Over 200 Lawmakers Sign Up For Farouk Lawan’s Suspension
Over 200 members of the House of Representatives have signed up for the suspension of fuel subsidy probe chairman Farouk Lawan over the bribe-for-clearance scandal.
Members are angry that the scandal has impugned on the integrity of the House and brought personal slight on members.
But Lawan, who got wind of the move, visited Speaker Aminu Tambuwal early yesterday to plead for leniency.
Lawan reportedly told Tambuwal that leaving him stranded now will also bring opprobrium to the House.
Tambuwal was said to have told Lawan that he has no personal grudge against him but that members’ decision on the floor will be final.
The Speaker’s position is in tandem with that of the Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Victor Ogene, who yesterday said that members will be guided by their desire to safeguard the institutional Integrity of the House.
Over five caucuses were said to have met. Meetings were held simultaneously in Asokoro and Maitama, Abuja.
The meetings were hinged on what would be the form and content of today’s plenary, it was learnt.
The Maitama meeting, which took place in the house of a member of the leadership, was to find a common way out of the $3 million bribe –for-clearance scandal and protect the House’s integrity.
Though the House has called for an emergency session today, it was polarised on the appropriate action to take on Lawan, who admitted collecting $620,000 from businessman Femi Otedola.
Some members are said to be suggesting to the Speaker not to set up an ad hoc committee to investigate the issue. They would rather have the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges take over the case. According to them, this will give Lawan a breathing space and a face-saving opportunity.
Today’s session is likely to see a motion being moved under order of privilege by Chief Whip, Mohammed Bawa.
The remaining event will be pure protocol as members will debate back and forth on all that has been in the public domain while they were on break. Eventually, it will culminate in a resolution.
Sources told our correspondents that there may be a rally today at the National Assembly in Lawan’s favour.
On rumoured plans to impeach the Speaker, a member, Kaka Kyari Gujbawu (PDP, Borno) said it was neither the intention of President Goodluck Jonathan nor that of any body within the Presidency to remove Tambuwal.
Gujbawu said: “The President is not interested in who becomes the Speaker of the House within the present circumstances, but I will say that as far as I am aware, there is no meeting that is going on to remove the Speaker or to effect a change in the leadership of the House.
“We should put our House in order and find ways and means of regaining the confidence of Nigerians because the Presidency did not ask anybody to go and collect money from anybody.”