Following an allegation that a member of the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee on subsidy probe was compromised by an oil magnate with the sum of $3 million, the House moved yesterday to investigate the case.
Honourable Zakari Mohammed, chairman of the House Committee on Public Affairs, said that the House would not spare any of its members that compromised his office. He however, urged the federal government not to use the allegation as an alibi to dump the committee’s report.
A statement signed by Hon. Mohammed reads: “The attention of the House of Representatives has been drawn to reports alleging that one of its members has, in the course of his committee work as a member of the ad- hoc committee which investigated the subsidy regime, allegedly received a gratification from an oil baron to exonerate his companies from complicity in the oil subsidy scam.
“The House, however, stands by the resolutions of the report as adopted and passed and urges the executive not to use the allegations as an excuse for not implementing its recommendations.
‘While we await investigation into these weighty accusations, we wish to state without equivocation that this Honourable House will never take sides with corruption and we will always stand on the side of the rule of law.
‘The reason we inaugurated the ad-hoc 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.
“However, these accusations, whatever their merits, can not detract from the quality of the work done by the committee. The report of that committee was adopted by the whole House and we stand by the resolutions of the House.
‘The present House of Representatives will not relent in its efforts to render quality legislation and oversight functions to Nigerians. Today, we are gradually beginning to see the end of this monstrosity that has bedeviled our progress as a nation for so long.
‘We hope that the executive will not, because of this allegation, abandon its commitment towards bringing to justice the culprits already identified in the committee’s report”.
The House of Representatives found itself in another scandal following reports of allegations that a member of the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee that investigated the management of petroleum subsidy allegedly received a bribe to the tune of six hundred thousand US dollars ($600,000) from one of Nigeria’s prominent oil marketers to cover up his role in the subsidy scam.
It was learnt that the former subsidy probe committee member accepted an initial bribe of $600,000 and was said to have reached an agreement with the oil magnate to take the remaining $2.4 million when the report is submitted.
LEADERSHIP SUNDAY gathered that the marketer in question had approached the member with a bribe of $3million to ensure that his companies were not mentioned negatively in the report. However, the deal broke when the member allegedly accepted the bribe but indicted the companies of the oil marketer in the report the committee submitted.
The report indicted the companies for collecting forex and not using it for the purpose it was intended. The member, it was learnt, decided to involve an influential member of the House Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes, as the committee oversights the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC,
The member, it was learnt, had attempted to present the bribe money at the plenary session last Wednesday but was advised against it, considering that his colleagues were not buying the explanation as it has been awhile since the money was received and no action was taken by the member to inform the House till the scandal broke.
The development which will be a setback for the House which is battling to redeem its battered image was further worsened by a video which allegedly captured the rep receiving the bribe from the marketer. The whole deal was said to have been kept away from other members of the committee, which explained why the report could not be doctored to suit the wishes of the oil mogul.
Only yesterday, the leadership of the House disclosed that all parties involved in the scandal were on their own to face the full wrath of the law if found wanting.