under circumstances far less in his favour. The House of Representatives have suspended their two-week recess to convene for an emergency plenary on Friday, June 15 over the $620,000 bribery scandal involving its member, Farouk Lawan, and oil tycoon, Femi Otedola.
The Clerk of the House, Mohammed Sani-Omolori sent a terse message to all lawmakers on Wednesday informing them of the extraordinary general assembly. He however did not state the agenda for the meeting.
The one-sentence statement reads: “This is to inform all honourable members of the House of Representatives that the House would reconvene to hold a plenary session on Friday, June 15th, 2012 at 10.00 a.m. prompt. Honourable members are advised to take note and attend promptly, please.”
The House of Representatives does not usually sit on Fridays. And considering that they are only a week into their two-week vacation, it is clear that the major issue for discussion would be the Farouk-gate scandal.
House members are worried that if they wait until after their recess to discuss the issue involving Farouk Lawan and business mogul, Femi Otedola, it might have degenerated beyond redemption.
There are speculations that the House might first hold a secret session where Lawan and his colleagues in the committee will be given an opportunity to present their case before their colleagues. They would also be expected to stand down afterwards to allow for proper investigations.