Defying all odds, the House of Representatives on Tuesday, began the clause by clause consideration of the Subsidy Probe report which was laid on the floor of the House last Thursday but bowed to pressure, giving a lifeline of an additional two weeks to oil marketers who were asked to refund the sum of N42 billion to the national treasury to come up and defend their roles in the subsidy scheme, having failed to appear during the three week investigative hearing.
This is just as the speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has lambasted oil sector players for attempting to frustrate the investigation of the subsidy regime of the federal government, adding that the secrecy in the operations of the oil sector must be revealed since there is no provision in the law that makes room for a secret society.
Explaining the rationale behind the u-turn made by the House on the issue of the 17 oil marketers who had threatened to sue the House of Representatives for the recommendation that it had shady dealings in the subsidy scheme and should refund monies received to the federal government’s purse, the chairman of the ad-hoc investigative committee, Hon Farouk Lawan said it was all in the spirit of fair hearing.
The issue came up when on getting to clause 30 of the recommendations, which directed anti-graft agencies to recover monies paid to marketers who failed to appear before the committee, an amendment was proposed by Hon Ossai Ossai on the need to give the listed companies another invitation to come and defend the utilisation of money received from the PSF. He noted that the first invitation was generally conveyed on the pages of newspapers and that no direct invitation was sent to the companies to appear before the committee.
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